Ronaldo relying on teammates to help him catch Messi in Pichichi chase
After two days of exuberant partying, La Liga Loca is pretty much pooped.
No, those celebrations were not in relation to Real Madrid sealing the league title on Wednesday evening, but instead the fact that thereÃ¢ÂÂs no more midweek football this season. Aside from the Europa League final next week, that is, the grand competition which will determine the greatest club between the pair likely to end up in 7th and 8th in Spain.
Despite 'Round 20' - nestled quite naturally for la Liga just ahead of SaturdayÃ¢ÂÂs 'Round 37' containing much promise of moving and shaking, not a great deal happened apart from Real Madrid winning the league title and Iker Casillas celebrating it with some gusto the following evening on the bus trip to Cibeles, where the Real Madrid captain took an inordinate time tying a knot on the banner draped around the statueÃ¢ÂÂs head.
Valencia's late victory over Osasuna, combined with MÃÂ¡laga's defeat to Barcelona, should be enough to secure third place for Los Che, while Rayo slipped dangerously close to the relegation zone with a 1-0 defeat at Mallorca.
Every single match this weekend kicks off at nine on Saturday night, meaning LLL's Monday review is going to be sketchier and more guess-work-based than normal.
Real Zaragoza will be relegated if they fail to beat Racing at home - which they wonÃ¢ÂÂt - and Rayo manage to pick up just a single point away at Sevilla. ThatÃ¢ÂÂs actually easier than it sounds, as the Andalusian side are quite, quite awful these days, having lost 2-1 to Betis in injury time on Wednesday to ensure MÃÂchel the Manager probably wonÃ¢ÂÂt be getting his contract at the club extended any time soon.
With Athletic Bilbao having no chance of getting into the Champions League, facing a whopper of a match on Wednesday and already qualified for Europe next year due to the Copa del Rey final appearance, their clash against Getafe already sounds like the dud of the round.
The new league champions Real Madrid will have to get themselves together for the trip to Granada, where Cristiano Ronaldo will probably be giving all his teammates high fives and pats on the back every two minutes in an attempt to motivate them sufficiently to pass him the ball so he can score a bunch of goals and catch up with Leo Messi, who currently has two strikes more in the Pichichi chase.
Granada themselves need either a victory or Zaragoza to lose to secure safety. Barcelona will be playing 13th placed Espanyol in the most meaningless Catalan derby for some time, although it will be another shooting gallery session for Leo Messi, no doubt.
For those uninitiated, Mallorca against Levante may not look the most enthralling of ties, but JoaquÃÂn CaparrÃÂ³s has turned the Balearic side from relegation fodder to European-qualifying super heroes by moving the side into seventh after four wins in five. There rise may well come at the expense of Levante though who are facing the last two games without super-striker KonÃÂ©.
SportingÃ¢ÂÂs only chance of staying up is if they win their final two matches, Rayo Vallecano lose their games and Zaragoza have a bit of a flop in the final run-in. TheyÃ¢ÂÂll be face a happy-go-lucky Betis on Saturday.
The chuckles from AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid watchers are still dying down after yet another injury time disaster from the Vicente CalderÃÂ³n club on Wednesday. AtlÃÂ©tico were leading 1-0 until Real Sociedad equalised in a comedy scramble to leave Diego Simeone swearing unmentionables about his back four on the touchline, not for the first time in la Liga this year and probably not the last. The Rojiblancos will be hosting MÃÂ¡laga while trying not to expend too much energy before the Europa League final.
Villarreal have probably done enough to stay up with a midweek win against Sporting but will want a point or two more to be sure, especially if they are picked up against Valencia in Mestalla. Osasuna are still hoping to sneak a European spot with a home match against Real Sociedad, and might be a cheeky outside bet to do it.
Zaragoza v Racing - Home win
Athletic v Getafe - Draw
Mallorca v Levante - Home win
Granada v Real Madrid - Away win
Sevilla v Rayo Vallecano - Away win
Barcelona v Espanyol - Home win
Sporting v Betis - Home win
AtlÃÂ©tico Madrid v MÃÂ¡laga - Away win
Valencia v Villarreal - Home win
Osasuna v Real Sociedad - Home win