By caabrego

Wednesday, 29th April, 2009. We finally are reaching May, the last month on the liga campaign 2008/2009, and it is a real pleasure to see Deportivo still having options to qualify to Europe. But how real are those chances? Let’s check it out.

Five games will be played on May and Depor is two points below the UEFA zone and six under the Champions League spots. Maybe the Champions positions are now too far, maybe not, but the options to take part of the new Europa League are for real, especially taking in mind that some direct rivals are playing against each other.

With Barcelona and Real Madrid fighting for the title, the other four spots for the European competitions are highly disputed by six clubs: Sevilla, Valencia, Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Malaga and Deportivo. These six clubs are just separated by six points. This means that the last five matchdays will define everything. Now let’s analyse the situation.

The last five matches for the six teams fighting for Europe:









at Villarreal

at Espanyol

Vs Sevilla

at Betis

at Numancia

Vs Valladolid


Vs Mallorca

Vs R Madrid

at Barcelona

Vs Espanyol

Vs Racing

at Recreativo


at Osasuna

at Atletico

Vs R Madrid

Vs Valencia

at Sporting

Vs Getafe


Vs Depor

at Villarreal

Vs Valencia

at Athletic

Vs Betis

at Sevilla


at Numancia

Vs Athletic

at Mallorca

Vs Almeria

at Espanyol

Vs Barcelona

The first thing to notice is that Villarreal, Deportivo and Atletico Madrid are the three sides that still have to play three times at home. The second fact that should be emphasised is that Malaga seems to have a more �easier’ schedule as they already faced all the direct rivals and the two teams at the top, while Atletico only has to face one (Valencia at matchday 36).

Without doubt Villarreal is the rival in the worst situation, because it only has two games at home and also because four of its last five games are against direct rivals and against the two teams fighting for the title. Valencia is also complicated as it will only play twice at Mestalla, and because it still has to confront Real Madrid (matchday 35), Atletico Madrid (matchday 36) and Villarreal (matchday 37), three of the �bulls’ in la liga.

I think that Depor and Malaga are the two sides in the best positions –curiously the two sides that are currently out of Europe- the Andalusians because they face teams at the bottom, you may think the rivals at the drop zone are more dangerous since they play for their life, but definitely it is always better to play against this kind of teams than against a �football machine’ like Barcelona or the Real Madrid of Juande Ramos, this last one not too �attractive’ but it’s really a �machine of adding points’ .

Depor may be facing Sevilla and Barcelona for the final two matchdays, but we must wait to see how important will be those games for the rivals. Sevilla could be already qualified to Europe and Barcelona could be arriving to the Riazor celebrating two titles: la liga and the Champions League. In my opinion, the key is at the upcoming three matchdays, because those nine points, against rivals in a difficult moment, means that Depor would only need one more to reach Lotina’s mark of 60. But what is clear now is that the fate of Deportivo still remains in its hands, depending of its players, something that’s always important when you face a moment of truth.