With only 10 rounds to go in LaLiga, we already know which three teams will end up at the top; Barcelona, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, which has become a regular occurrence in the highest tier of Spanish football. As it stands now, Barcelona are sitting at the top of the league with 66 points, followed by Atletico Madrid at 2nd with 56 and Real Madrid at 3rd with 54 points. But there is still a question of who will end up at the 4th and final spot that offers a ticket to the Champions League next season. This is what we will look at in this article, where we will check out the teams who will fight for the 4th spot finish in LaLiga this season and get themselves a taste of the most prestigious European tournament next season.
With 28 rounds behind us, there are plenty of teams that could end up finishing the season 4th, however, some of them are in a better position than others. Looking at the leaderboard, there are 3 teams only 3 points within reaching the 4th spot. But with 10 more rounds to go the 3 point margin is negligible as nothing is yet decided. Despite that, I will give my opinion on the top 3 contenders and finally share my thoughts on who do I fancy to end the season in the top 4.
Getafe: 12-10-6; 46 points
After a slow start of the season, Getafe climbed their way up to the 4th spot in the league with great performances, which now put them at 7 straight games without a defeat. As of now, they are in the best position to finish 4th, as the team with the most points outside the top 3. Looking at Getafe upcoming 10 fixtures, they will still need to face off against: Leganes (H), Espanyol (A), Ath Bilbao (H), Valladolid (A), Sevilla (H), Real Madrid (H), Real Sociedad (A), Girona (H), Barcelona (A) and Villarreal (H).
Their schedule looks up and down with two hard matches against Real Madrid and Barcelona. On the bright side, 5 of their 10 matches will be played against the bottom half of the league teams, while both matches against Sevilla and Ath Bilbao, which will be important to win will be played at Coliseum Alfonso Perez, the home ground of Getafe.
Alavés: 12-8-8; 44 points
Only 2 points behind Getafe and 4th spot in LaLiga, we have got one of the biggest surprises this season, Alavés. Alavés a team that got promoted into the 1st division of Spanish football in 2015/16 season finished last season at the 14th spot. But unlike last season, Alavés started off this season much better, which now put them in a spot of potential Champions League appearance next season. The 2 point margin between Alavés and Getafe is not a huge margin and I do believe Alavés can catch up to, but on the other hand, it could also prove to be enough to keep Getafe ahead for the remaining 10 rounds.
Much like Getafe schedule, Alavés also has 2 hard matches ahead of them. They are going to face off Atl Madrid and Barcelona at home ground in 29th and 34th round, which we can hardly expect them to win, but other than that I do believe all other matches are winnable. They will need to prove their worth against 6th placed Sevilla in the 30th round, who could take away valuable points from Alavés. Additionally, they could slip against Ath Bilbao and Real Sociedad, but when a Champions League appearance is in question, I can hardly imagine Alavés will underperform.
Alavés schedule: Atl Madrid (H), Sevilla (A), Leganes (H), Espanyol (A), Valladolid (H), Barcelona (H), Ath Bilbao (A), Real Sociedad (H), Valencia (A) and Girona (H).
Sevilla: 12-7-9; 43 points
At 6th place, and still with a fighting chance to finish 4th, we have got Sevilla, who had a great start of the season, even leading the league on 3 occasions, however after a run of terrible losses they dropped down to 6th place. Looking back at their last 10 LaLiga fixtures, Sevilla won only 3, drew 1 and lost the remaining 6. That was a huge change of form for a team who looked really promising at the start of this season. While they did underperform in recent fixtures, Sevilla did improve recently, winning both of their last 2 LaLiga matches. Additionally, they have been knocked out of Europa League competition, which now means they can focus on finishing high in the league. Looking at their schedule, Sevilla has a decent schedule ahead of them, filled with matches that could make or break their 2018/19 expectations of finishing top 4. The upcoming match against Alavés in 29th round will be highly important for Sevilla to win, which would put them at the 5th spot. Only two weeks later, Sevilla will need to face off against Getafe which just might be the deciding match for who will be the 4th team. Other than that, Sevilla will only have to face one of the top 6 teams in the 37th round, when they will travel to Wanda Metropolitano.
Sevilla schedule: Valencia (H), Alavés (H), Valladolid (A), Betis (H), Getafe (A), Rayo Vallecano (H), Girona (A), Leganes (H), Atl. Madrid (A), Ath Bilbao (H).
With those three teams fighting for the top 4 finish, it’s hard to call out a winner. Girona is the favourite to end up 4th, but with only 3 points separating them from Alavés and Sevilla, a simple mistake could be costly. And then there are the “underdogs” Alavés and Sevilla, who will play against each other on April 4th, which will be one of the most important matches for both sides to win out of all the remaining fixtures. Out of all three teams, Getafe has the smoothest road, Alavés the hardest and Sevilla the most entertaining one. With two matches in their schedule when they play Alavés and Getafe, Sevilla surely has a lot to prove and return to the top 4 where they were for most of the season. And while they don’t have the best record behind them, Sevilla is still, in my opinion, more than ready to bounce back and finish 4th ahead of their competition.
I can also mention the 7th placed Valencia, who could cause some problems to our 3 competitors, as they face Sevilla and Alavés in the remaining rounds. Same can be said for Betis, who still need to play against Sevilla, but at the end of the day, I do not believe these two teams have the quality needed to finish in the top 4.
Sports journalist, content writer and passionate football lover.