With just 7 matches to go, Real Madrid trail leaders Barcelona by just 2 points. The whites also hold a head-to-head advantage, which is applied in Spain instead of the classic goal difference rule, as they hold an aggregate 4-3 score vs. Barcelona in La Liga this season, meaning that they if these two teams ended the season with the same number of points, Real Madrid would be crowned champions. Taking that into consideration, Barcelona are required to only draw or lose one of their remaining matches, with Real Madrid hypothetically winning all of their remaining fixtures, in order for the reigning European champions to climb to the top spot. With that in mind, Barcelona will be figuratively sitting on the edge of their seats as they will visit the Calderon in the penultimate round of the season, undoubtedly the toughest remaining fixture for the Catalonian side this season. Real Madrid on the other hand, have a relatively easier run of matches highlighted by their visit to Celta Vigo and Sevilla, and hosting Valencia. Barcelona, apart of the Atletico match, will have to travel to Espanyol for the Catalonian derby, in addition to hosting Valencia; the team that defeated them at the Camp Nou just last season. Which means that 3 potential ‘party crashers’ highlight both teams’ schedules.
Now we come to the hypothetical part mentioned earlier, which is the fact that Real Madrid have to win each of their last 7 remaining matches, a mission that started about 2 weeks ago as the Madrid papers and the team metaphorically launched the ’30 points mission’, where they aim to win each of the remaining 10 matches, at the time. Now, 3 matches later, they have collected 9 out of a possible 9 points with an aggregate score of 14-1 for those 3 matches, certainly a statement of magnificent proportions by the whites. But can they finish their 30 points mission? History suggests not. Since the turn of the century, the closest Real Madrid came to achieving that feat was when they clinched 28 points in the last 10 matches of the 2011/12 La Liga season, a season where they broke numerous records and led to the campaign being called “The Season of Records”. So, in perhaps the best campaign played by a team in Spanish football, Real Madrid were not able to claim all 30 points in the final stretch. In addition to that, Real Madrid have averaged 20.4 points out of 30 in the final stretch of matches in the last 14 seasons. So why are the fans, papers, and most importantly the team, confident of achieving the feat? Well it boils down to mainly the relative easiness of the remaining matches and the lack of cup matches, as Madrid have been eliminated from the Copa del Rey quite early this season. That is of course coupled with the fact that a lot of players have returned from a stint on the sidelines and that Cristiano is finally hitting his acclaimed and assured high form, as he has scored in each of his last 4 matches (a total of 8 goals).
So the odds can go either way. If you would like to wager in favor of one or the other you can find some good sports betting sites here. My money is on Real Madrid.