Four things to look out for on the last day of LaLiga season
MADRID, Spain - The last round of games in LaLiga sees four teams battling for a place in next season's Conference League, while no fewer than six are in danger of relegation. Here are some things to look out for on a tense last day.
1. Osasuna in driving season for Conference League
Osasuna's win at home to Athletic Club Bilbao just over a week ago and Athletic's shock defeat at home to Elche last weekend, leaves the team from Pamplona in the driving seat to finish seventh and qualify for the Conference League.
A win at home to Girona, who also have a chance of securing European football, would be enough to assure Jagoba Arrastate's side complete a remarkable season, which has also seen them play in the final of the Copa del Rey.
Girona, who on Thursday extended the contract of coach Miguel Angel Munoz 'Michel', play attractive football and will be tough to beat, but with Athletic playing away to Real Madrid, it's likely that one of these two sides will be in Europe next season.
2. Lack of goals hamstrung Athletic's European ambitions
The Santiago Bernabeu Stadium is not the ideal place to need to win to try and qualify for Europe, but if Athletic Club Bilbao fail to finish seventh, it won't be down to what happens against Real Madrid on Sunday.
Athletic's hopes of playing in Europe this season have fallen victim to their inability to turn good football into goals. The Basque side have controlled games, but failed to either create enough chances or to put the chances they do create into the net.
Sunday's defeat to Elche saw them pepper the rival goal and lose 1-0 to a counter attack with the last kick of the game. It was their 10th home game without scoring and the 19th match this season they failed to score, and with numbers like that, Europe is virtually impossible.
3. Day of goodbyes in the Bernabeu?
All of a sudden it looks as if Sunday is going to be a day that sees a lot of Real Madrid players make their last appearances in front of their fans.
Dani Ceballos, Nacho Fernandez, Luka Modric, Marco Asensio and Toni Kroos have yet to pen new deals and could all leave at the end of the campaign.
Meanwhile recent days have seen increased rumors that Karim Benzema is likely to accept to move to Saudi Arabia, rather than sign a new contract and he too could be on his way.
While Vinicius will be back in action on Sunday, the Bernabeu could be waving goodbye to a host of key players ahead of what looks like a very busy summer.
4. Controlling nerves vital in relegation dogfight
The incredible thing about the scramble to avoid relegation is that the six sides involved (Valladolid, Celta, Getafe, Almeria, Cadiz and Valencia) all have their destiny in their hands, with a win (or a draw in Getafe's case) being enough to ensure their survival.
Without doubt players and coaches will be checking scores in other grounds, but those that focus on what they need to do, rather than looking elsewhere, will be the ones who survive.
Much will probably depend on whether Valladolid can beat Getafe and whether FC Barcelona are close to their best on their visit to play Celta Vigo. - XINHUA