Drama is guaranteed as Getafe CF (16th), Cádiz CF (17th) and Real Valladolid (18th) enter the penultimate round tied on 38 points

The penultimate matchday of the 2022/23 LaLiga Santander season is here and it will be an extra special round of action given that there is still so much to play for, particularly in the tight relegation battle where six of the contenders for the drop face off amongst each other. These relegation six-pointers will take place during a unified kick-off time of 19:00 CEST on Sunday evening, when the standings will shift back and forth as the goals fly in across the peninsula.

In Matchday 37, there will also be a strong anti-racism initiative at all of these stadiums. Following the disturbing scenes at Mestalla last weekend, hundreds of thousands of anti-racism flyers will be handed out to fans across all LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank fixtures this weekend, reiterating LaLiga’s zero-tolerance position on the issue and outlining all the ways in which they can report any racist behaviour they may see both inside and outside stadiums.

The very first match of Matchday 37 is Sevilla FC vs Real Madrid on Saturday at 7pm CEST and these two teams played out a thrilling duel earlier in the season, which Real Madrid ultimately won 3-1, but Sevilla FC will look to take the victory this time in order to head off to the Europa League final with extra confidence.

On Sunday, drama is guaranteed during the unified kick-off time, especially in the ever so tight LaLiga Santander relegation battle. Heading into this penultimate round, there are seven teams who still aren’t mathematically safe and they are: Valencia CF on 40 points, RC Celta on 40 points, UD Almería on 39 points, Getafe CF on 38 points, Cádiz CF on 38 points, Real Valladolid on 38 points and RCD Espanyol on 35 points. Incredibly, six of these sides face off amongst each other.

Although 19th-placed RCD Espanyol are a little further adrift, Los Pericos believe a great escape is still possible given that they produced a miracle comeback on Wednesday night. They trailed in-form Atlético de Madrid 3-0, but fought back to draw 3-3 and take a point. Now, they visit Valencia CF on Sunday, which is a huge direct duel for two of the teams involved in this relegation scrap.

Currently, Real Valladolid are in the final relegation spot of 18th, but Paulo Pezzolano’s squad are also full of confidence after defeating champions FC Barcelona 3-1 in midweek. They too take part in a relegation six-pointer on Sunday, as they’ll visit UD Almería, who the Pucela could leapfrog in the standings with a win.

It’s Cádiz CF who are 17th, the final safe spot, but they’re level on points with Real Valladolid and can’t afford any slip-ups. Los Amarillos will be hosting RC Celta and they can also leapfrog their Matchday 37 opponents if they achieve victory, so both these sides will be giving their all.

Getafe CF are the only club in the relegation battle who won’t face a fellow contender for the drop. They’ll instead host Europe-chasing CA Osasuna at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez and José Bordalás’ side will hope home advantage can lead them to another much-needed victory.

As well as the relegation battle, there is also the race for European football to consider and two key games will be taking place in Madrid at the same time. Villarreal CF will travel to Vallecas to face Rayo Vallecano aware that they still have a chance of Champions League qualification. El Submarino Amarillo trail Real Sociedad by five points, but La Real have a tough assignment of their own in the capital as they visit Atlético de Madrid.

A little further down the table, there is a thrilling contest to catch the seventh and final European spot, currently occupied by CA OsasunaAthletic Club believe they can return to UEFA competition this season and they’ll aim to take a big step towards this objective when they welcome already-relegated Elche CF to Bilbao. Meanwhile, Girona FC, who have never been in Europe before, will take on Real Betis hoping to keep their chances alive. 

Another game that will be special, but for a very different reason, is FC Barcelona vs RCD Mallorca. This will be the final game at the Spotify Camp Nou for the departing Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba and they’ll hope to enjoy one more victory in front of the Barça faithful. That will be an emotional moment, taking place at the same time as the spectacle of the European race and relegation battle unfolds.   

Watch LaLiga Santander live this weekend on [LOCAL BROADCASTER].

MG Team

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