The battle to remain in Spain’s premier division for next season is one of the most exciting ever in the league’s history. Six clubs all realistically have the threat of relegation hanging over their heads and with only a handful of games remaining, the destiny of Espanyol, Cádiz, Almeria, Valladolid, Getafe and Valencia CF is hanging on a knife-edge. Few Valencia fans would have envisaged this scenario at the start of the season. The furore that had greeted Gattuso’s appointment and a positive pre-season had most socios thinking a European place could be achievable. However, what was supposed to happen and reality are two different animals. Lousy away form and too many dropped points at home have led to Valencia being dragged into a battle for survival in ‘La Liga’.

Two of the three relegation places remain open. Elche’s fate was sealed mathematically a few days ago. The other spots are too close to call.

Espanyol’s position looks the most precarious. With games against Barcelona and Atlético Madrid left, they have a tough ask to survive on paper. However, they do have to still come to the Mestalla and  also entertain Almeria in Catalonia. Getafe are also looking to be another team with a less than favourable set of matches to complete. Real Madrid and Real Betis on foreign soil look intimidating.  However, the re-appointment of Jose Bordalás (replacing Quique Sánchez Flores) could be the boost the club from Madrid need to spur them on.

Valladolid also have matches against Barcelona and Atlético Madrid to complete. Interestingly, their last two games are away to Almeria and at home to Getafe. The results from those two games will go a long way to resolving their predicament.

Cádiz helped their cause by beating Valencia in April and seem to have an easier run-in than most. Home games with Celta and Valladolid, and a visit to Elche on the final game of the season bodes well for the “Yellow Submarine.”

Almeria has found a patch of form in recent weeks and wins over Getafe, Valencia and Elche have provided breathing space. However, they still have Valladolid and Espanyol to play, and two losses in those games could undo all the good work they have done recently.

What of Valencia?  Well the losses away to Almeria and Cádiz in April stunted the little progress that had been made. A last minute victory over Valladolid helped a little, but the head-to-head against their relegation rivals is not good.

Cádiz, Almeria and Valladolid would finish above Valencia if the teams finish on the same amount of points.  Courtesy of their 5-1 win at the Mestalla in September, Valencia have a superior face-to-face with Getafe…whilst the Espanyol conclusion depends on the result in Valencia later this month.

The first game at Cornellà-El Prat was a feisty affair that ended in a 2-2 draw, with Cómert snatching a point for the blanc i negres in the sixth minute of added time. Late in the second half both teams had been reduced to ten men when Marcos Andre and Martin Braithwaite were sent off, in separate incidents.

Valencia also has Real Madrid to come to the Mestalla and their last game of the season will be away at Real Betis. It is bound to be an emotional affair with Joaquin playing his last game for his beloved Beticos. A hard game will be made even tougher by this fact as the home side would love to give the former Valencia star a winning send off into retirement. The team from Sevilla are also in a fight for a Europa League place.  So, if Valencia require points to stay up from their last match it could be a seriously daunting task.

The draw with Villarreal in Valencia’s last game was a welcome point but it is victories that are required if the club are to avoid their second relegation in the history of the club.

The 1985-86 season was one of the worst ever for Valencia. Crippling debts and apathy from players due to unpaid wages led to the team losing their La Liga status for the first time in 55 years.

The fight for promotion to La Liga from the “Adelante” is equally intense. Levante are in the thick of it and a recent victory over rivals Alavés boosted their chances of an automatic spot considerably.

The top five teams are divided by just three points. Eibar, Granada, Las Palmas, Alavés, and Levante UD have all been part of the La Liga scene in recent years, and all five sides have quality players that are capable of winning games for their side.

Eibar have to play Las Palmas, whilst the club from the Gran Canarias play Alavés at home on the last day of the season.

Granada must also travel to Alavés in what will be a “six-point” clash. Levante look to have the easier task on paper with matches against mid table teams and UD Ibiza, who look set for a quick return to the third tier of Spanish football.

These are nervous times for both sets of supporters in the city. The ideal scenario of Valencia staying put in La Liga and Levante gaining promotion at the first time of asking remains a strong possibility, but equally both teams could be having derby matches in the “Segunda” division next time round. The following few weeks will determine this outcome.  Rest assured, the supporters of both clubs will be out in force to do their bit to try and ensure the right outcome for both teams.

Finally, Levante and Valencia do meet up in the top division on the 7th of May when the ladies play each other at the Ciutat de Valencia. The match starts at 18.00h and tickets are on sale now from the box office. Season ticket holders for Levante will have free access as long as you download your ticket in advance. Any outstanding tickets will be available at the stadium two hours before the start of the game. Prices from 5 euros.


Report by John  Howden

Article copyright ‘24/7 Valencia’



Valencia CF

Celta Vigo v Valencia CF May 15, 14.00 hours

Valencia CF v Real Madrid May 21, tbc

RCD Mallorca v Valencia CF May 24, tbc

Valencia CF v RCD Espanyol May 28, tbc

Real Betis v Valencia  CF June 4, tbc


Levante UD

Tenerife v Levante UD May 6, 18.30 hours

Levante UD v Ibiza UD May 15, 21.00 hours

Villarreal B v Levante UD May 21, tbc

Levante UD v Oviedo May 28, tbc

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