La Liga Best 11 Players from the Weekend: Matchday 21

Real Madrid went top after they beat Valladolid to win their 3rd game in a row. And Madrid took 1st place after Barcelona lost 2-0 away to Valencia. Atletico Madrid continued their poor form when they could only draw 0-0 at home to Leganes. After 21 games the league title and top 4 places are still up for grabs and we look at the players who performed the best in matchday 21. Do you have any of them? Now is the time to look!

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

The goalkeeper choice goes to Thibaut Courtois because Real Madrid were the only side at the weekend to play away and keep a clean sheet and that was the goalkeeper’s 10th of the season.

Defender: Nacho- Real Madrid 8pts

Nacho played out the perfect game as he helped keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win for Madrid over Valladolid and he also scored the winning and only goal of the game. An unlikely hero that is valued at 6.5m and has scored 21 points so far in total.

Defender: Roberto Rosales- Leganes 5pts

Roberto Rosales starred well for Leganes who stunned Atletico Madrid at their own stadium to hold out for a 0-0 draw, even with 10 men in the end. Rosales is valued at 5.5m and that was third clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Jose Angel- Eibar 5pts

Eibar held off Celta Vigo away with that game finishing 0-0 and Jose Angel was thick in the action and made some crucial tackles as he earned 5 points for the clean sheet. He can be part of your team for 8m.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5pts

Now with a total of 54 points for the season Sergio Ramos is the best performing defender in La Liga. He has played in 10 games where Madrid have kept a clean sheet and the veteran star does not come too cheap at 9m, but seems worth it.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 8pts

Portu had a man of the match game after he assisted in Real Sociedad’s first goal and then  scored later on as his team won 3-0 against Mallorca in a one sided game. He has 42 points so far this season and is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Ruben Garcia- Osasuna 6pts

Osasuna’s game was 0-0 with just 10 minutes left when they were awarded a penalty and Ruben Garcia under obvious pressure scored and that goal was vital as the home side went onto win their game 2-0. Having earned 32 points this season Garcia looks like a great deal, valued at just 4.5m.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

Kroos was part of a Madrid midfield that stayed firm in a difficult match and helped the defence keep a clean sheet and the German international then assisted in Madrid’s only goal of the game. Kroos currently has 35 points.

Midfielder: Jesus Navas- Sevilla 4pts

Sevilla beat Granada 2-0 and the opening goal which helped the home side to win the game was assisted by Navas, who has had another solid outing for the club he has become most associated too. He has 24 points so far this season and costs 4.5m.

Striker: Carlos Bacca- Villarreal 4pts

It was a low earning week for strikers, and Carlos Bacca scored one of Villarreal’s goals as they beat Alaves away from home 2-1. It was Bacca’s first league goal of the season but he has only started a handful of games for the club. His value is 10.5m, perhaps this could kick start his form?

Striker: Angel- Getafe 4pts

Angel got Getafe’s goal as they earned 3 valuable points at home to Real Betis winning the game 1-0. It was the players 9th goal of the season and he has 35 points already this season and his value is 7.5m.

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Villarreal looking for La Liga boost in Europe

Villarreal

Villarreal begin their Europa League campaign against Rangers on Thursday night, and the Yellow Submarine need a positive result to kick start their La Liga campaign.

Javier Calleja’s side finished the 2017-18 season strongly, winning four of their last six La Liga games to seal a fifth place finish, and Europa League football for 2018-19.

However they have not been able to pick up where they left off at the start of the new campaign, with two defeats and a draw in their first three league matches.

That miserable run was ended last weekend, with a much needed 1-0 victory away at Leganes, but the issues remain.

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Gerard Moreno looking to add goals to Villarreal

Villarreal's players celebrate their victory over Atletico Madrid after their Spanish first division soccer match at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal

Villarreal have been busy during the close season period, and the Yellow Submarine have spent €70 million on new players ahead of the 2018-19 La Liga season.

There have also been a number of big name exits from the club in recent weeks, with highly rated young midfielder Rodri departing for Atletico Madrid.

However manager Javier Calleja has secured his key targets ahead of the new campaign, and they looks set for a strong season.

The main new face at El Madrigal is striker Gerard Moreno, who comes in from Espanyol for a fee of €20 million.

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Maradona apologises over England “robbery” rant

maradona

Legendary Argentina striker Diego Maradona has apologised for claiming that England committed “monumental robbery” in their World Cup last-16 tie with Colombia on Tuesday evening. The former Napoli star was incensed that American referee Mark Geiger had apparently shown a bias towards England, punishing Colombia more often than the Three Lions. Speaking on a nightly World Cup show on Venezuela-based Telesur, Maradona had said: “Here’s a gentleman who decides, a referee who, if you Google him, shouldn’t be given a match of this magnitude… Geiger, an American, what a coincidence.”

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Colombia to win World Cup?

