The more modest clubs in the Spanish league are adding some excitement to the closing weeks of the season after the uninteresting finish of Barcelona's championship march.
Seven clubs are competing to avoid joining last-place Elche in the second level next year: Espanyol, Valladolid, Cadiz, Getafe, Almeria, Celta Vigo, and Valencia. With two games remaining, Valladolid and Espanyol are in jeopardy.
Except for Real Madrid's trip to Sevilla on Saturday, all of the games for the last round will start at the same time on Sunday.
When Espanyol travels to Valencia, it will play a crucial game. The squad from Barcelona sits three points below Valladolid, Cadiz, and Getafe in second-to-last position. The team will be dropped if Espanyol loses against Valencia and the other three at least draw.
Espanyol, on the other hand, is having a strong season, winning 2-1 at Rayo Vallecano and rallying from three goals behind to tie Atletico Madrid 3-3 on Wednesday.
After Espanyol's comeback victory against Atletico, coach Luis Garca said, “What a roller coaster of emotions, but I am certain that we can rescue ourselves. “My team is still very much alive.”
As a punishment for the racial epithets used to Real Madrid forward Vincius Jnior, the Spanish soccer association will shut a portion of Mestalla Stadium.
After Mallorca defeated his club 1-0 on Thursday, Valencia coach Rubén Baraja declared, “Sunday's game is a final for us.”
At Almeria, which is just one point ahead in 15th place, Valladolid, which is in 18th, will also play a crucial match.
Following Tuesday's 3-1 victory against champion Barcelona, who had nothing to lose, Valladolid is in a good mood.
In yet another matchup of clubs towards the bottom, Cadiz, in 17th position, welcomes Celta, who are in 14th place. With just one victory in its previous ten games, Celta is only two points clear of Cadiz and has been losing ground.
Enes Unal, Getafe's top scorer, is out with a leg injury after his team's 1-0 victory against Real Betis on Wednesday. Getafe, now in 16th place, faces Osasuna.
Near the top of the rankings, Real Sociedad can visit third-place Atletico Madrid and grab fourth place and Spain's last Champions League slot.