Over the past few seasons the relegation battle between some of Spain’s less fashionable clubs (and some esteemed teams too e.g. Villarreal, Racing & Deportivo) has been of greater interest than the fight for the title and this season the scenario is no different. No teams have yet been relegated from the Primera Division, with four sides in with a remarkable chance of staying up or going down with just one game to play. Just two points separate 20th and 17th place as three out of Deportivo, Celta, Zaragoza and Mallorca will ultimately have to endure at least one season of Segunda Division football next season.
The situation down the bottom is as follows; Deportivo sit on the correct side of the dotted line in 17th place with 35 points with Celta and Zaragoza below them, both on 34 with Celta ahead of Zaragoza due to their head-to-head record, which could matter more come Saturday evening. Mallorca are bottom with 33 points but still in with a chance of staying up. All four teams have home advantage heading into the final game and only a win will give each side the maximum chance of survival.
Of course all will be made redundant should Deportivo win their game at the Riazor against Real Sociedad, who themselves require a win to try and finish in 4th and secure Champions League football next season. In Philippe Montanier’s last game, La Real will be determined to cap an impressive season with a win, even if it just means Europa League qualification so Deportivo’s task appears daunting. Zaragoza face Atletico Madrid in arguably the toughest game of the four with Celta hosting Espanyol and Mallorca at home to Valladolid.
Comparing online relegation odds, Fernando Vazquez’ side looked dead and buried a few weeks ago, turning to their third manager of the season and having recently entered administration but four wins in a row propelled them from bottom to outside the relegation zone. They will not only be keen to avoid an immediate return to the Segunda but ensure that rivals Celta Vigo are knocked back a division too after just one season in the top flight.
A draw will suffice for Deportivo if all three sides fail to win and defeat could also mean they remain in La Liga next season if Celta and Mallorca fail to win and Zaragoza lose. If Zaragoza and Depor finish level on points however then courtesy of the head-to-head ruling, Zaragoza would stay up due to their superior record thanks to their 5-3 win earlier in the season.
However, if Zaragoza, Deportivo and Celta all finish level on points then Deportivo will survive based on the head-to-head record against both sides, irrespective of goal difference throughout the whole season. In the event of Deportivo drawing and Mallorca winning, leaving both sides on 36 points, Deportivo will again survive due to their head-to-head record so only a Mallorca win and defeats for the other three sides will confirm their unlikely survival.
In the event of the current bottom three being relegated on the same number of points then it will be Zaragoza who finish bottom, Mallorca in 19th and Celta Vigo in 18th. Hope that clears it all up for you.
Those three sides will be replaced by Elche, who will finish top of the Segunda Division and either Villarreal, Almeria, Girona or Alcorcon in second. Three of those teams who don’t manage to finish in the top two will contest the play-offs against either Ponferradina or Las Palmas.