LaLiga relegation battle goes down to the wire

Following the penultimate weekend of LaLiga games, when all but one of the fixtures kicked off at the same time, various questions in the competition were definitively resolved.

At the top end of the table, all but one entry into European competitions next season has been confirmed. Sevilla clinched fourth position in the table and the final Champions League spot, while neighbouring Real Betis had already earned their passage to the Europa League, having won the Copa del Rey. Real Sociedad were also confirmed as the second Europa League team, having secured a top-six finish.

Meanwhile, qualification for the Europa Conference League has yet to be decided. Heading into the final round of games, Villarreal are in seventh place on 56 points, while Athletic Bilbao are just a point behind in eighth. Both face difficult away trips, with Villarreal travelling to Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao visiting Sevilla. The outcome of those games will decide the final Spanish participant in European competitions next season.

Desperate to avoid the drop

Already relegated during Matchday 36, Levante had little more than their pride at stake heading into the penultimate weekend, taking on a Deportivo Alaves team that continued to fight for its life in LaLiga. Nevertheless, it was Levante who won 3-1 and put on a great display, which secured the unfortunate fate of Deportivo Alaves, who join them in descending to the second tier of Spanish football.

Getafe and Elche both breathed a huge sigh of relief after the penultimate weekend of result, given their safety in LaLiga was mathematically guaranteed. While they can still be caught on points heading into the final weekend, they both have better head-to-head records against the teams beneath them, which is the deciding factor in LaLiga should points be tied.

This now leaves a three-way battle to avoid the final relegation spot, inevitably bringing much tension to the final weekend of fixtures, while there is just a single point separating the three sides who are fighting for their lives in LaLiga. Granada currently have the slight advantage on 37 points, while Mallorca and Cadiz are both on 36 points. Mallorca is only ahead of Cadiz by virtue of the head-to-head record between the two sides.

Ahead of what promises to be a dramatic and tense final weekend for this trio of teams, fans of LaLiga watching from around the globe will be backing who they fancy for survival. This includes punters who carefully follow sports betting in Qatar, who can find the best online bookmaker options and promotions via Arabian Betting, who provide detailed reviews for the safest and most secure sites available to Qataris.

Three-way fight for survival

Interestingly, ahead of what promises to be a daunting final day of the season for fans of teams involved in the relegation battle, all three of the teams fighting for survival had changed their head coaches in the last couple of months. But which of those appointments have fared better, leading into this frantic bid to avoid relegation?

Granada announced Aitor Karanka as their new head coach with just six games remaining, although he immediately sparked a revival after they had fallen into the relegation zone. His first two games at the helm brought draws against Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo, then Granada thrashed relegation rivals Mallorca 6-2 away. Another three points followed with a 1-0 victory against Athletic Bilbao, before losing 2-0 against Real Betis. Heading into the final game, Granada will have the home advantage against Espanyol, while both relegation rivals face tricky away games.

Mexican veteran Javier Aguirre was appointed as Mallorca manager with nine games left. Although his leadership brought dramatic wins against Atletico Madrid and relegation rivals Deportivo Alaves, the crushing 6-2 loss to Granada was a huge blow to their morale. Nevertheless, after Mallorca beat Rayo Vallecano during the penultimate weekend, hope remains alive. They will take on Osasuna away, knowing that only a win and favourable results elsewhere will secure survival in LaLiga.

Despite having lifted Cadiz from the third tier of Spanish football, popular manager Alvaro Cervera was finally sacked by the club in the middle of January this year. He was immediately replaced by Sergio Gonzalez and performances improved, highlighted by superb away wins against Villarreal and Barcelona. But the key problem for Cadiz has been turning draws into wins. They face already relegated Deportivo Alaves away in the final game, aware that nothing less than victory will do, providing that one of either Mallorca or Granada fail to win.

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