As Barcelona beat Real Madrid 2-0 in the Bernebeu El Clasico, the Blaugrana took a lead of three points over Madrid as La Liga approaches its end. But the question is, can Barca keep their lead? Earlier in the season, Real Madrid recovered from a five point Barca lead. It very much depends on who are the opponents of the remaining matches for both the Spanish giants.
Lets take a look at the remaining fixtures:
Week 32 (14 and 15 April)
Week 33 (17 and 18 April)
Week 34 (24 and 25 April)
Week 35 (1 and 2 May)
Week 36 (5 and 6 May)
Week 37 (9 and 10 May)
Real Madrid-Athletic Club
Week 38 (16 and 17 May)
Now, lets analyze the matches briefly. Deportivo La Coruna are sitting at the ninth position on the table but they are not going to roll over easy. They have produced some good results against Barcelona but the game is in Nou Camp and the in-form Lionel Messi has been finding the back of the net very regularly. We all saw and praised Messi immensly the way he played in the return leg Champions League game against Arsenal and Madrid over the weekend. Whereas the Galacticos are up against the 13th position Almeria. It seems like the an easy tie but Madrid have failed to score against tough opposition like Lyon and Barcelona.
Week after that, it is the Catalan derby when Barca will face their local rivals, the 14th place, Espanyol. We can not underestimate the Blanquiblaus (Translation: White and Blues) because the match is going to be played at Estadi Cornella a.k.a. Espanyol’s home ground. We already saw their 3-0 thrashing of Atletico Madrid this week there. It is not an easy tie for Madrid either that week, they face Valencia at home. Valencia is – though 21 points behind Madrid – third on the table.
20th position Xerez and 16th position Real Zaragoza are the opponents of Barca and Madrid, the following week, respectively. There isn’t much to worry about for the Cules and the Los Blancos fans. Week 35 will bring, Villareal vs Barcelona at the EL Madrigal and Madrid vs Osasuna at Santiago Bernebeu. Osasuna, although 12th, can play really well at times but I doubt Madrid will give them a chance to at their own home. Whereas the Yellow Submarine, Villareal, are a good side – they can be troublesome on their day. Villareal is 7th.
Week 36 has Barca-Tenerife and Mallorca-Madrid. Just this weekend, Mallorca beat Valencia 3-2 at home. But then again, the 21 point difference speaks for itself. Tenerife is 18th and the game will be played at Nou Camp. It should be easy for Barcelona but lets see.
In the second last week of the season, we will see Sevilla face-off Barcelona in Seville. Sevilla is five points behind Valencia at fourth currently. Madrid will see Athletic Club Bilbao at home. Bilbao is at 6th with 48 points on the table.
Finally, the last week of the season, week 38 has Barcelona playing at home against 19th position Valladolid. Barca should win the game – the win could be a compensation for failing to defend the title or the icing on the cake for the phenomenal defence of their title. I’m hoping it is the latter. Over in Malaga, Madrid will be visiting the 17th place Malaga CF.
The race for the finish still has some tough hurdles on the way for both clubs and the fans can argue endlessly on who has the tougher route. At first look, it seems Barcelona has the tougher routes because they still have the Catalan derby and they still have to go away to Villareal and Sevilla. But you can’t ignore that Madrid has to face Valencia and the unpredictable Osasuna and Mallorca; also if the Madrid players lose moral after being knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon and their loss to Barca at home after a long hard working season, they’re in trouble.
What do you think about the remaining ties? Let us know with a comment.