La Liga 2021/22 Relegation Prediction, Odds and Picks

  • Real Mallorca, Espanyol and Rayo Vallecano won promotion from the Segunda Division last term
  • The bookmakers consider Elche and Cadiz to struggle in the 2021/22 season
  • Valencia, Getafe and Granada are outside bets to finish in the bottom three

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The La Liga 2021/22 season beings on 13 August 2021 and will conclude on 22 May 2022. Each team in the division will play 38 games, with three points available for a win and one point for a tie. The three sides with the fewest points at the end of the season will be relegated to the second tier of Spanish soccer.

Two clubs are available at negative odds to go down, while three more are listed at +250 or under. The battle to avoid the drop in La Liga looks set to be intriguing, with up to 10 clubs potentially involved in the struggle to stay out of the bottom three.

La Liga 2021/22 Relegation Odds

Odds taken on 30 August, 2021 from Unibet

La Liga 2021/22 Relegation Odds
Elche -118
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Rayo Vallecano -118
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Cadiz +150
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Real Mallorca +225
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Alaves +250
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Levante +400
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Osasuna +400
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Granada +500
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Getafe +500
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Valencia +650
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Espanyol were promoted to La Liga last season as the champions of the Segunda Division. The Catalan club are back where they feel they belong, and the bookmakers do not think they are in danger of relegation this season. The same cannot be said for Real Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano, the two other teams who were promoted in 2020/21. Rayo Vallecano are the joint-favorites for the drop, while Mallorca are considered the fourth-likeliest team to succumb.

Elche only finished outside the bottom three by a small margin last term, while many expect Cadiz to struggle despite their 12th-place finish last time out. Levante finished the season extremely poorly and looks like good value at +400.

How Does Relegation Work in La Liga?

Like almost every other European soccer league, La Liga is played on a double round-robin basis. Each of the division’s 20 teams plays every other side home and away, with three points awarded for a win one point for a tie. The three teams with the fewest points after 38 rounds of fixtures are relegated to the Segunda Division.

As a result of this format, there is no fixed date when La Liga relegation is announced – that moment is simply confirmed when it is no longer mathematically possible for a team to finish 17th or higher. A tally of 38 points is usually – but not always – sufficient for a side to remain In La Liga.

Spain’s main league previously featured a relegation play-off, where one or two teams from La Liga would face teams from the second division to determine which of them would play in the top flight the following year. This system was replaced by the current one in 1999.

What Does Relegation Mean in La Liga?

Relegation ends a club’s participation in La Liga. A team that is relegated will spend the following season in the Segunda Division, the second tier of Spanish soccer.

Relegation is an integral part of the Spanish soccer system, as it is in almost every European league. This, of course, is a different format to the United States, where teams in MLS are immune from the threat of demotion.

There are no calls for relegation to be abolished in La Liga. Three teams going down each season helps to freshen up the league and gives an opportunity to smaller sides to reach the top flight. Relegation has been part of La Liga since 1929/30, and is an alternative source of entertainment to the battle for the title.

Who Got Relegated From La Liga Last Season?

Eibar, Real Valladolid and Huesca were relegated from La Liga last season. Eibar finished bottom with 30 points, Valladolid came 19th with 31 points, and Huesca came closest to avoiding the drop with 34 points.

Which Clubs Have Been Relegated the Most?

(Last 30 seasons)

Club Number of Relegations
Real Valladolid 5
Rayo Vallecano 5
Real Betis 3
Real Zaragoza 3
Osasuna 3
Numancia 3
Tenerife 3
Sporting Gijon 3
Levante 3
Real Mallorca 3
Deportivo La Coruna 3

Each of the eleven teams above has been relegated from La Liga at least three times since the 1991/92 season. In addition, 18 sides have been demoted twice and another 18 have fallen through the trapdoor once.

That means a total of 47 teams have gone down from the top tier of Spanish soccer in the last 30 seasons. By way of comparison, 44 sides have suffered the same fate in England’s top flight over the same period.

Which La Liga Teams Have Never Been Relegated?

Real Madrid, Barcelona, and Athletic Bilbao have never been relegated from La Liga, unlike the other 59 sides who have spent at least one season in the league since its creation.

Atletico Madrid have been demoted on two occasions and were the first-ever Spanish side to be sent down to the Segunda Division when they finished bottom of La Liga in 1930.

Who Gets Promoted to La Liga?

The three teams relegated from La Liga each year are replaced by three clubs from the Segunda Division. The top two go up automatically, as Espanyol and Mallorca did last term. Both sides accumulated 82 points but Espanyol were crowned champions of the second tier thanks to a superior head-to-head record in games between the pair.

The teams that finish third, fourth, fifth, and sixth in the Segunda qualify for the promotion play-offs. The winner of that mini-tournament also wins a place in La Liga.

How Can I Watch La Liga on TV?

Soccer fans based in the United States can watch La Liga on ESPN. Kick-off times usually range from 11.00 AM to 4.00 PM (EDT).

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]