The LaLiga title race is still alive

For much of the 2017/18 season many have considered Barcelona to have wrapped up the domestic title, such was their lead at the top of the table, however a draw with Getafe on Sunday makes it appear as though the LaLiga title race is still very much alive.

Real Madrid will not be involved as their focus has turned entirely onto the Champions League, yet Atletico Madrid have rather quietly emerged as the most credible challenges to Ernesto Valverde’s charges.

Los Colchoneros’ 1-0 victory away to Malaga on Saturday leaves the club just seven points behind the Blaugrana, with it likely they will consolidate the second spot before the end of the season.

In the draw with Getafe, Los Cules lacked a spark and they couldn’t break the visitors down no matter what they tried.

Of course, this was a fine display from the Madrid based club, however it may well be an indication that slight fatigue that is hitting the Barcelona squad at the most inopportune time and this could allow Los Rojiblancos back into the title race.

The seven point deficit is the lowest lead Barcelona have held since matchday 16.

With much of the second half of the campaign left, their grip on the trophy has seemingly slipped.

Barcelona’s remaining fixtures

Next up for the Catalan club is a trip to Eibar, with a mouth-watering clash against Simeone’s side coming just four days later. This matchup could have a significant impact on the title race should Los Colchoneros record a victory.
Barcelona have a number of complicated matches before the end of the season and they welcome Valencia to their stadium on matchday 32, whilst there is a potentially tricky away match against Sevilla on matchday 30.

Real Madrid were no match for their fierce rivals in the first Clasico just before Christmas, but they travel to the Camp Nou on matchday 36 and would love nothing more than to disrupt Barcelona’s title challenge.

Atletico Madrid’s remaining fixtures

Simeone’s team has arguably the tougher fixture run-in. They still have to go to the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, the Camp Nou and the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Further away trips to Villarreal and Real Sociedad could be difficult, however the former River Plate coach’s defensive structure could well prove to be a deciding factor in these tight matches.

In terms of home matches, the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano shouldn’t see another home defeat this term, as the only really testing matches there will come in the shape of Celta Vigo and Eibar.

Perhaps rather fortuitously, Los Rojiblancos enjoy a fairly comfortable run of matches from matchday 33 onwards.

Damilola Omonayajo
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