Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla are on course to battle it out for the La Liga title. 

They all have their strengths and weaknesses, and the title could very well be decided on the final weekend of the season. 

We evaluate what team has the best chance of clinching the league title.

Barcelona

Why they will win it

Messi, Neymar, Suarez. Goals win games, and Barcelona’s three-pronged attack features three of the best players in the world.

The firepower in Barcelona is obvious looking at the league table, leading the league in goals scored with 76 goals in 26 games.

Also, Barcelona’s experience in close title races will serve them well again this term, as most of their players have the experience of coping with the pressure in such situations.

The majority of the Barcelona players are serial winners for both club and country, which could make all the difference in La Liga come May.

Why they won’t win it

The Catalans have shown a soft underbelly in the league this season, dropping points in games against Malaga, Real Sociedad, Real Betis, Celta de Vigo and Deportivo Alaves when they were heavy favourites.

Should this inconsistency continue, it could allow their rivals steal a march on them in La Liga, with not enough time to recover the deficit.

Also, the Barcelona squad is very dependent on a number of players; Gerard Pique, Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez are all seemingly irreplaceable.

As the clock winds up on what has been a difficult La Liga season, one or two players might start to pick up injuries, and the bit-part players have shown this season that they don’t have what it takes to step up when needed.

Real Madrid

Why they will win it

For the first half of this season, Real Madrid looked like a sure bet to win the league as they went on a 40 game unbeaten streak.

They are also the most tactically flexible team in the title race, as they are willing to adjust their mentality between attacking and defending depending on the style of play of the opposition.

Their greatest asset however in this title race, is the quality of their playing squad. On the few occasions when the first team isn’t performing, Los Blancos can always call on the likes of Alvaro Morata, Isco and James Rodriguez to come and save the game from the bench.

They have also rotated better this season, which might give them the edge in the final stretch.

Why they won’t win it

Since surrendering their unbeaten run to Sevilla, Real Madrid have struggled to play at their best, losing to Valencia and having to dig very deep to get points against Villarreal and Las Palmas.

They were also knocked out of the Copa Del Ray by Celta Vigo. Real Madrid since that defeat looks like a very average team.

Also, fitness issues with Gareth Bale and the loss of form of Karim Benzema mean that a lot of the burden rests at the feet of their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Portuguese icon has shouldered the burden time and time again, but at 32, it will be a tough ask to ask him to single-handedly win the team the league title when their biggest rival has three strikers firing on all cylinders.

Sevilla

Why they will win it

Sevilla are the least flamboyant team in this title race, but they are the most practical and the most dogged of the contenders.

Like Atletico Madrid in 2014, Sevilla are the underdog willing to fight until the last minute for every point.

The team know they will have to work harder than the more established rivals if they are to make history.

The Andalusians have also imbibed a winning culture recently, winning three consecutive Europa League titles. Manager Jorge Sampaoli is also a back to back winner of the Copa America, so winning is in the DNA of the playing and coaching staff.

Games in the final stretch of a close title race are like knockout fixtures, because of the amount of importance of every three points. The Sevilla manager and players are no strangers to knockout pressure.

Why they won’t win it.

Sevilla are a team through and through, with no player standing taller than the rest. The team’s top scorer in the league has a paltry return of 8 goals.

Title winning teams often need a talisman with the abilities to turn one point into three, and Sevilla does not have such a player in their ranks.

Also, Sevilla sits behind Real Madrid and Barcelona on the league table, albeit with a small gap.

A lot of stars will still have to align for the underdogs to secure the league title.

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