The Primera División relegation battle will be decided on the final day of the season. Five teams are in danger of joining Numancia and Recreativo Huelva in the Segunda División and whoever falls through the trapdoor can consider themselves unlucky.
Just as Real Zaragoza were relegated last season with 42 points, this year’s third-from-bottom team will finish on or above the 40-point mark, usually considered the safety mark in 19-team divisions – Hull City safeguarded their Premier League status with a haul of just 35 points.
18th placed Osasuna are the team who know they need at least a point from their final fixture (they are below Sporting Gijon despite having a better goal difference, as teams are ranked on a head-to-head basis).
Last weekend Osasuna beat a Barcelona team that was weakened ahead of the Champions League final and the team from Navarre must again upset one of the big guns – they host Real Madrid on Sunday and would appreciate it if their opponents were again distracted and under-strength.
Madrid are on a four match losing streak but could have a point to prove in the knowledge that their fierce rivals are domestic and European champions. Osasuna picked up just two points from the 18 available before that surprise win at the Camp Nou and I cannot see them upsetting the Spanish football odds and earning anything more than a draw in this one.
This would mean Gijon need only a point from their match against Huelva and they should survive in style – they have won their last two and will surely maintain that run against the basement club.
If Osasuna do beat Madrid, Real Betis, Getafe and Valladolid will therefore be more vulnerable. Getafe should get at least a point from their trip to Racing Santander, so all eyes will be on the showdown between Betis and Valladolid.
Betis should make home advantage count and make sure of survival with a win against a team that has not won in 10 matches and who will leave the field eager to hear about events at Osasuna.