Real Madrid fell further behind La Liga leaders and rivals Barcelona on Sunday as they conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 at Celta Vigo.

The result leaves the defending champions 16 points behind Barcelona, albeit with a game in hand. What’s worse – Atlético Madrid and Valencia are more than three points ahead of Real Madrid, who now have a battle on their hands just to qualify for next season’s Champions League right now.

It’s no surprise to see that the bookmakers know the Betfair La Liga betting odds for the title race are already over, but as well as focusing on the Champions League between now and the end of the season, Zinedine Zidane needs to ensure they don’t fall any further down the table.

Sitting in fourth position, Real Madrid are only three points above Sevilla and four ahead of Villarreal.

Looking a shadow of the team that won both La Liga and the Champions League last season, they have not found the ability to outscore teams this season as they did a year ago. In 2016-17 they were averaging nearly 2.8 goals per game, whilst through 17 games this term they are only averaging 1.88 in comparison.

Real Madrid now in battle for next season’s Champions League

Defensively, they continue to make mistakes at the back. This weekend’s draw at the Balaídos was a prime example of that. They fell behind in the first half after allowing Daniel Wass in one-on-one to link the ball over Keylor Navas.

Though Gareth Bale scored two fine first-time finishes in quick time to give Real Madrid the lead in the second half, they allowed Maxi Gomez a free header from close range to equalise in the final 10 minutes. Prior to that, Real Madrid had actually conceded a penalty after allowing another one-on-one, but Navas saved.

This weekend’s game at home to Villarreal is almost crucial to Real Madrid that they don’t lose if Zidane wants to remain at the helm. Though ultimately, his performance in the Champions League may decide whether he’s welcomed back to the Santiago Bernabeu or not next season.

Many are considering a lay bet on Real Madrid in their La Liga predictions this weekend given the poor performances they have been putting in, that they’re playing a Villarreal side that are well organised, and simply because they see value in the near 4/1 odds you can get for a double chance on the away side.