The State of Play: La Liga’s season run-in for European qualification involving six teams

There are now just five matchdays remaining in La Liga this season, and there is so much still to play for. Several clubs are currently taking part in the race to qualify for the 2024-25 UEFA competitions and the battle is ever so tight.

Here comes a summary of how each of the clubs in this contest are performing, from fourth-placed Atletico Madrid down to ninth-placed Villarreal.

Atletico Madrid (4th, 64 points)

Atletico Madrid have mathematically confirmed their place in Europe for next season, but Diego Simeone hopes that the competition Los Colchoneros qualify for is the Champions League, as making it into UEFA’s elite competition is the primary objective at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano each season. A 3-1 victory over fifth-placed Athletic Club in Matchday 33 was important, but there are still five matchdays remaining.

Remaining fixtures: Mallorca (A), Celta Vigo (H), Getafe (A), Osasuna (H), Real Sociedad (A) 

Athletic Club (5th, 58 points) 

Athletic Club have already guaranteed European football for next season, given that they are the champions of the Copa del Rey. They’ll play on the continent for the first time since 2018 and will play Europa League at a minimum. However, Ernesto Valverde’s side still hope to add Champions League qualification to what has been a very special season so far.

Remaining fixtures: Getafe (A), Osasuna (H), Celta Vigo (A), Sevilla (H), Rayo Vallecano (A)

Real Sociedad (6th, 51 points) 

As things stand, Real Sociedad would qualify for the Europa League as the sixth-placed team in La Liga. After finishing fourth last term and then enjoying a memorable Champions League campaign, in which they won their group and reached the last 16, they’d love to play in UEFA’s top competition again, but are currently 13 points off fourth. Their priority may well be holding on to sixth place. If they look over their shoulders, they’ll see that Real Betis sit just two points behind in the final Conference League spot.

Remaining fixtures: Las Palmas (H), Barcelona (A), Valencia (H), Real Betis (A), Atletico Madrid (H)

Real Betis (7th, 49 points) 

Under Manuel Pellegrini, Real Betis have qualified for Europe in each of the past three seasons. Never before had the club made it to UEFA competition for three seasons in a row and now they’re aiming to extend that record to four consecutive seasons. In Matchday 32, an Ayoze Perez-inspired 2-1 victory away at Valencia allowed Los Verdiblancos to leapfrog Los Che and move into seventh place, which is the final European spot, granting access to the Conference League. A draw in El Gran Derbi kept Real Betis in seventh, however Valencia are just two points behind and this race for seventh should be a fascinating one.

Remaining fixtures: Osasuna (A), Almeria (H), Las Palmas (A), Real Sociedad (H), Real Madrid (A)

Valencia (8th, 47 points) 

By losing 2-1 to Real Betis and then 4-2 to Barcelona, Valencia have slipped out of the European spots in recent weeks. Coming up, Ruben Baraja’s charges now have two home games in a row, so will look to get back on track in front of their own fans.

Remaining fixtures: Alaves (H), Rayo Vallecano (H), Real Sociedad (A), Girona (H), Celta Vigo (A)

Villarreal CF (9th, 45 points)

Just a few weeks ago, it seemed like Villarreal were too far behind to stand a chance of qualifying for Europe for a fifth consecutive season. However, they have been in really good form of late. With six wins from their past eight games, they have been the second-most in-form team in that time. Norwegian striker Alexander Sorloth is banging in the goals and the defence of El Submarino Amarillo has improved, so don’t rule out Villarreal when it comes to this enthralling European race.

Remaining fixtures: Celta Vigo (A), Sevilla (H), Girona (A), Real Madrid (H), Osasuna (A)

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