- Sevilla lead battle for final Champions League qualifying place
- Valencia and Getafe still in the hunt
- Seven games to go and still twists and turns to come
The 2019 La Liga title is almost done and dusted. Barcelona’s 2-0 win over Atlético Madrid at the weekend put the Catalans 11 points clear of Atleti. With just seven league games remaining no-one is going to catch them.
There’s a minor scrap going on for second place between the two Madrid clubs, but the real battle is for the fourth and final Champions League place.
2019 La Liga – Top 4 Odds
*Odds taken April 17, 2019
As things stand Sevilla are edging it – as reflected in their -180 odds – but their one-point lead over Getafe is a slender one when there are still seven games left to play and Valencia are only two points behind them. This one really does look likely to go to the wire.
Football: Getafe edges closer to qualifying for the Champions League for the first time by beating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 at home, seizing an advantage in the battle to finish fourth in La Liga https://t.co/ixO5raOpSQ pic.twitter.com/GLT7dD9svt
— TRT World (@trtworld) April 7, 2019
Still in with outside shots also are Atletic Bilbao and Alaves, who are only six and seven points respectively behind Sevilla.
But it looks more likely to be a three-way scrap for fourth between Sevilla, Getafe and Valencia.
Form on Sevilla’s Side
In Sevilla’s favor is form. Joaquín Caparrós’ team have won four out of their last five and have found some form when they need it most – their most recent success coming in last weekend’s derby match with Real Betis, which they won 3-2.
They also have goals in their team and are the leading scorers in the mini-league for fourth.
Getafe, meanwhile, have hit something of a blip when they least needed to, and have won just one of their last five, picking up just six points in the process.
José Bordalás’ has to find a way to lift his team for the run-in and try to help them rediscover the form that has seen them hover around the top four all season.
Sevilla edge Real Betis to go fourth in @LaLigaEN
— TOI Sports (@toisports) April 14, 2019
But, while Getafe don’t score goals as freely as Sevilla, they do have a good defense and have conceded less than a goal a game – a quality that ensures they can still pick up vital points even when they are not playing well.
Will Experience Count?
Valencia, like Sevilla, are European regulars and have found some form at the right time – three wins in their last five – and are still very much in the mix.
Sevilla travel to Getafe on Sunday in a game that will go a long way to deciding the destiny of the final Champions League place
Intriguingly, Sevilla travel to Getafe on Sunday in a game that will go a long way to deciding the destiny of the final Champions League place. For the home side, it feels like a must-win, whereas for the Sevillistas it’s a must-not-lose.
Given that Getafe were many pundits’ tip to be relegated at the start of the season, it is some feat that they are even being discussed in terms of a possible Champions League spot.
In terms of a ‘story’, to see them mixing it with Europe’s elite teams would be remarkable.
Ignore Getafe At Your Peril
So, while Sevilla are understandably favorites for the fourth spot, let’s not assume this is over by a long shot.
For small clubs like Getafe, opportunities like this don’t come along too often and having engineered themselves a chance of Champions League football, we have a gut feeling that Bordalás will have them geared up for one final push for the line.
— El Canal de tu equipo (@canaldetuequipo) April 15, 2019
Sevilla at -180 favorites are the safe bet – they have form, pedigree and experience on their side – and those who fancy a piece of Valencia’s +300 also have logic on their side, but Getafe at +450 is a bet for the romantics.
Our pick: Getafe (+450)