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La Liga – Recap

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La Liga – Recap

The suspension of world football due to the outbreak of Covid-19 was heartbreaking for all football fans. After going 2 months without football, we have been blessed with Bundesliga action for the past 3 weeks. And now it is time for Spanish football to return.

The season restarts with Sevilla vs Real Betis on Thursday 11th June. In the UK, all the remaining La Liga games will be shown exclusively on Premier Sports. Fortunately you can sign up for Premier Sports free for the month of June. And since there will be games on every day until at least 25th June, that makes for a lot of free football! You would be forgiven for not remembering how the league is shaping up, so here is a quick recap of La Liga ahead of its return.

Title Race

It is a two horse race for the title, between Spain’s two biggest clubs, Barcelona and Real Madrid. Barca currently sit 2 points ahead of Los Blancos, with the hope of grabbing their third consecutive title. For all of Real Madrid’s Champions League dominance over the last decade, they have actually only won 2 of the last 11 campaigns. They’ll be hoping to better that record over the coming decade. Luis Suarez will be returning from injury for Barca, meanwhile Real Madrid will welcome back Eden Hazard, looking to kickstart his career following a lacklustre start. Both players will likely be vital for their respective sides in their battle for the title.

Challenge for Europe

Just like the title battle, the war for the remaining two Champions League spots also looks like going down to the wire. Just 2 points separate Sevilla, Real Sociedad, Getafe and Atletico Madrid. Valencia are also loitering just behind them, remaining with an outside chance. Sevilla narrowly missed out on a Champions League spot last season, so are hoping to make amends this season. Getafe have been a strong force since their disappointing relegation in the 16/17 season, and their hopes of reaching the Champions League for the first time in their history are well and truly alive.

Real Sociedad have been one of the teams to watch this season. They have a number of exciting players, such as Oyarzabal, Willian José and Odegaard (on loan from Real Madrid). On the other hand, Atletico Madrid look miles away from the title winning side of the 13/14 season, with the departures of Godin and Griezmann clearly hitting hard. Despite their heroics over Liverpool, they have a lot of competition to overcome if they want to be a part of Europe’s elite competition next season.

Valencia, Villarreal, Granada and Athletic Bilbao all remain hopeful of an outside chance of competing in next season’s Europa League. As per La Liga rules, if the winner of the Copa del Rey finishes in a Champions League or Europa League spot, then the 7th placed side enters the latter tournament. Given that the final is set to be contested between Sociedad and Bilbao, an additional Europa League spot may still be up for grabs for one of these teams.

Relegation Battle

At the wrong end of the table, it has been a bleak season for Espanyol. They sit bottom, 6 points from safety. Unless they can turn their form around when the league resumes, they look set to end their 26 year stay in La Liga. Leganes are just above them, only 3 points from safety. Just 4 points separate the next four teams, Mallorca, Celta Vigo, Eibar and Real Valladolid, all of whom will be hoping that their fortunes will turn around when the league restarts.

Player Stats

It will come as no surprise that Lionel Messi leads the goalscoring charts. Just 1 more goal will mean he has scored 20+ league goals for twelve consecutive seasons. His 19 goals are 5 more than second place Karim Benzema. Messi also leads the way in terms of assists, setting up teammates 12 times. That’s 4 more than Portu of Real Sociedad in second. Perhaps surprisingly, Thibaut Courtois has kept the most clean sheets, 12 in 24 games played. David Soria of Getafe also has 12, but with 3 more games played.

It is an exciting time to watch La Liga, as games will be played one at a time, all of which will be televised on Premier Sports. It all kicks off on Thursday 11th June, with Sevilla hosting Real Betis. With the title, Europeans spots and relegation places all tightly contested, it should make for fantastic viewing!

 

We hope you enjoyed the article ‘La Liga – Recap’. Who do you think will be crowned champions at the end of the season? Let us know!

 

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Charles graduated from the University of Exeter with a degree in Psychology with Sport and Exercise Science. He has been a football fan his entire life, playing Sunday league football for many years and also 7-a-side whilst at university. Charles is now following his passion by writing football related content. You can contact Charles at: cf.garinet8@hotmail.co.uk

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