Barcelona look to clinch La Liga title over weekend

Madrid, May 3 (IANS) Barcelona would like to forget the horrendous Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich and would want to crown themselves the La Liga champions for the 22nd time this weekend.

Tito Vilanova’s side had an aggregate 0-7 loss against the German Club but back home they are looking to end the wait to becoming the league champions. They hope to beat Real Betis at home but if they have to be officially declared champions their main rivals Real Madrid will have to drop points to Real Valladolid.

The home record of the two top Spanish clubs shows that they have not been beaten at home this season. If Real also win their match, then Barcelona will have to wait till next weekend to be called champions officially.

In the battle for relegation, Celta Vigo take on Athletic Bilbao in a game that could have far reaching consequences for both. Paco Herrera’s Celta move up from the dangerous bottom three if they win while Marcelo Bielsa’s men will virtually make sure of their place in the top flight with a win.

Osasuna and Granada are also in danger zone and both face tough opponents, teams chasing a place in European competition.

Granada hosts UEFA Champions League quarterfinalists Malaga while Basque outfit Osasuna travel to Valencia hoping to improve their disappointing away record against a side that have only lost three times at the Mestalla this season.

Deportivo La Coruna have improved their chances of survival, following their six-game unbeaten run under Fernando Vasquez, the club’s third manager this season. That run will be severely tested Saturday as they take on third-placed Atletico Madrid.

Mallorca can move off the bottom with a win over Levante despite losing to Real Zaragoza last weekend while Sevilla take on Espanyol in a fight between two mid-table teams.

The following are the La Liga standings ahead of this weekend’s matches (tabulated under games played, won, drawn, lost, goals for, goals against and points):

Barcelona 33 27 4 2 101 35 85

Real Madrid 33 23 5 5 85 31 74

Atletico Madrid 33 21 5 7 58 27 68

Real Sociedad 33 16 10 7 61 41 58

Malaga 33 15 8 10 47 38 53

Valencia 33 15 8 10 54 50 53

Real Betis 33 14 7 12 49 50 49

Rayo Vallecano 33 14 4 15 43 54 46

Getafe 33 12 8 13 40 48 50

Sevilla 33 12 7 14 49 47 43

Espanyol 33 11 10 12 42 43 43

Real Valladolid 33 10 10 13 42 46 40

Levante 33 11 7 15 35 52 40

Athletic Bilbao 33 10 7 16 37 59 37

Osasuna 33 8 9 16 28 38 33

Granada 33 8 8 17 29 51 32

Deportivo La Coruna 33 7 10 16 44 65 31

Celta Vigo 33 8 6 19 32 47 30

Real Zaragoza 33 8 6 19 32 53 30

Real Mallorca 33 7 7 19 36 67 28

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