MATCHDAY: Spanish league title to be decided

A look at what’s happening in European soccer on Saturday:


Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid enter the last round of the Spanish league with the title up for grabs between the crosstown rivals. Atlético can win its first league title in seven years with a victory at Valladolid. Madrid needs Atlético to stumble for it to retain its crown with a victory over Villarreal. Atlético leads Madrid by two points, while Madrid holds the tiebreaker if they finish level on points. Lionel Messi has been given permission to skip Barcelona’s last game at already relegated Eibar. Coach Ronald Koeman’s future is in doubt after his team’s poor finish to the campaign. Messi has yet to reveal his plans for when his contract expires at the end of the month.


Cologne, Werder Bremen and Arminia Bielefeld are fighting relegation on the last day of the Bundesliga. Cologne needs to beat already-relegated Schalke at home to have any hope of avoiding demotion as its goal difference is worse than Bremen’s. Bremen is just a point above Cologne in the relegation playoff place before its game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, which can pip Union Berlin to seventh place and qualify for UEFA’s new Conference League competition. Bielefeld could be relegated if it fails to win at Stuttgart and its rivals win. Stuttgart and Freiburg – both two points behind Union – also have hopes of reaching the decisive seventh place. The title, Champions League and Europa League qualification places are all decided, leaving only the Conference League qualification to be decided. Union can be sure of reaching European competition for the first time with a win at home over Leipzig, which will hope to give Julian Nagelsmann a good sendoff in his last game as coach before he joins Bayern Munich. Bayern, the league champion, ends the season against visiting Augsburg, which is bracing for Robert Lewandowski’s attempt to break the league’s scoring record of 40 goals in a season.


Parma will be aiming to avoid a last-place finish in Serie A when it visits Sampdoria in the final round, while Claudio Ranieri coaches his final game at Samp. Parma is two points behind Crotone, which hosts Fiorentina. Ranieri announced on Friday that this will be his final match with Sampdoria after failing to get his contract extended despite leading the club to a top-half finish. Also, Cagliari faces Genoa.

More AP soccer: and