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When could Barcelona win La Liga & where will Real Madrid finish?

12:52 WAT 24/04/2019
Lionel Messi Barcelona 2018-19
It seems a matter of time before Barca lift the crown - but where will their great rivals finish up?

The Primera Division season is reaching its climax, and with Barcelona 12 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, it is surely inevitable that Ernesto Valverde’s side will lift their 26th Spanish crown at the end of the campaign.

The pace of the Catalans has been relentless, with the Camp Nou side having suffered only two defeats all season.

Much of this is owed to their incredible attacking strength, with their tally of 85 goals scored a full 26 more than any other side in the division. In fact, of the top five clubs, Barca actually have the poorest defensive record.

Valverde has indicated that he wants to secure the league title as quickly as possible to allow his side to focus on other objectives, namely the Champions League and Copa del Rey, in which they have already reached the semi-finals and final respectively.

"Ideally we would like to win the league this midweek," he said before Tuesday's win over Alaves. "Every coach would want to get the league wrapped up as quickly as possible, but we will have to wait and see if we are capable of doing so or not."

So when can the Catalans finally seal their latest triumph?

When can Barcelona win La Liga?

Barcelona could theoretically win the league on Wednesday, after their 2-0 midweek victory, which came about thanks to goals from Carles Alena and Luis Suarez.

In order for the Camp Nou side to be pushed out of sight, they would require Atletico Madrid to lose their fixture away from home against Valencia. Diego Simeone’s side would be left 12 points behind with four games remaining, but as they are behind on the head-to-head record following a 1-1 draw and a 2-0 Barca victory between the sides, the league would be over.

If Atleti win their midweek match at the Mestalla, they would then have to avoid defeat in their Saturday match against Valladolid to keep the title live. A draw in Valencia would mean victory would be imperative in that match.

Regardless of the outcome of those matches, Barcelona will seal the title on Saturday if they overcome Levante in the late kick-off.

Failing that, they have a trip to Celta the following week before rounding the season off with a home match against Getafe and a trip to Eibar, though the dates and kick-off times for those games have to be confirmed.

Where will Real Madrid finish?

Already 16 points behind Barcelona, Real Madrid cannot overcome their Clasico rivals in the league as there are only 15 points left for them to win.

As such, they are embroiled in a duel with Atletico Madrid for second. Their local rivals have a four-point head start and both teams have five matches remaining.

Before the season is up, Madrid visit Getafe, Rayo Vallecano and Real Sociedad, while they host Villarreal and Real Betis.

Atletico Madrid’s fixture list is arguably tougher, though they have three home games to play. After Valencia on Wednesday, they face Valladolid and Sevilla at the Wanda Metropolitano, while they have trips to Espanyol and Levante.

As Real have a 10-point advantage over fourth-placed Getafe, it seems improbable that they will lose any further ground in terms of their league position, while a 12-point gap to fifth-placed Valencia means that their place in the Champions League next season is secure.

If Madrid were to finish third or worse, it would be the first time since 1974 that they had failed to achieve a top-two finish in successive years.