How the race for Europe stands in LaLiga Santander: CA Osasuna move into the final European spot  

There are now just two matchdays remaining in LaLiga Santander and there is still so much to play for. Several clubs are currently taking part in the race to qualify for the 2023/24 UEFA competitions and the battle is ever so tight.

With FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid set in stone to qualify for the Champions League, here’s a round-up of the other teams fighting it to secure a European berth, from fourth-placed Real Sociedad down to 12th-placed Rayo Vallecano.

Real Sociedad (4th, 68 points)

After the top three of FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid, the team currently occupying the final Champions League spot is Real Sociedad. Under the coaching of Imanol Alguacil, La Real have come close to reaching the Champions League on a few occasions over the past few years. Returning to Europe’s top competition, which the Basque side last participated in in 2013/14, has become an objective for the club and they currently hold a comfortable advantage over Villarreal CF, thanks to the recent good performances of the likes of David Silva, Takefusa Kubo, Mikel Merino, Alexander Sørloth and others.

Remaining fixtures: Atlético de Madrid (A), Sevilla FC (H)

Villarreal CF (5th, 63 points)

At Villarreal CF, nobody is giving up hope of making a return to the Champions League. Even though there is a five-point gap, Villarreal CF are in excellent form, with five wins from their past six matches and with Nicolas Jackson scoring eight goals across that run. They still believe that they could make a return to the Champions League, a competition they reached the semi-finals of in 2021/22. Even if Quique Setién’s men don’t end up catching La Real for fourth, fifth place brings direct passage to the Europa League group stages and that too is a success for this club from a city of 50,000 people.

Remaining fixtures: Rayo Vallecano (A), Atlético de Madrid (H)

Real Betis (6th, 56 points)

Real Betis have never before qualified for European football in three consecutive seasons, but they have done so this year. Los Verdiblancos currently hold a Europa League group stage ticket as they sit in sixth place. Thanks to their recent wins over Athletic Club and Rayo Vallecano and their draw in El Gran Derbi, Manuel Pellegrini’s men have opened up a sizable gap. That’s very impressive considering the team lost star midfielder Nabil Fekir to a season-ending injury in February.

Remaining fixtures: Girona FC (A), Valencia CF (H)

CA Osasuna (7th, 50 points)

CA Osasuna have moved into seventh place, which brings a ticket to the Conference League. They did so by defeating direct rivals Athletic Club 2-0 in Matchday 36, and they have another direct duel coming up as they will host Girona FC on the final matchday.

Remaining fixtures: Getafe CF (A), Girona FC (H)

Athletic Club (8th, 50 points)

Athletic Club are no strangers to European football, however the Basques haven’t had to look out their passports since 2018. With Ernesto Valverde back at the helm this season, Los Leones want to qualify for Europe again, but their loss to CA Osasuna means they are currently just outside the top seven.

Remaining fixtures: Elche CF (H), Real Madrid (A)

Girona FC (9th, 49 points)

Girona FC have fallen out of the top seven, but they still have a chance of making history. The Catalan club have never before qualified for Europe, but they’re only one point behind the final European ticket. After winning promotion through the LaLiga SmartBank playoffs last season, Míchel’s side have been playing some thrilling football this term, and they’re currently the fourth-top scorers in the division with 56 goals scored from 36 matches.

Remaining fixtures: Real Betis (H), CA Osasuna (A)

Sevilla FC (10th, 49 points)

Just a few weeks ago, Sevilla FC were more concerned about the threat of relegation than about the possibility of finishing in the European positions. But, their results have improved significantly under new coach José Luis Mendilibar and Los Rojiblancos could finish inside the top seven.

Remaining fixtures: Real Madrid (H), Real Sociedad (A)

RCD Mallorca (11th, 47 points)

RCD Mallorca have joined the European race too, thanks to their 1-0 victory over Valencia CF in Matchday 36, with Vedat Muriqi scoring yet another goal. Although Javier Aguirre’s side must visit the Spotify Camp Nou next, the islanders are optimistic.

Remaining fixtures: FC Barcelona (A), Rayo Vallecano (H)

Rayo Vallecano (12th, 46 points)

Another team that still has a slight chance of European qualification is Rayo Vallecano. The team from the capital city have been in Europe once before, in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup, and they’re aiming for a return this year. Even though the capital city side are now four points behind, coach Andoni Iraola has insisted that his team will fight to the end.

Remaining fixtures: Villarreal CF (H), RCD Mallorca (A)

MG Team

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