LaLiga Matchday 37: Madrid can put Cadiz in Real trouble
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LaLiga champions Real Madrid could have a significant say in the relegation battle this weekend when they travel to a Cadiz side fighting to secure safety.
The Andalucians are currently outside of the division's bottom three but could fall into the drop zone if Mallorca beat Rayo Vallecano.
Elsewhere, top-six hopefuls Villarreal and Real Sociedad meet at La Ceramica, while Atletico Madrid face Sevilla and Getafe host Barcelona.
Game of the week: Cadiz vs Real Madrid (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Real may already have half an eye on their upcoming Champions League final but they are not taking their foot off the pedal — Los Blancos thrashed bottom side Levante 6-0 on Thursday night.
The star of the show in that match was hat-trick hero Vinicius Junior, who now has notched 17 LaLiga goals this season.
But Real may need all their attacking prowess to avoid a repeat of their last clash with Los Piratas.
Cadiz held Carlo Ancelotti's men to a 0-0 draw at the Bernabeu in December despite Real registering 36 shots to their opponents' four.
A similarly dogged display this weekend could see Sergio Gonzalez's side claim another priceless point in the survival scrap.
Getafe vs Barcelona (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Barcelona will guarantee second spot by claiming all three points at Getafe, who can mathematically secure safety with a draw.
The Catalan giants will be heavy favourites in this encounter, having racked up four victories from their last five fixtures — including a comprehensive 3-1 triumph against Celta Vigo on Tuesday.
But they could have a tough time breaking down the defensively resilient hosts, who have conceded the seventh-fewest goals in Spain's top flight (38).
And there will certainly be a distinct clash of styles on display in the capital.
No team in LaLiga has played more long passes than Getafe this term (2,552), while Xavi's Barca have attempted the fewest (1,836) in the division.
Villarreal vs Real Sociedad (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Sunday's tantalising meeting between Villarreal and Sociedad could determine which team will be playing Europa League football next season.
The visitors go into this fixture three points ahead of the Yellow Submarine — but Unai Emery's side hold the head-to-head advantage thanks to their 3-1 win in December so could go sixth with a victory.
The form guide appears to favour the hosts, who will have been buoyed by their impressive 5-1 away win at Rayo Vallecano on Thursday evening.
Sociedad also picked up three points in midweek — beating Cadiz 3-0 — but that was the Basque outfit's only victory in their last five.
Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Sevilla can confirm Champions League qualification with a point against Atletico Madrid after Diego Simeone's side made sure of their place at Europe's top table on Wednesday.
They could also leapfrog Atleti into third with a win — and will look to reproduce their 2-1 triumph at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium earlier this season.
But Julen Lopetegui's men have struggled to turn draws into wins lately, having shared the spoils in all of their last three fixtures. In fact, no team in LaLiga has drawn more games this term than the Rojiblancos (15).
They do have the best defence in the division though, so the Atleti forwards will need to be at their best to breach the Andalucians' brilliant backline.
Mallorca vs Rayo Vallecano (Sunday, 6.30pm)
It is crunch time for Mallorca, who are perched precariously in 18th place with two games remaining.
And they will have their eyes on all three points against a mid-table Rayo side who have not won any of their last three fixtures.
However, the hosts are also winless in three and have struggled against Sunday's opponents this term, losing 3-1 in the league and 1-0 in the Copa del Rey quarter-final.
Javier Aguirre's side secured a clean sheet by drawing 0-0 at high-flying Sevilla last time out — but will need to improve their output at the opposite end of the pitch.
Only lowly Alaves (30) have scored fewer than Mallorca's 32 goals, while their LaLiga top scorer Salva Sevilla has only struck a paltry five times this campaign.
This weekend's other games
Espanyol vs Valencia (Saturday, 5.30pm)
Athletic Bilbao vs Osasuna (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Celta Vigo vs Elche (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Levante vs Alaves (Sunday, 6.30pm)
Real Betis vs Granada (Sunday, 6.30pm)
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