Matchday 26 brought up the two-thirds mark of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander campaign, meaning the business end of the season is here. Over the final 12 rounds, the players, coaches and teams of Spain’s top division will be battling for their various objectives and giving their all to make this a successful year. This guide, then, provides an outline of the main storylines to keep an eye on over the final three months of the season.
Real Madrid vs Sevilla FC for the championship
With Real Madrid on 60 points and Sevilla FC on 54 points ahead of the final stretch of games, these are the two clubs at the front of the grid for this year’s title race. Whereas Real Madrid hold the record for the most LaLiga Santander titles, with 34, Sevilla FC have only won the championship once before, back in 1945/46. The Andalusian club are dreaming of glory, though, and they’ll host the remaining head-to-head duel between these sides in Matchday 32. Considering Sevilla FC have the best home form in the country, they’ll relish that opportunity.
Five teams for two Champions League spots
There are currently five teams within five points of each other in the fight to qualify for next season’s Champions League. Only the top four teams will make it and, after Real Madrid and Sevilla FC in first and second, the current standings have Real Betis third on 46 points, FC Barcelona fourth on 45 points, Atlético de Madrid fifth on 45 points, Villarreal CF sixth on 42 points and Real Sociedad seventh on 41 points. It’s so tight and there are several direct duels between these sides to look forward to, such as Real Betis vs Atlético de Madrid this coming weekend.
Cádiz CF, Deportivo Alavés and Levante UD fight for survival
Down at the bottom, Cádiz CF, Alavés and Levante UD are currently inside the bottom three and they have been the bottom trio since Matchday 18. However, these three clubs are all improving under new coaches and they’ll still believe that they can climb out of the relegation zone in time. In the case of bottom-placed Levante UD, seven of their 18 total points have been won in the past three matches, so they are brimming with confidence and will look to pull off the most miraculous of great escapes.
Benzema’s quest for his first Pichichi
There are individual awards to be won as well, such as the Pichichi prize for the top goalscorer of the season. Karim Benzema may have been in LaLiga Santander since 2009 and he may have won every team trophy possible at Real Madrid, but he has never claimed the Pichichi and will hope to change that this year. The Frenchman currently leads the way with 19 goals and has a sizable advantage over teammate Vini Jr, Getafe’s Enes Ünal and RCD Espanyol’s Raúl de Tomás, with those three each on 13 goals.
RDT’s other chance for a scoring title
Even if he doesn’t go on to catch Benzema for the Pichichi, Raúl de Tomás could still finish this campaign with a scoring prize. The Zarra Trophy is given out each year to the Spanish player with the most goals and he leads the way with his 13 strikes. Juanmi and Joselu are just behind with 12 goals each, while three-time winner Iago Aspas is in the mix too with 11. This contest could, therefore, be extra tight.
The title race goalkeepers will battle for the Zamora too
Another of the individual prizes for each LaLiga Santander season is the Zamora Trophy, awarded to the goalkeeper who has the best goals-conceded-per-game ratio, with a minimum of 28 matches played. Sevilla’s shot-stopper Bono is currently on course to win this prize for the first time, having let in just 12 goals from his 21 appearances so far for a rate of 0.57 per game. But, Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois is just behind with 20 goals from 26 matches for a rate of 0.77 per game. The Sevilla FC and Real Madrid goalkeepers will, therefore, be playing for this individual honour as well as for the LaLiga Santander trophy.
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By faress

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