Activities Sports & Athletics Understanding Spain's Primera Division Your Guide to the League Table Share PINTEREST Email Print Barcelona lifting the Liga trophy. David Ramos / Getty Images Sports & Athletics Soccer Soccer Culture Basics Playing & Coaching Soccer Players Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Stewart Coggin Stewart Coggin has written about the sport of soccer since 2002. He is an expert, and his articles appear on many sports websites. our editorial process Stewart Coggin Updated March 02, 2019 Spain’s Primera Division is made up of 20 teams. The usual round-robin format applies, where teams play each other twice: home and away. At the end of the season, each team will have played 38 games. The team with the most points at the end of the season is the champion. Matches are played every weekend throughout the season, except when there is a break for international games. Games take place on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and evenings, with some morning kick-offs (kick-off times vary). In the 2009-10 season, a Monday night match was also introduced. There are also midweek fixtures at intermittent periods throughout the season, with these matches played on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings. Matches are often rescheduled with less that two weeks' notice due to TV requirements, The Points System Three points are awarded for a win, one for a draw, and none for a defeat. A team cannot accrue more points by scoring more goals in a match, although this will help their head-to-head record against other teams as well as their goal difference. La Liga differs from some other leagues in that teams’ head-to-head records are used to separate them if they are equal on points. Whichever team has the best goal difference in the two matches will be placed highest if the points are equal. If head-to-head goal difference is the same, goal difference over the entire season is used then goals scored. When more that two teams are sharing the same number of points, the points accumulated in the matches between the teams are used to rank them then goal difference if required. If this is not sufficient, goal difference over the entire season is used then goals scored. Further tie-breakers are seldom required beyond that. The League Table The winners of the Primera Division go automatically into the following season’s Champions League. This also applies to the runners-up and the team that finishes third. The fourth-placed team must get through the third qualifying round before they take their place in the Champions League group stage. The teams who finish in fifth and sixth place enter the Europa League. Staying Up The bottom three clubs in the Primera Division are relegated to the Segunda Division – the division below. These teams are replaced by the three top ranked teams at the end of the Segunda Division’s 42-game season. It is unusual for any team to be relegated with 40 points, and as in other leagues containing 20 teams, this is the target for clubs aiming to avoid the drop.