x

Flick is being lined up to replace Xavi Hernandez in the dugout for next season

Sports Saturday 25/May/2024 11:36 AM
By: xinhua
Flick is being lined up to replace Xavi Hernandez in the dugout for next season

MADRID: Although there is very little to play for in terms of places or titles in the last round of matches in La Liga, there are still some things to keep an eye on as domestic football in Spain wraps up for the summer. Here is what to look for in the La Liga this weekend.

1 Real Madrid dropping hints for Champions League final

La Liga champions Real Madrid end the season at home to Betis on Saturday night in a game that kicks off at the same time as the following weekend's Champions League final in Wembley.

Nearly every position in the Real Madrid starting 11 for the big game against Borussia Dortmund is clear, with Jude Bellingham, Toni Kroos, Vinicius Jr, Antonio Rudiger and several others all certain to start. However, there are two places still to be decided, where Andriy Lunin and fit-again Thibaut Courtois both have options of playing in goal, while in central defense, Nacho Fernandez looks to have the advantage over Eder Militao to partner Rudiger in central defense.

The logical thing would be for whoever will play in goal to have some time on the pitch on Saturday and for Nacho to get at least 45 minutes to ensure he stays match-fit for the big final.

2 Xavi's last game with FC Barcelona?

The Barcelona press reported on Thursday that Barca president Joan Laporta and sporting director Deco travelled to London to meet former Bayern Munich and German national team coach Hansi Flick, with conclusion that Flick is being lined up to replace Xavi Hernandez in the dugout for next season.

That means Barca's visit to Sevilla on Sunday will probably be Xavi's last game in charge and with several players also likely to leave to make way for new signings, he won't be the only departure over the summer.

With Quique Sanchez Flores announcing that he won't be at Sevilla next season and that club's economic situation also needing players to be sold, Sunday's game between the two sides is likely to be a strange affair between two clubs that both face an uncertain future.

3 Top scorer and best keeper still up for grabs

With the title, relegation and the European places all settled ahead of this weekend's matches, the only two issues still to be decided at the 'Pichichi' award for the top scorer in La Liga and the 'Zamora' award for the best goalkeeping record.

Villarreal's Alexander Sorloth leads the race for the Pichichi award with 23 goals, two more than Girona's Artem Dovbyk on 21, although Dovbyk has the chance to add to his tally on Friday when Girona end their season at home to relegated Granada, before Villarreal travel to play Osasuna.

Athletic Club Bilbao's Unai Simon has a narrow advantage in the Zamora over Real Sociedad's Alex Remiro and Barca's Marc Andre Ter Stegen and he will win that if he keeps a clean sheet for 60 minutes (and is then substituted) in his side's visit to play Rayo Vallecano.

If Rayo score in that time, it will be the moment to get the calculators out.

4 The real drama is in Segunda

With nearly everything decided in La Liga, the big drama in Spain this weekend is in the second division, where everything is still to play for.

With two games left to play no team is assured of promotion and nobody has yet been condemned to relegation, with Leganes, Valladolid, Eibar and Racing Santander all fighting for automatic promotion, while Villarreal B, Andorra, Alcorcon, Amorebieta, Mirandes, Huesca, Zaragoza and Albacete all in danger of relegation.