La Liga continues to be surprised by new comers Cadiz

Look at the Spanish league table and you may be very surprised to see who is currently in 5th place. It is Cadiz, and while people in Spain have most certainly heard of the club there are probably a fair few football fans around the world who haven’t. Still that may have changed when last weekend they beat Barcelona, and eyebrows have certainly be raised. What can Cadiz achieve this season?

In reality before the start of the new campaign just finishing 17th would have been seen as success for the club, after all for a club like Cadiz the main objective after being promoted from the Segunda has to be survival. But the club has really punched above their weight and produced some fantastic results along the way.

Presently they have won 5 games from 12 and lost 4, the win over Barcelona ended a 3 game run without victory. Clearly there is much to be done at the club who lack consistency, but nobody was expecting such a good and solid start from them.

Cadiz are back in La Liga and it has taken 14 years and perhaps there that is not a coincidence given that the club have had a busy 18 months behind the scenes. At the end of 2019 Manuel Vizcaino Fernandez was given the job of chairman a contract signed for the next six years. Then, just a few months later, an unnamed American investor bought a minority stake in the club, and while Cadiz will still operate on a limited budget it has still helped the club to move forward and grow.

Alvaro Cervera is the coach of Cadiz and he has spent the majority of his career in the lower leagues. But his average win rates have been above 50% and the 55 year old has been at Cadiz for the past four years. It is refreshing one could claim that Cerveza has been kept on when Cadiz finally got promotion to La Liga and with the way they have started his job isn’t under threat anytime soon.

The player that has stood out for the club so far is Fali in defence and he has 17 fantasy points. Fali has helped 5 clean sheets and he was signed from Barcelona’s B team. But one of the keys to Cadiz’s success has been veteran striker Alvaro Negredo most famous perhaps for his stint at Real Madrid a decade ago and of course he has also played for Manchester City. At 35 playing for Cadiz in the top flight has really worked out for Negredo and he has been involved in six goals so far, 3 goals and 3 assists.

Like Fali, Cala has also impressed at the back and also kept 5 clean sheets. He is 31 now and started his career at Sevilla. It has been this mix of veteran quality players and youth that has propelled Cadiz and made sure, at least for now, that their season will be about trying to stay in the top half of the table rather than in 17th place, and any fan of the club is going to accept that.

With 18 points so far for Cadiz which is four more than Barcelona albeit Cadiz have played 2 games more, means that the club are projected to finish the season with 57 points. That would mark an excellent return, let’s see if they can achieve it.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 8

There is a team in first place in Spain who begin with Real but it isn’t the one you’re expecting. Real Sociedad won their 4th game in a row and the club are a point clear of Real Madrid who hammered Huesca.

Atletico Madrid recorded their third straight win in a row but there was more misery for Barcelona who have gone 4 games without victory as they drew 1-1 at Deportivo, they are in the unlikely place of 12th and this is their worst start to a league campaign in 18 years. This weekend felt like it was all about red cards though and there were 5 shown.

Below are the best 11 players from the weekend in La Liga.

Goalkeeper: Fernando Pacheco- Alaves 0pts

It is an incredibly rare occurrence that a player would get into the team with zero points. But all the keepers linked to fantasy football scored no points or minus. Whilst many scored zero points Fernando Pacheco criheld the mighty Barcelona to a 1-1 draw and gets the nod.

Defender: Fali- Cadiz 5pts

Cadiz were the only club in La Liga to keep a clean sheet as they beat Eibar 2-0. Fali was part of a defence that stayed strong throughout and helped maintain yet another clean sheet for the surprise package team of this season.

Defender: Cala- Cadiz 5pts

Cala makes the best 11 yet again after his fantastic contribution in the Eibar game where Cadiz won 2-0 and he picked up points for a clean sheet.

Defender: Carlos Akapo- Cadiz 5pts

Carlos Akapo has been in our team of the weekends before and he picked up another 5pts in a superb defence display from Cadiz. Akapo now has 18pts and is only valued at 5m. He looks a real bargain.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 2pts

This was a weekend where defenders in La Liga did not really shine and 2 points was enough to get the final 11 cut. Trippier has had a fine season so far with Atletico as they beat Osasuna in an important fixture winning 3-1.

Midfielder: Federico Valverde- Real Madrid 6pts

Real Madrid beat Huesca 4-1 at the weekend and are 2nd in the league. Federico Valverde had a superb game setting up the first goal for Eden Hazard to open the scoring and then scoring the 3rd goal which by then effectively killed off the encounter.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 4pts

Portu has been one of the outstanding players in the league so far. He has acquired 28pts so far and at the weekend added another four as his side beat Celta Vigo 4-1. What was amazing is that Portu only came on in the 46th minute and then assisted in a further 2 goals.

Midfielder: Lucas Torreira- Atlteico Madrid 4pts

Lucas Torreira is settling in at his new club from his Arsenal move well and they are in brilliant form winning their last 3 games in a row. He scored the final goal as his club overcame Osasuna 3-1.

Midfielder: Sergio Canales – Real Betis 4pts

Real Betis beat Elche 3-1 and that was largely thanks to the underrated Sergio Canales. The midfielder set up striker Cristian Tello twice to finish off the game, and Canales now has 16pts in total.

