Everything you need to know about the return of La Liga
Harry Howes | 8 June 2020
Spanish football is back on Thursday
Football is on its way back and all eyes will be on Spain this week as the return of La Liga takes centre stage.
After more than three months off, we’ll finally see some La Liga action on Thursday evening as Sevilla take on fierce rivals Real Betis in the first game back.
A full round of fixtures will follow this weekend and while matches will be played behind closed doors, fans will still be tuning in ahead of what should be a thrilling final finale to the season.
As is tradition, Barcelona and Real Madrid are locked in a tight race to be crowned champions.
However, Atletico Madrid have taken their foot off the gas this season, meaning the race for the top four is as competitive as ever.
Meanwhile, there are still plenty of teams still in danger of being relegated. So ahead of the league’s resumption this week, we’ve taken a look at the state of play as we begin the final approach to the season’s conclusion.
The title race
Barcelona have been crowned La Liga champions in each of the last two seasons and as it stands they’re in pole position to make it three in a row, which would be their fifth title in six seasons.
They’re currently two points clear of old rivals Real Madrid at the top and our traders have them priced at 4/7 to go all the way, with Real going at 5/4. Sevilla are 11 points off top in third, meaning the title race is very much a two-horse race.
But it may not be plain sailing for Barca, who suffered a 2-0 defeat to Real shortly before the league was suspended, narrowing their advantage at the top.
The Catalan side resume their campaign away to Real Mallorca on Saturday, while Real host Eibar a day later.
On paper, Barca have the tougher run-in, with a trip to Sevilla next weekend before they welcome Atletico to the Nou Camp on 1st July.
Meanwhile, Real face potential banana skins in the form of Real Sociedad and Getafe, who are both enjoying impressive campaigns.
The battle for Europe
With Barca and Real almost certain to fill the top two spots, the chasing pack will have their sights set on a top four finish and a place in the Champions League. Sevilla remain third, with Sociedad and Getafe just a point behind.
Atletico are languishing in sixth following a disappointing campaign but they trail Sevilla by just two points and they remain 4/7 to finish in the top four.
Fifth and sixth spot deliver a place in the Europa League and seventh-placed Valencia will fancy their chances at closing the gap, while it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that Villarreal, Granada or Athletic Bilbao could scrape in if they can pick up some form.
The relegation scrap
Much like the Premier League, the bottom three in La Liga drop into the second division and there are plenty of teams in contention.
Espanyol are currently rock-bottom on 20 points and they face the daunting task of having to play both Barcelona and Real Madrid. But they’ll still fancy their chances of beating the drop, as will Leganes and Real Mallorca, who make up the rest of the bottom three.
Celta Vigo are currently just one point clear of the relegation zone and they face Espanyol on the final day, which could be crucial in deciding both sides’ fates. Meanwhile, Eibar and Real Valladolid are also not out of it and they’ll be nervously looking over their shoulder.
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All odds and markets correct as of date of publication