Madrid : The winner of the La Liga football title will be known by 6:50 p.m. local time on Saturday when the final whistle blows on the two games which will decide whether FC Barcelona will retain their crown or if Real Madrid will pull off one of the most surprising comebacks in recent years.
Barcelona appear to have put their disastrous run of just a draw and three defeats at the start of April behind them and Luis Enrique’s men have won their last four matches, scoring 21 goals while conceding none.
They have benefitted from not having to play in Europe and being able to rest tired legs over the past three weeks has seen players such as Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi recover the form which seemed to have deserted them.
Speaking to the press on Thursday, Suarez said he and his companions had to remember that the title was firmly in their hands.
Enrique will field his strongest available side on Saturday with Marc-Andra Ter Stegen in goal for the injured Claudio Bravo, while up front the ‘trident’ will hope to bring the title back to the Camp Nou.
The only result which would give Real Madrid a chance of winning the league is a win away to Deportivo la Coruna, but given that Zinedine Zidane’s side has won their last 11 league games, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Deportivo also have nothing at stake and the club appears to have internal problems following a poor second half to the season, which this week saw midfielder, Pedro Mosquera openly criticise some of his teammates.
Apart from the injured Lucas Vazquez, Zidane has a full squad available after Gareth Bale recovered from his slight muscle problem and he too will field his strongest side.
An early goal for Madrid would put the pressure on Barcelona in Granada, while an early goal for Barcelona would mean Madrid’s efforts were in vain. All in all it promises to be an afternoon for cool nerves both for players and supporters with either glory or disappointment at the end of it.
Among other games, third-placed Atletico Madrid will look to finish the season with a win against fifth-placed Celta Vigo. If Vigo manage to win, they will secure the fifth spot but a loss or a draw might see them being overtaken by Athletic Bilbao, who will be up against Sevilla.
In another game, Valencia host Real Sociedad.
Barcelona will be champions if they win away to a Granada side which has nothing to play for other than pride, but should they fail to win in the Los Carmines Stadium, a win for Real Madrid in La Coruna would see Madrid finish the season on the top of the table.