With the month of March already well entered, and after an atypical season due to the presence of the World Cup in Qatar In the middle of the calendar, the main European competitions are already entering their final stages, including the Santander League, which returns for another weekend, in full European hangover for Betis, Seville, Real Sociedad and Villarreal.
Although there are still 42 points up for grabs, and nothing is decidedthe main fights are taking shape: Barça wants to sentence its only opponent to the title, Real Madrid, as soon as possible, while up to eight teams battle behind to occupy a European place, and another 10 seek to escape the tightest and hottest relegation of the last decades.
Matchday 25 of the Santander League
Cádiz – Getafe (Friday, 9:00 p.m., Movistar+). Duel of urgencies and needs between two teams separated by a point between them, and fully immersed in the fight to escape relegation. The people from Cádiz will entrust themselves to the Nuevo Mirandilla fortress to stop the pupils of Quique Sánchez Flores, in a clash whose loser will be very touched and practically sunk in that ten-way fight for not being relegated.
Real Madrid – Espanyol (Saturday, 2:00 p.m., Movistar+). Carlo Ancelotti and his team receive a rival and friend like Espanyol at an unusual time for the Santiago Bernabéu, and with their heads set on Liverpool and the Champions League. Benzema will be low, but the whites have enough arguments to defeat a Espanyol immersed in the fight for relegation, who will seek to give the bell to be able to breathe easy.
Elche – Valladolid (Saturday, 4:15 p.m., DAZN). Another final for the people from Elche at the Martínez Valero. In this second round, they have already managed to win two games, the last one at home, although they are still 13 points from salvation as the red lantern of the competition. They will need the umpteenth miracle to continue adding three, but Pucela also needs victory to win integers for permanence and will present a battle.
Celta de Vigo – Rayo Vallecano (Saturday, 6:30 p.m., Movistar+). Balaídos awaits a clash that seems vital to seal the Celtic permanence in the First Division, still in the wire. Rayo de Iraola, who dreamed of another season with Europe, has not let go of the fight despite accumulating four games without winning, and wants to conquer Vigo to put pressure on the top of the table again.
Valencia – Osasuna (Saturday, 9:00 p.m., DAZN). Great match at Mestalla with many things at stake. Baraja premiered victory as ‘ché’ coach in his fiefdom, although he has lost the other two games he has played, and there is no better way to make up for it than to do it at home against a tough rival like the Arrasate team, pending both Europe, a dream more real than ever, like the Copa del Rey, one step away from the final.
Mallorca – Real Sociedad (Sunday, 2:00 p.m., Movistar+). Son Moix receives the vermillions with the hope of a victory that will prolong their European dream, but they will have to face a Real Sociedad that arrives resentful after their clear defeat against Roma in the Europa League. The Mallorca stadium is being an impregnable bastion this year, but Imanol’s men must win to continue fighting for third place in the League.
Seville – Almería (Sunday, 4:15 p.m., DAZN). Tied at 25 points, a setback would hinder the options of both to save themselves. Especially agonizing is the situation of the locals, who did not expect even in their worst nightmares to find themselves in this situation at this point in the championship. Reconciled with Sánchez Pizjuán thanks to the Europa League, they hope to add three again to put distance with relegation.
Villarreal – Betis (Sunday, 6:30 p.m., Movistar+). Direct face to face between two teams that aspire to enter the Champions League next year. The ‘yellow submarine’ continues to advance firmly in the Conference League, and could take advantage of the downturn in the Verdiblancos’ spirits after their resounding defeat at Old Trafford to reduce the gap between the two in the League to one point; always with the permission of Pellegrini’s pupils.
Athletic Club – Barcelona (Sunday, 9:00 p.m., DAZN). The Cathedral of Spanish football dresses up to live the ‘other’ classic of Spanish football, and to spoil the party for the leader of the League. Beyond football, San Mamés is preparing a mass protest over the ‘Negreira case’ in which they will throw counterfeit bills onto the field with the motto “Barça Mafia”, but they will have to focus if they want to add three against Xavi’s team.
Girona – Atlético de Madrid (Monday, 9:00 p.m., DAZN). The Catalan team enjoys sufficient distance with relegation, although they do not want to relax and will look for a victory that practically certifies their permanence for another year in the First Division. Complicated mission to stop an Atleti that comes euphoric after thrashing Sevilla and celebrating Simeone’s record as coach with the most games in his history.