La Liga Table: Latest Standings, Fixtures and Predictions

Phil HaighContributor IMay 1, 2014

Atletico's Diego Costa, left celebrates with  Koke after he scored a penalty during the Champions League semifinal second leg soccer match between Chelsea and Atletico Madrid at Stamford Bridge Stadium in London Wednesday, April 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)
Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

The La Liga title race could be over by the end of Week 36, with the pressure very much on the chasing duo of Barcelona and Real Madrid to keep in touch with leaders Atletico.

Diego Simeone’s Atletico side are still coming down from the inevitable high that was beating Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday. They must come down to earth quickly, though, as they face a potentially tricky trip to Levante on Sunday afternoon.

Barcelona are the hot favourites in their home clash with Getafe, but there is plenty to do for Real Madrid, who must play twice this week. Carlo Ancelotti’s side host Valencia on Sunday evening and then face a trip to Real Valladolid on Wednesday. Although they would be expected to win both games, with Champions League commitments, the schedule has not been kind to los Meringues.

The fourth Champions League spot is currently filled by Athletic Bilbao, and barring a bizarre turn of events, they will remain there come the end of the season. The Basque side travel to take on Rayo Vallecano in the first game of Week 36 on Friday night.

At the wrong end of the table, Almeria have the chance to escape the relegation zone when they take on basement club Real Betis. Osasuna also have the opportunity to move away from the drop zone when they face Celta de Vigo at home.

Elsewhere, Malaga host Elche on Saturday evening, and Sevilla play Villarreal the following night. On Monday, Granada travel to Real Sociedad, still with an outside chance of relegation.

La Liga Table (as of May 1)
POSTEAMPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atletico Madrid3528437522+5388
2Barcelona3527359730+6784
3Real Madrid3426449832+6682
4Athletic Bilbao3519886238+2465
5Sevilla35178106650+1659
6Real Sociedad35169105951+857
7Villarreal35157135443+1152
8Valencia35129144748-145
9Rayo Vallecano35134184571-2643
10Celta Vigo35127164051-843
11Levante351012133142-1142
12Espanyol35118163946-841
13Malaga35118163744-741
14Granada35114203053-2337
15Elche35812152847-1936
16Osasuna3598182958-2935
17Getafe3598183051-2135
18Almeria3596203869-3133
19Real Valladolid34614143250-2132
20Real Betis3557232970-4122

 

HomeAwayPrediction
Rayo VallecanoAthletic Bilbao0-1
BarcelonaGetafe3-0
MalagaElche2-0
OsasunaCelta de Vigo1-1
Real ValladolidEspanyol1-1
AlmeriaReal Betis2-0
LevanteAtletico Madrid0-1
SevillaVillarreal2-1
Real MadridValencia3-1
Real SociedadGranada2-0
Real ValladolidReal Madrid   0-2        

 

Levante v Atletico Madrid

The form book makes pretty useful reading ahead of this one. While Levante have won just one of their last eight games, Atletico have prospered in every one of theirs. There is little to suggest this one will not go exactly as expected on Sunday evening.

The only thing working in Levante’s favour is the fact that the league leaders may be struggling with fatigue after two intense Champions League ties with Chelsea in the last two weeks. However, club captain Gabi will return from suspension to give the side fresh impetus, while the likes of Diego and David Villa also did not feature at Stamford Bridge.

The motivation does not get any bigger for Atletico, though. Victory at Levante will put them just one away from their first La Liga title since 1996.

 

Real Madrid v Valencia

There could be an issue with fatigue in this one for Valencia. They take on Sevilla on Thursday night for a place in the Europa League final, which is hardly great preparation for a trip to Madrid on Sunday. Carlo Ancelotti will also still have designs on the league title and will be desperate to capitalise on any slip-up from Atleti.

Real have a nearly fully fit squad to choose from, and they may well unleash all their star men on Valencia on Sunday. The confidence will be flowing through the team after their thrashing of Bayern Munich on Tuesday, and they should pick up another comfortable win at the weekend.

Valencia’s season has tailed off quite badly, with just one win in their last six putting an end to hopes of European football next year. With little to play for, they should not put up much resistance against the Copa del Rey winners.