Who will be the losers in La LigaÃ¢ÂÂs relegation race?
ThereÃ¢ÂÂs a certain horror film beastie quality about this seasonÃ¢ÂÂs Primera relegation candidates. They're all proving very difficult to finish off and banish to the dark side (SpainÃ¢ÂÂs second division, in this instance). MallorcaÃ¢ÂÂs Monday night victory over a disinterested Betis kept the survival hopes of the Balearic brigade flickering for another week, in a tense battle that still includes six clubs. With two matches to go, here are the runners and riders who may well be heading down to La Segunda...
20th - Celta Vigo (31 points)The Galician club are the side who are going to need snookers to stay up, the team who need to pick up maximum points in their two last games combined with a flukey combination of results from their rivals. On a positive note, CeltaÃ¢ÂÂs final two games are quite winnable, coming against clubs with absolutely nothing to play for. First up, itÃ¢ÂÂs an away day to Valladolid, then the visit of a flimsy Espanyol on the final weekend. Survival Chances - Slim to very slim
19th - Mallorca (32 points)Another team who are a bit Bon Jovi (i.e. Living on a Prayer), but like Celta Vigo, Mallorca have a decent chance of picking up six points if they get their act together. The first match is an outing to Vicente CalderÃÂ³n against an AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid side who have spent much of the past week galavanting on a promotional jolly in Singapore. The final match sees the visit of Valladolid, the aforementioned side with absolutely nothing to play for. The key factor to remember here is that despite the potentially somnambulant nature of the opposition, Mallorca arenÃ¢ÂÂt very good. Survival Chances - Stranger things have happened. Arizmendi still has a career, for starters...
18th - Zaragoza (34 points)A club who know that two victories and 40 points will probably be enough, with the sides immediately above them unlikely to pick up maximum points. Zaragoza have been in this rather uncomfortable position in previous seasons and prevailed, although there is the feeling that SundayÃ¢ÂÂs home defeat to Athletic Bilbao was a bit of a battering to the clubÃ¢ÂÂs spirit. ZaragozaÃ¢ÂÂs final two matches are not the easiest, with an away trip to Betis - fighting to hang on to a European spot - and a home clash against AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid. And who knows what mood Diego Simeone's boys will be in, by then... Survival Chances - 50/50
17th - Deportivo (35 points)Oh dear. Things are looking a little dark for Deportivo. The team may well have more points in the bag than Zaragoza, but itÃ¢ÂÂs hard to see the Galicians picking up more than one in the final sprint. This weekend sees the team heading to MÃÂ¡laga, who are hanging on to a European spot in case their appeal against next seasonÃ¢ÂÂs UEFA ban is successful. The motivation for the southern side to win in front of their own fans is an extra reason not to be especially cheerful. Ideally, the northerners would like someone snugly like Getafe for their final match. Instead, Indebted Depor are hosting a Real Sociedad side playing for nothing less than Champions League qualification. Survival Chances - Not looking good
16th - Osasuna (36 points)La Liga Loca suspects 39 points will be enough to stay up this season. And by Merciful Zeus, Osasuna have a chance to drag themselves up to that barrier with a home fixture against a woeful Sevilla side who have won just one league game from 18. Not even goal-shy Osasuna can blow that opportunity. The final match of the campaign is a visit to the Santiago Bernabeu. Real Madrid might be a bit of a Mourinho-obsessed mess by that point, but thereÃ¢ÂÂs no guarantee of getting anything in the Spanish capital. Survival Chances - Entirely OsasunaÃ¢ÂÂs own fault if they fail
15th - Granada (39 points)The Andalusians are in the Ã¢ÂÂvirtually safeÃ¢ÂÂ department on 39 points, but needing two more to be properly safe. The most points that third-from-bottom Zaragoza can accrue is 40, however a superior head-to-head record against Granada sees the team lead by Lucas Alcaraz needing an extra cushion. The good news is that Granada are in very good form and are playing Getafe on the final match of the round, although the preceding trip to Mestalla looks a lot harder. Survival Chances - Veeeeeery strong
The Final Prediction - ItÃ¢ÂÂs goodbye to Celta Vigo, Mallorca and Deportivo