Hassan Chamas

Three games away from the end of Spain's La Liga season the race at the top is as close as ever between holders Barcelona and second placed Real Madrid, with just a single point between them. But what about the struggle for survival? Although mathematically the spectre of relegation hangs over up to nine teams, some are in trouble, while others will likely be safe.

Here's a look at the teams threatened with a drop down from Spain's top flight:

Almeria (13th; 38 points)

Recent form: DLL

Remaining games: Villarreal (H), Tenerife (A), Sevilla (H)

Almeria have a tough schedule left as they face Europa League and Champions League hopefuls, Villarreal and Sevilla, albeit at home. After Villarreal’s demoralising loss to Barcelona, the Andalucians could very well earn a point against the Yellow Submarines. Their trip to meet strugglers Tenerife should be an easy ride, while the all Andalucian-clash against Sevilla could prove to be disappointing, especially should the hosts finish their season in style.

Predicted point count: 42

Sporting de Gijon (14th; 38 points)

Recent form: LLD

Remaining games: Getafe (A), Atletico Madrid (H), Racing Santander (A)

With Getafe still in the race for the Europa League spots, three points will be a hard task for Sporting. The same argument applies for their match against Atletico Madrid, who have sky-high confidence after making it to the Copa del Rey and Europa League finals. However, three points are very much a possibility away to Racing Santander, as Racing hold the exquisite distinction of being the weakest La Liga side when playing on home soil.

Predicted point count: 41

Real Zaragoza (15th; 37 points)

Recent form: DLW

Remaining games: Espanyol (H), Xerez (A), Villarreal (H)

With Espanyol having virtually nothing to play for, Zaragoza could very well earn a precious draw against the Blanquiblaus. Three points are virtually in the bag against bottom side Xerez, while Villarreal could prove to be too much for Jose Aurelio Gay’s team. Even so, they should stay up.

Predicted point count: 41

Racing Santander (16th; 36 points)

Recent form: DLL

Remaining games: Sevilla (H), Real Valladolid (A), Sporting Gijon (H)

Even at home, Sevilla will prove to be too much for the Verdiblancos. However, coach Miguel Angel Portugal may find it tough away to fellow strugglers Real Valladolid, and could take a point away from the meeting. For their last remaining fixture of the season, Sporting de Gijon may just come up with all the spoils at El Sardinero, leaving Racing with just a single point from their last three league fixtures.

Predicted point count: 37

Tenerife (17th; 35 points)

Recent form: WLW

Remaining games: Barcelona (A), Almeria (H), Valencia (A)

The Canary Islanders have the toughest remaining fixtures as they travel up north to meet Barcelona and Valencia. Los Che may prove to be a tough task for the Chicharrenos, and only a the bravest Tenerife fans would believe they can take something from the Blaugrana, who have their eyes locked on the La Liga title. As for Almeria, the Rojiblancos should have no problem besting their hosts, leaving Tenerife with possibly no points from their remaining matches.

Predicted point count: 35; Relegated

Malaga (18th; 35 points)

Recent form: DDD

Remaining games: Athletic Bilbao (A), Getafe (A), Real Madrid (H)

The San Mames is a rough venue for any team, and Malaga will be lucky to escape with a single point from Basque territory. Getafe, on the other hand, are still in the race for the Europa League places, and will not easily go down without a fight, most probably making Malaga’s trip to Madrid a fruitless one. As for their last game of the season, the Boquerones host Real Madrid. With the title race seemingly heading towards the last day, Madrid will give it their all and take all three points from their hosts.

Predicted point count: 36

Real Valladolid (19th; 33 points)

Recent form: DWD

Remaining games: Atletico Madrid (A), Racing Santander (H), Barcelona (A)

Recently inspired by coach Javier Clemente, Valladolid travel to meet Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in two of their remaining three games. Considering what’s at stake, they will most likely come back empty handed from the capitals of Castilla and Catalonia. The team could claim all three points against Santander, but the Cantabrians will most likely pip their hosts.

Predicted point count: 33; Relegated

Xerez (20th; 30 points)

Recent form: DLW

Remaining games: Valencia (A), Real Zaragoza (H), Osasuna (A)

Xerez have been truly La Liga’s weakest side this term, despite recording some surprising results lately. Facing Valencia, Zaragoza and Osasuna will be a hard task however for the Xerecistas: Valencia will be vying to finish on a high, while Osasuna’s Reyno de Navarra stadium is a nightmare for any team. They could earn a result at home, but with Zaragoza wanting to pull away from the relegation zone, this is highly unlikely to occur.

Predicted point count: 30; Relegated



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