La Liga Title up for grabs: FC Barcelona face off against Atletico Madrid


Lionel Messi


It is all going down to the wire in this  season’s La Liga. The coveted  title will be decided shortly before 9 pm local time on Sunday if FC Barcelona win their away game against Atletico Madrid or the result in the match between Espanyol and Real Madrid is favourable. Red hot Barcelona go into the penultimate game of the campaign with a four-point lead over Real meaning a win will keep Real away, reports Xinhua. However, if Barcelona fail to win at the vicente Calderon Stadium, which is a distinct possibility given that Atletico are battling to finish in third place, they would still be champions if their result was a good as Real’s. So if Barcelona and Madrid both lose or both draw then the celebrations would start in the Canalettas Fountain in the heart of the famous Ramblas.

Barcelona have had a great week in which they qualified for the Champions League final and travel to the Calderon with a full squad, but with a slight doubt over the fitness of Luis Suarez who has been working to overcome a muscle problem which saw him substituted at halftime in their last outing .If Suarez is not fit then Pedro Rodriguez will replace him in attack, but otherwise it will be Barcelona’s strongest possible side.

Many had wondered whether Atletico will not allow Barcelona to win in order to ensure that their neighbours Real do not lift the title, but no side coached by Diego Simeone has ever given their rivals and there will be a full house in the Calderon to see their side book an automatic return to the Champions League.

Real on contrast have had a dreadful week in which they have said goodbye to both their domestic and European title hopes (although they still have a mathematical chance of winning the league should they beat Espanyol and Barcelona lose).  Their Champions League exit against Juventus has started another round of soul searching and looking for those to blame and the future of several players as well as coach Carlo Ancelotti is now in doubt.

The best way to dispel those doubts is to take a convincing away win against Espanyol and it will be a test of team spirit, all be it one without the injured Sergio Ramos and Tony Kroos in the side.



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