Real Madrid is one win away from winning the 2019-2020 La Liga. They have won every match since the restart. Villarreal is one point away from securing a place in the Europa league, and have lost two out of three. Both teams should have plenty of motivation going into Thursday’s matchup.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t like the way we lost to Barcelona but by itself I wasn’t bothered by the result, especially since we rebounded and played well to beat Getafe. However, the lifeless performance we put out against Real Sociedad has me extremely nervous, and if we can’t get a result against at Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano that could put a ton of pressure on our season finale with Eibar depending on how other results shake out. So let’s inspect that briefly:
We are guaranteed to finish above Valencia because they’re hot garbage.
Athletic Club, currently in 8th, could tie us on points if they beat Leganes and Granada (very possible, by the way).
-Athletic Club have the head to head tie breaker against us. Thanks Gil Manzano.
Real Sociedad has the potential to get to 60 points. They face Sevilla and Atletico Madrid to close the season.
- If we end up tied with them at either 57 or 60 then the tiebreaker will go to league goal differential because both those matches were 2-1 wins for the away side.
Getafe could get to 60 points as well. They face Atleti and Levante to close out the year.
-If we end up tied with Getafe, we own the head to head tiebreaker with them because we have beaten them twice.
The worst case scenario
If we lose to both Real Madrid and Eibar, and Athletic Club beats Leganes and Granda while Getafe and Real Sociedad both get to 60 points, we would miss the Europa League and finish 8th.
I don’t consider this especially likely.
Another way this could go wrong is if Getafe gets to 60 points, Athletic get to 57 and Real Sociedad wins one of their two matches but does it in a way that overturns their goal differential deficit when compared to us. Then they would have the tiebreaker.
So, we currently have a goal differential of +11, La Real have a +8. If we lost both our matches that would mean the highest possible goal differential we could end on would be +9, so La Real would have to win one of their matches by at least three goals and then only lost the other by one in order to finish at +10 and go ahead of us to Europe.
If we somehow end up level on goal difference and points with La Real, then things get stupid and go to ‘Fair Play’ measures where a points system of yellow cards, double yellows, reds, suspensions, and supporter misconduct could decide who goes to the Europa League. I haven’t done the match on all of that but it’s possible that the shambolic Gil Manzano decision to give a penalty against Pau Torres that then resulted in a two match ban for Calleja could have double consequences for Villarreal.
Believe it or not, our outlook is still largely positive. We control our own destiny, all we need is a point to ensure Europe. The teams around us have shown they are very likely to drop points post-restart, and it may not come down to all these doomsday scenarios. That said, as a fanbase we can’t relax yet.