(Football News) There are now only five LaLiga Santander matchdays left, and there is still a lot up for grabs. The struggle to earn a spot in the 2023–24 UEFA competitions is fierce among the many clubs now competing.
Here is a list of the other teams competing to join the top three teams—leaders FC Barcelona, second-placed Atlético de Madrid, and defending champions Real Madrid—from fourth-placed Real Sociedad to ninth-placed Rayo Vallecano.
4th–placed Real Sociedad (61 points)
Real Sociedad presently holds the fourth and last Champions League spot, after FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, and Real Madrid. La Real has had a few opportunities in recent years to narrowly miss qualifying for the Champions League while being coached by Imanol Alguacil. The Basque side last competed in Europe’s premier league in 2013/14, so getting back there has become a goal for the club. They presently lead Villarreal CF by a comfortable margin thanks to recent strong performances from players like David Silva, Takefusa Kubo, and others.
UD Almera (H), Girona FC (H), FC Barcelona (A), Atlético de Madrid (A), and Sevilla FC (H) are the remaining opponents
5th-placed Villarreal CF (54 points)
Nobody at Villarreal CF has given up on winning the Champions League again. Villarreal CF frequently has a strong finish to the year and still thinks they may qualify for the Champions League, where they reached the semi-finals in 2021–2022, despite the seven-point deficit. Even if Quique Setién’s team doesn’t manage to overtake La Real for fourth, fifth place guarantees a spot in the Europa League group stages, which is still a victory for this club from a town of 50,000 inhabitants.
Athletic Club (H), Girona FC (A), Cádiz CF (H), Rayo Vallecano (A), and Atlético de Madrid (H) are the remaining opponents.
6th-placed Real Betis (52 pts)
Real Betis has never before qualified for three straight seasons of European football, but it is very likely to happen this year. Due to their sixth-place standing, Los Verdiblancos presently have a group stage ticket for the Europa League. The team led by Manuel Pellegrini has widened the lead after their last-round 1-0 victory away at Athletic Club on Matchday 33. Given that the team lost their top player Nabil Fekir to a season-ending injury in February, that is incredibly impressive.
Rayo Vallecano (H), Sevilla FC (A), Getafe CF (H), Girona FC (A), and Valencia CF (H) are the remaining opponents.
7th-placed Girona FC (47 points)
Since Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey this year and they will automatically qualify for Europe based on their league standing, a seventh place result in LaLiga Santander will earn them an additional slot in Europe. The Conference League entry spot is presently held by Girona FC, and if they can keep it, they will be the first Catalan team to ever qualify for Europe. Mchel’s team has been playing some exciting football this season after winning promotion through the LaLiga SmartBank playoffs last year. They are presently the fourth-highest goal scorers in the division with 52 goals scored from 33 games.
Real Sociedad (A), Villarreal CF (H), RC Celta (A), Real Betis (H), and CA Osasuna (A) are the remaining opponents.
8th-placed Athletic Club (47 points)
Athletic Club is no stranger to playing in Europe, but since 2018, the Basques have not had to check their passports. Los Leones hope to return to Europe this season, and with Ernesto Valverde back in charge, they have a chance thanks to the explosive play of brothers Iaki and Nico Williams. Athletic Club, while now not being among the top seven, is tied with Girona FC in terms of points and confidence.
Real Madrid (A), Villarreal CF (A), RC Celta (H), CA Osasuna (A), and Elche CF (H) are the teams still in action.
9th-placed Rayo Vallecano (46 points)
Rayo Vallecano is another group that thinks it’s possible to qualify for Europe. The capital city’s squad has travelled to Europe once before, for the UEFA Cup in 2000–2001, and they hope to return this year. The club has been motivated in recent weeks, as evidenced by their 2-1 triumph over FC Barcelona, thanks to the electric home environment at Vallecas. In a few months, Vallecas might be hosting clubs from all across Europe if Isi Palazón and company can keep racking up three-point totals.
Real Betis (A), RCD Espanyol (H), Real Madrid (A), Villarreal CF (H), and RCD Mallorca (A) are the remaining opponents.
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