The restart of La Liga title race post-pandemic hasn’t been considerate to the Catalan team. Disappointing results, sloppy play, and undisciplined players were few of the many dilemmas faced by Barcelona. The troubles in the Board headed by Bartomeu has rubbed salt in the wounds of an already plagued club. It still awes me that Barcelona still has a glimmer of hope in the contention for the La Liga title.
Glimmer of hope for Barcelona. Surprised? Yes, there is. The equation is simple. Real Madrid has to drop points in the next two games against Villarreal and Leganes.
Is that enough? Nope! Barcelona has to win their upcoming two matches against Osasuna and Deportivo Alavés.
Now, I will be explaining to you why there is still a slight hope for Barcelona. The below mentioned four matches will decide who will be crowned as the league champions of 2019-20 with currently Real Madrid having a big upper hand in the La Liga title race.
Barcelona vs. Osasuna (16th July)
A must-win match for second-placed Barcelona against eleventh placed Osasuna, who are in a fairly decent form after defeating Celta Vigo in their previous game. It’s worth noting that Osasuna is a team that managed to lockup Barcelona in the first round, this season. But this time, Barcelona do have the home advantage and is currently on a three-match winning streak.
With the home advantage they have, Barcelona will most likely collect the three points and keep their La Liga title race hopes alive.
Real Madrid vs. Villarreal (16th July)
Real Madrid can win the La Liga title race if their result against Villarreal is equal or better than Barcelona’s versus Osasuna. Real Madrid is on a winning streak since the restart of football. Villarreal have lost 2 of their last three matches, losing against Barcelona and Real Sociedad.
With Getafe closing in for the Europa League spot, the next two games are crucial for Villarreal to seal the 5th spot in the league table. They have to avoid a defeat against Real Madrid.
Villarreal has the home advantage this time and it’s worth remembering that they managed to lock the ‘Los Blancos’ at their home in a 2-2 scoreline. These few allusions can give hope to the culers around the word.
Real Madrid vs. Leganes (19th July)
This match is relevant only if Real Madrid loses points to Villarreal. But for Leganes, to avoid relegation, they have to beat both Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid, and also Alaves has to lose both their matches. Leganes did beat Valencia in their previous match, but holding an in-form ‘Los Blancos’ who trashed them 5-0 at Santiago Bernabeu is a strenuous task.
The Los Pepineros known for their fighting spirit won’t make things easy for Real Madrid, considering they have a home advantage. It’s quite a mention that Leganes did manage to rope up Real for a 1-1 scoreline, last time when they visited Estadio Municipal de Butarque. If Real fails to beat Villarreal, this match could be the most decisive one this season. This means, we have to wait till the last date to know the winners of the La Liga title race.
Barcelona vs. Deportivo Alaves (19th July)
Though Barcelona has managed to beat Alaves comfortably in their previous five meetings, this time the meeting would be fierce. With Leganes closing in, the Babazorros are feeling the heat of the relegation zone. They are facing two tough opponents in their upcoming encounters – Real Betis and Barcelona. Losing both matches may push them to relegation, considering the results of Leganes.
All in all, a must-win match for both the teams, this game would be a thriller provided Real loses points against Villarreal. Though Alaves has the home advantage, bearing in mind their win-less streak of seven matches, Barcelona would comfortably secure the win. If Tyche embraces Barca that day, we could see them holding the La Liga trophy.
La Liga title race: What to expect?
“If you have to be honest, winning the league is almost impossible.”
– Luis Suarez in his interview for SPORT
Forthrightly, chances for Barcelona to win the La Liga title race, this season is close to nil. It is always the hope which keeps us alive. And as I said earlier, there is still a glimmer of hope for Barcelona. But Real Madrid dropping points in all the games left is the only option left, though
Still, if luck favours Barca and the club is able to address the issues surrounding it, they could not only take back this season’s La Liga title but also be better positioned for the return of the Champions League in August.