FC Barcelona will be confirmed as the Champions of La Liga in the 35th round of matches this coming weekend if they are able to avoid defeat to a Deportivo la Coruna side who could have already been condemned to relegation to the Spanish second division (Liga 123) before the game in the Riazor Stadium kicks off on Sunday night.
The title could also be Barca’s before the kick off in La Coruna if Atletico Madrid fail to win away to Alaves or Real Madrid drop points in their home match against local rivals Leganes, as both of those games finish before Barca’s starts.
Barcelona aim to add the league title to the Copa del Rey, which they won a week ago following their 5-0 hammering of Sevilla in the Cup final.
Rather than sparking celebrations at the manner of Barca’s triumph, the Copa has been greeted with stories of problems in the Barca camp, where it appears a sector of the fans and the Board of Directors fall into the trap of judging success in relation to the achievements of their bitter rivals, Real Madrid.
Madrid’s progress in Europe, where Barca fell at the quarterfinal stage, has masked the fact that the Catalan side is on the verge of a domestic double and has a 15-point lead over Madrid in the league.
Winning the double is an outstanding achievement and the fact that Real Madrid could win a third Champions League in three seasons should not take anything away from the job coach Ernesto Valverde has done at a club that was in danger of falling apart when he replaced Luis Enrique last summer.
Valverde will probably play his strongest side in Riazor with Andres Iniesta, who is expected to announce his departure from the Camp Nou on Friday, given pride of place, while at the same time being protected ahead of the ‘Clasico’ against Real Madrid the following weekend.
The round of matches kicks off with Levante at home to Sevilla with a draw being enough to assure Levante are a top-flight next season as it would put them 12 points clear of Deportivo and with a superior goal difference.
Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella clung onto his job by his fingertips following the Cup defeat, and anything other than a win will see him sacked.
Real Madrid will probably rest players against Leganes as they look to the return leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich next Tuesday.
Meanwhile Athletic Club Bilbao defender Inigo Martinez can expect a hostile reception when he returns to face his former club Real Sociedad in the Basque derby, just four months after leaving ‘La Real’ to join their local rivals.
Saturday ends with Villarreal at home to Celta Vigo in a game which would strengthen Villarreal’s top-six position but end Celta’s chances of qualifying for Europe in the result of a home win.
Getafe would also take a step towards a surprise European qualification if they can win at home to Girona on Sunday, while Valencia can assure a top-four finish and Champions League football next season if they beat Eibar in the Mestalla Stadium.
Atletico then take on Alaves and are also likely to rest players due to their Europa League semi-final, before Barca kick off in Riazor with the title theirs for the taking.