Wed, 31 May 2023

MADRID, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Every game with something at stake in the penultimate round of matches in La Liga will be played at 19:30 p.m. local time after the competition decided to change the kick-off times on Thursday.

That means a weekend that seems to contain almost endless permutations over which side will do, will begin with games between Espanyol (who are expected to sack coach Victor Moreno in the coming hours) and Valencia, while Celta Vigo entertain Elche in the only two matches where nothing is at stake.

All of the interest is focused on Sunday and league champions, Real Madrid, who condemned Levante to relegation on Thursday night, will have another say in the relegation battle when they travel to Cadiz, whose situation was complicated by a 3-0 defeat to Real Sociedad on Thursday.

A win for Cadiz against a Real Madrid likely to continue squad rotations, would all but assure their survival, but defeat could give Mallorca, who are at home to Rayo Vallecano, the chance to climb out of the relegation zone.

Victory for Cadiz would also sentence Alaves to relegation, while a defeat would mean the side from Vitoria went into the last game of the season with their survival hopes intact.

Alaves visit Levante, whose fate was sealed by the 6-0 hammering they suffered in the Santiago Bernabeu on Thursday night.

Granada and Getafe are still not completely safe from relegation either with Granada visiting Betis, while Getafe are at home to FC Barcelona.

Barcelona need a point to ensure they finish in second place and qualify for next season's Spanish Supercup, although Xavi Hernandez has a long injury list, including central defenders, Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique, and Ronald Araujo, to deal with.

Betis meanwhile still have a slim chance of qualifying for next season's Champions League but need to win their next two matches, while hoping that Sevilla lose theirs.

Sevilla face a difficult visit to play Atletico Madrid, who on Wednesday assured a top-four finish that is so vital for the club's economy, while three draws and a defeat in their last five games have seen Sevilla slide from possible title contenders to still having to work to qualify for the Champions League themselves.

The two remaining games will decide who qualifies for the Europa League and the Conference League.

Sixth place Real Sociedad currently occupy the last Europa League spot, but they have to visit seventh place Villarreal, who are three points behind them. A win for Villarreal would lift them into sixth and leave qualification for the Europa League to be decided in the last round of matches.

However, a win for Real Sociedad would not only assure they finish sixth but would also open the door for Athletic Club Bilbao to have the chance of finishing the campaign in seventh.

Athletic are four points behind Villarreal and a win at home to Osasuna would leave them with an option of qualifying for the Championship if they win in Sevilla on the last day of the season while Villarreal failed to beat FC Barcelona in the Camp Nou.

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