Spanish League Preview, Week 33

The title could be mathematically decided this weekend and with five more games to play, results could also condemn a couple of teams to almost certain relegation

A Barça win in Bilbao would add extra spice to the Madrid derby, but whatever happens, the Vicente Calderon could be in for a historic night. At the other end, Zaragoza and Mallorca are fighting for their top flight futures, whilst Espanyol still have a slight hope of a European spot.

Could this the game that Atletico break their run against Real Madrid? It’s been more than 13 years since Atletico Madrid got a result against their city neighbours Real and this Saturday is surely the best chance they’ve had in a while. Real are coming into the match on the back of that big defeat against Dortmund, and with the second leg set for Tuesday, Cristiano Ronaldo will miss the game as a precaution – and the last time they won,25 games ago. Casillas also started on the bench. As if any extra motivation was needed, Atletico also know that a win could give them a chance to push Real out of second spot, hand Barça the title and give them a real boost ahead of the Spanish Cup Final clash between the two in three weeks time.

Who’s going down? Zaragoza, Mallorca….or both? Having lost to fellow strugglers Celta and Deportivo – as well as Barça of course – over the last three weeks, Zaragoza find themselves at rock bottom and Saturday’s visit of Mallorca – who are just a point above them – could decide which of the two are plying their trade in the second division next season. Zaragoza are still without a win in 2013, but there is a ray of hope in that Mallorca have one of the worst away records in the league, with just two wins to their name. Granada and Celta look to be the other two teams under threat, with the Galicians at Levante and the Andalucians away to Espanyol.

Have Espanyol left it a bit too late? That game against Granada could be key to Espanyol’s late push for a European spot. Having mathematically secured safety, Aguirre’s players have begun to speak about their chances of getting into the Europa League next season. Espanyol are currently on 43 points, five behind seventh place Betis, but after this weekend’s game they face Seville, Deportivo and Celta away, whilst their final two home games are against Real Madrid and Barça.