Spain set for frenzied finale
A Champions League spot, two Europa League berths and two relegation places are to be claimed or avoided in what promises to be a nerve-wracking finale to the La Liga season.
Atletico Madrid, who beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 to win the Europa League final on Wednesday, are eying a bigger prize for next season as they battle Malaga and Levante for Spain's fourth and final Champions League place.
A clutch of teams could make it into Europe's second-tier club competition and five teams are scrabbling to avoid joining already-relegated Racing Santander in the second division.
The eight matches which affect these positions all kick off at the same time on Sunday.
Champions Real Madrid will parade the trophy at the Bernabeu when they take on sixth-placed Real Mallorca.
A victory would give Jose Mourinho's men a new La Liga record 100 points, beating by one the mark set by Barcelona in 2010, and would add to their league goal-scoring record which sits at 117 with one left to play.
Malaga fans more used to enduring final-day relegation battles will be in the unaccustomed position of cheering their side on to a possible first venture into the Champions League next year.
The Qatar-owned club are in pole position to secure Spain's last remaining ticket into Europe's elite club competition, and some payback on the millions invested in the club since it was bought two years ago.
La Romareda may still get to witness the despair of a team suffering relegation, however, because the only way visiting Sporting Gijon, who are 19th, can survive, is by winning.
"Possibly, this week is one of the most important in the club's history," Malaga's Portuguese midfielder Duda said.
"It will be an emotional game, but with different emotions to those of other years where we have been playing to avoid relegation."
Atletico are two points behind them in fifth, and need to raise themselves for one final effort away at relegation-threatened Villarreal. Seventh-placed Levante's slender options require a victory over Bilbao and other results to go their way.
Two of the teams go head-to-head when Granada visit Rayo, the Andalucians hindered by a slew of suspensions.
Granada lost their heads at the end of their 2-1 defeat to Real last weekend and in a melee after the final whistle, when winger Dani Benitez threw a plastic bottle at the referee, a number of players were shown red cards.