Real Madrid's hopes of claiming the La Liga title were wiped out on Sunday as they went down 2-0 to Celta de Vigo, leaving them five points off the top with one game remaining.
As a result, they will play out an almost entirely inconsequential match with 12th-placed, and safe from relegation, Espanyol on Saturday at the Bernabeu.
Real will likely rest a handful of players in preparation for their Champions League final against city rivals Atletico Madrid on May 24 in Lisbon.
However, it does offer Carlo Ancelotti's side their final competitive run-out ahead of their huge clash in Portugal and potentially the opportunity to claim second if Barcelona lose to Atletico.
Here's where to catch the action.
Date: Saturday, May 17
Time: 3 p.m. BST, 10 a.m. ET
TV Info: beIN Sports (U.S. only)
Live Stream: beIN Sports Play (U.S. only)
Real were looking good for the league title not so long ago. But they have dropped out of form domestically and have not won in their last three games, per Squawka:
Real Madrid have failed to win in three successive La Liga agames for the first time since May 2009 when they lost five games in a row.— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 11, 2014
Draws with Valencia and Real Valladolid along with last weekend's loss have cost them dearly. Victories in each of these would have seen them top of the league going into this game.
La Liga table heading into the final match: 1) Atletico Madrid- 89 pts 2) Barcelona- 86 pts 3) Real Madrid- 84 pts pic.twitter.com/Da9Z4wx1gB— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 11, 2014
While they have been terrific going forward all season, scoring 101 goals in 37 games per ESPN FC, they have a poorer defensive record than their title rivals, and this has been problematic.
Deadly trio Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale have bagged 62 goals between them in the league this season, per ESPN FC, but they may have the Champions League on their minds now that the league has gone.
Atletico and Barcelona will be fighting it out for the league at the Camp Nou on Saturday, but Ancelotti claims he is not bothered either way who comes out victorious, per BBC Sport:
I don't care who it is. I'm not interested either way.
We have a different issue and that is to prepare well for the Champions League final. [...]
I don't think we threw the league away. It is true though that we haven't played well in the last three games.
While he is likely to rest players, the 54-year-old Italian will no doubt want to finish the league season with a win in front of the Real fans.
Madrid should certainly have enough quality to defeat Espanyol, but Barcelona's other team may be given confidence by Real's form.
Espanyol Look to Finish Well
Espanyol confirmed their safety from relegation last weekend as they drew 1-1 with Osasuna to avoid a fourth loss in as many games, per Opta:
4 - After this weekend, Real Madrid won't reach the title & Espanyol, Málaga & Elche are now safe from relegation in La Liga. Maths— OptaJose (@OptaJose) May 12, 2014
Javier Aguirre's side come into their final game of the season in absolutely rotten form; they have not won a game in their last seven, per BBC Sport.
However, with the spectre of relegation no longer looming, Saturday offers Espanyol the chance to finish the season well.
Furthermore, the players will want to give their manager a decent send-off after it was confirmed on Friday that the Real game would be Aguirre's last game in charge, per Sky Sports.
What will be the result on Saturday?
The likelihood of an away win is low, however; Espanyol have only scored 17 goals on the road this season, and they lost to Real 1-0 at home back in January, per ESPN FC.
With very little riding on this game, there is a chance it could be an entertaining encounter, full of attacking intent and goals.
However, the Madrid players will no doubt be very careful with none of them wanting to get injured and miss out on the chance of playing in a Champions League final.