Who will win La Liga this season?

The Spanish title race looks set to go to the wire in 2020/21, with Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Barcelona separated by just two points at the top and fourth place Sevilla only slightly further back with a game in hand.

Atletico Madrid have been top of the table since November and at one stage it looked as though it was their title to lose after a run of 15 wins in 16 games over the winter, underpinned by an ironclad defence that seemed utterly allergic to conceding goals.

Real Madrid and Barcelona both had woeful starts to the season by their own previously impeccable standards, but each has returned to some degree of form in 2021 to surge back into the title race.

Impressively, Sevilla have also found the winning formula and have kept pace with the big three, largely thanks to a run that has seen them take 40 points from the last 48 on offer. Sevilla haven’t been Spanish champions since 1946 and haven’t finished higher than third since 1957.

But who will be crowned La Liga champions for 2020/21? Read on for the predicted final points tallies of each of the four contenders.

Atletico Madrid have led La Liga for much of the seasonAtletico Madrid have led La Liga for much of the season
Atletico Madrid have led La Liga for much of the season | Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Atletico last managed to break the Real/Barca duopoly in 2013/14 and remain the only club other than the Clasico giants to have won La Liga since Valencia in 2003/04. But having remarkably only conceded a handful of goals in the first half of the season and inspired in attack by Luis Suarez, it looked like 2020/21 would at last be their year again.

That was until a slump since the start of February has seen the others reel them in. Atletico remain top with the best defensive record but have won fewer than half of their last 15 La Liga games.

Their next two games against Barcelona and fifth place Real Sociedad are huge. The Barca game at Camp Nou in particular could effectively make or break Atletico’s season.

Remaining fixtures

8 May – Barcelona (A)
12 May – Real Sociedad (H)
16 May – Osasuna (H)
23 May – Real Valladolid (A)

Final points prediction: 84

Real Madrid still have the Champions League to focus on as wellReal Madrid still have the Champions League to focus on as well
Real Madrid still have the Champions League to focus on as well | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

After losing three of their opening 10 games of this season, Real Madrid have only been beaten in La Liga once since, although too many draws have seen them fail to take full advantage.

This is far from a vintage Real team and the squad is in dire need of a summer overhaul, although the question remains whether there will be the funds to do it, making it increasingly clear why Florentino Perez is such an ardent fan of the money-spinning European Super League concept.

Los Blancos are hard to beat but while their run-in could be worse, it could also be much better. All four of their remaining games are against top half teams and Sevilla up is a big one.

Real rely on a solid defence, bettered only by city rivals Atletico, and the goals of veteran striker Karim Benzema, with no other player even getting close to double figures in La Liga.

Remaining fixtures

9 May – Sevilla (H)
13 May – Granada (A)
16 May – Athletic Club (A)
23 May – Villarreal (H)

Final points prediction: 82

Lionel Messi has come storming back to form for BarcelonaLionel Messi has come storming back to form for Barcelona
Lionel Messi has come storming back to form for Barcelona | Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona missed a glorious chance to go top of the table and put their title race firmly in their own destiny when they they lost their game in hand at home against Granada, who had never previously even taken so much as a point at Camp Nou.

They will still be in a commanding position if they beat Atletico next up, but it puts huge pressure on them to win that game when they could already have had a cushion, albeit small, by now.

Lionel Messi has spent this season contemplating whether he wants to continue being a Barcelona player. The club, generally, is in disarray, sinking under an estimated €1bn of debt, and with an imbalanced squad not fit for purpose for the long-term.

But it could well be Messi alone could very well make Barcelona champions again thanks to magnificent form that has seen him score 21 La Liga since the turn of the calendar year alone.

Remaining fixtures

8 May – Atletico Madrid (H)
11 May – Levante (A)
16 May – Celta Vigo (A)
23 May – Eibar (A)

Final points prediction: 82

Sevilla have given themselves a chance of a first title since 1946Sevilla have given themselves a chance of a first title since 1946
Sevilla have given themselves a chance of a first title since 1946 | Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Sevilla have already secured themselves the minimum of a top four finish for the second season running and another year back in the Champions League. But this is also now their best chance to win a first league title in 75 years if they can take advantage.

The perennial Europa League winners have put themselves well in the title mix at this late stage of the campaign and are peaking at the right time.

If they win the games in front of them, as they have been doing, they could well be champions because it is difficult to imagine anyone else maintaining a perfect record between now and the end of the season.

It is still a big if, however, and the trip to face Real Madrid will be especially important.

Remaining fixtures

3 May – Athletic Bilbao (H)
9 May – Real Madrid (A)
12 May – Valencia (H)
16 May – Villarreal (A)
23 May – Alaves (H)

Final points prediction: 83

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