Relegation gap begins to widen in La Liga


As we head into the international break, the relegation picture in La Liga looks to be a little clearer, with ten games remaining in the 2018-19 campaign.

Weekend wins for Real Valladolid and Villarreal, with the latter beating relegation rivals Rayo Vallecano, has opened up a four point gap between 17th and 18th in the table.

Celta Vigo, Rayo Vallecano and Huseca are now all cut adrift of Sergio Gonzalez’s Valladolid side.

All three sides do still have the potential to dig themselves out of the relegation mire, however time is running short for a turnaround.

Relegation for Huesca and Rayo Vallecano would mean an immediate return to the Segunda Division, with Valladolid the only promoted side to remain in the top flight.

However dropping into the second tier would be a first stint there for Celta, since 2012, just two seasons after almost reaching the Europa League final against Ajax.

Of the three sides currently in the drop zone, they have the best team on paper, however they have struggled to ignite performances since the turn of the year.

One win in 11 league games in 2019 tells its own story, and the absence of star striker Iago Aspas has only deepened their woes as the season approaches its final stages.

Their new boss Fran Escriba has to gain some immediate momentum, and games against Huesca and Villarreal after the break, are likely to decide whether or not they can stay up.

Rayo’s story has been a familiar one all season, of failing to see out games and conceding late goals, and after seven straight defeats the club made the decision to part ways with manager Michel, following the Villarreal loss.

They do possess the quality to stay in the top flight, through the likes of Raul de Tomas and Adri Embarba, but their naivety and inconsistency has undermined their season, and they face a tough run of games in the coming weeks, with Real Betis and Valencia both coming to Vallecas.

It could potentially come down to a relegation play off on the final day of the season, with Rayo scheduled to play away at Celta Vigo.

Huesca’s mini-revival has stalled in recent weeks, with three wins from five games followed by back to back defeats in La Liga.

Each side’s manager will push the case for time, but with the trap door closing, the next few weeks will be decisive.

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