Striker: Cristian Tello- Real Betis 10pts

Cristian Tello was on form has he scored 2 goals for his club Real Betis as they beat Elche 3-1. Tello’s value is just 6m and he has scored 4 goals already this season.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid 10pts

He may be getting older but Karim Benzema has been a rock for Real Madrid throughout the years. He was easily the man of the match as Real Madrid beat Huesca 4-1. Benzema not only scored 2 goals putting his season total to 3 he also assisted in a goal also.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 2

About half the teams in La Liga have played 2 games but matches are still being staggered and Barcelona for example will not play their first game until September 27th. Real Madrid, the champions did open their account and it was in disappointing fashion as they could only draw away 0-0 against Real Sociedad. But did any of their players make the final cut?

Check below to see if you’re fantasy players made the best 11 in Spain at the weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Remiro- Real Sociedad 7pts

There were a few goalkeepers who kept a clean sheet and got 7pts but we will give the nod to Remiro of Real Sociedad who helped to keep Real Madrid at bay as the game ended 0-0. His value is 6m.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi makes the best 11 team for the 2nd week in a row. Mandi earned 5pts as his Real Betis team beat Real Valladolid 2-0 and he helped to keep a clean sheet and is becoming a stalwart of the Betis defence.

Defender: Marc Bartra- Real Betis 5pts

More points for Marc Bartra who played well alongside Mandi and there is a good relationship between the two players as Betis once again kept a clean sheet. Bartra is valued at 6.5m.

Defender: Fali- Cadiz 5pts

Fali came on in the 2nd half and helped his team shore up the defence and he kept his head as Cadiz beat Huesca 2-0 and kept a very important clean sheet away from home against the odds.

Defender: Djene- Getafe 5pts

Djene is a good defender who popped up in the best 11 players a few times last season and could be worth adding to your team. He helped his side Getafe keep a clean sheet as they beat Osasuna 1-0 at home at the weekend.

Midfielder: William Carvalho- Real Betis 6pts

Real Betis won their game 2-0 and William Carvalho scored a goal for the club to have a very good weekend. He was always a danger in midfield and seems to have hit it off with Nabil Fekir. It should be a good season for Betis.

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 5pts

Nabil Fekir assisted and scored a goal but lost some points as he was booked. A very good player, his passing his sublime at times and he is valued in the fantasy team at 10m and has started the season very well.

Midfielder: Filip Malbasic- Cadiz 4pts

Malbasic might not be a house hold name but he helped his side Cadiz to a win at the weekend as he assisted in the 2nd goal which ended up being the winner towards the end of the game, he has started the season positively.

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj- Real Sociedad 2pts

Just 2 pts has seen Januzaj make the selection in a weekend which was hardly vintage for La Liga, plus we are not back to a full schedule. He did well and held his own though in  midfield against the champions Real Madrid in a game that ended goalless.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo 8pts

Aspas is another player who kept finishing in the best 11 players of the weekend and he is becoming a real legend for his club Celta Vigo, Aspas scored both of Celta Vigo’s goals as they beat Valencia 2-1. He is worth so much to the club but you can add him to your fantasy team for just 8.5m.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 6pts

Moreno earned 6 pts at the weekend as Villarreal won their game 2-1. Moreno scored and assisted for the winner, and he had a goal disallowed so it was a very busy afternoon for the striker who deserves his place in the best 11 of the La Liga weekend.

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Al acecho de la última plaza

La Liga aún no sabe quiénes serán los 20 equipos que la conformarán la temporada que viene. El descenso de Sporting, Osasuna y Granada se compensará con los ya confirmados ascensos de Levante (que vuelve a la primera división tras un breve paréntesis) y de Girona (que debutará en la máxima categoría tras dos frustrados play-offs en los que se quedó cerca). Sin embargo, aún queda una plaza en juego. Y hay 4 equipos que anhelan y aspiran a jugar la próxima campaña en Primera. Continue reading

Real Madrid could be expelled for embarrassing blunder in the Copa Del Rey

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Real Madrid are in danger of being expelled from the Copa Del Rey after it emerged they had fielded an ineligible player in Wednesday night’s victory over Cadiz. Winger Denis Cheryshev started against the third-tier club and scored the game’s first goal before being withdrawn at half-time after Real realised their error. Cheryshev had picked up three yellow cards in the competition for his former club last season which meant he should have been suspended for the Cadiz fixture. The opposition club in question reported the blunder, but wanted to show Real no ill will.

“This situation required a speedy decision because there was no time to speculate. The board has met and decided to report Real Madrid for fielding an ineligible player, out of respect for our fans and the club. We decided to do this with a heavy heart, but it is our firm decision. We do this not without a sense of pain, because we are friendly with the club. We read the report, evaluated the situation and weighed up our decision. I think we’ve acted responsibly, said Cadiz president Manuel Vizcaino.

The two sides are still set to embark in a second leg of the competition, but Real could be punished with expulsion, ruling them out of silverware and putting Cadiz into the fifth round at their expense. No blame was placed on manager Rafael Benitez, but there was some responsibility on the team who monitor players’ availability. Real are among the favourites to go all the way in the Copa Del Rey, winning the cup in 2014, but this could be a big blow for Los Blancos who are already six points adrift in the La Liga title race.

Benitez was certainly taking the Copa Del Rey seriously this campaign, viewing it as a chance to earn some silverware in his debut season at the club. He was apologetic following the match, however, revealing he substituted the player immediately when made aware of his ineligibility “in good faith”, but Cadiz reporting the incident means Real are likely to be given a severe punshiment.

Matters aren’t helped considering Cheryshev started the match and even scored the first goal of the game, as he clearly had an impact on the outcome. Real could have been dealt a lenient sanction if the Russian midfielder was on the bench, but now an administration error sees him making headlines for potentially costing his side a place in this season’s Copa Del Rey.