After having an impressive and memorable campaign in the previous World Cup despite being knocked out in the Quarter-finals by Brazil, Colombia will be looking to have a good run in the competition once again as the whole nation will behind them as well as many football fans.

This year’s friendly matches have been more than positive for the side, where they achieved an incredible comeback over France as well as two stalemates against the likes of Australia and Egypt. The goalless draws against the latter opponents may be seen as a downfall, on the other hand, it certainly shows that Colombia can remain dominant and defensively solid when needed to be.

We now look more into the information we need to know about Colombia on and off the pitch…

Fixtures

Tuesday, 19th June – Colombia vs Japan (Mordovia Arena, Mordovia) kick-off 13:00pm

Sunday, 24th June – Poland vs Colombia (Kazan Arena, Kazan) kick-off 19:00pm

Thursday, 28th June – Senegal vs Colombia (Samara Arena, Samara) kick-off 15:00pm

Colombia

Star player

Considered as one of the best attacking midfielders within Europe, it’s no surprise at all that James Rodriguez is seen as Colombia’s main man as he is levels ahead of his team-mates. The Bayern Munich midfielder, who is currently on loan from Real Madrid, offers a lot when he is in the starting line-up, from producing clear-cut chances for the attackers to racking up many goals and assists himself. The 26-year-old is regarded as an aesthetically pleasing player to watch on and off the ball.

The one to keep an eye out for…

Davinson Sanchez is surely the well-known rising talent within the Colombia squad that everyone needs to keep a look out for, someone who has had the perfect debut season at Tottenham Hotspur and is now been thought of as one of the best centre-backs within the Premier League. With his demanding and dominant displays from the backline week in and out, the youngster could become a popular figure for his country if he can go on to replicating his club performances for Colombia.

Given the attacking prowess that Colombia have in Carlos Bacca, Falcao, James Rodriguez and Luis Muriel, it’s more than important that the side’s defence and midfield can also remain compact and consistent through the competition. This is one of the reasons to why it is ideal to keep an eye out for Davinson Sanchez, as he has a huge job on his hands that will need to be dealt with effectively.

Davinson

What to expect from manager Jose Pekerman?

Since taking over as the national coach of Colombia, Jose Pekerman has done a very good job in taking the country to two consecutive World Cups, proving that his man-management and vital decision making of picking individuals that fit into his system is quite efficient. Also, the Argentine has won the South American Coach of the Year award on three occasions over the last six years.

Los Cafeteros are expected to play within a 4-2-3-1 setup, where the team would benefit from the movement and pace of Juan Cuadrado and Carlos Bacca on the flanks whilst James will look to drop deep from the number ten role as well as provide some service to the lone forward in Radamel Falcao. Overall, Peckerman is seen as a saviour for Colombian football as the supporters from the South American country are finally seeing some golden stars being produced after quite a long time.

How far can Colombia go in the competition?

It’s never easy to say how far a team can go in the World Cup as it does come down to little moments as well as a bit of luck, on the other hand, Colombia are more than capable of reaching the Quarter-finals like they did four years ago in Brazil. The side’s results in recent years against top-tier oppositions are not convincing at all, but they will still be seen as the dark horses of the tournament.

In the end, Colombia have pure potential and will either collapse absurdly or deliver in perfect time.

Play the most challenging Fantasy World Cup 2018 game here www.fantasy-worldcup.com

Euro Fantasy League Podcast – #16 – Bacca, Simeone and Messi Hat-Trick Heroes, Barcelona Bag La Liga Title

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In the latest episode of the Euro Fantasy League Podcast, Dave shows his sensitivity relating to marriage and Jamie displays a lack of football knowledge.

Hat-Trick heroes Carlos Bacca, Giovanni Simeone and Lionel Messi are praised. Darren Moore comes in for some props as well, while the lads worry for Huddersfield.

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Season run in could harm Villarreal’s Europa push

Villarreal

As the La Liga season begins to draw to a close, the permutations for relegation and European qualification begin to be discussed.

With the top four already a closed shop for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and Valencia, the battle for the remaining Europa League spots opens up.

The winner of this weekend’s Copa del Rey final will receive a Europa League place, but with Barcelona already assured of a Champions League spot their should be three La Liga places up for grabs in Europe’s second competition next season.

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Plain sailing for Villarreal’s Yellow Submarine

Villarreal

With so much of the La Liga focus this season on high flying Barcelona and an under performing Real Madrid, Villarreal will be happy to be operating under the radar.

The Yellow Submarine has enjoyed another excellent season at the top table in Spain, currently in fifth place in La Liga, and on a six-game unbeaten league run.

The highlight of their recent fine form came in the form of a 1-0 win against Real Madrid, courtesy of a brilliant late goal from midfielder Pablo Fornals.

That result flagged up what any keen watcher of La Liga this season would already have told you, that Villarreal are no longer a surprise package, but an established name in the division. Continue reading

VIDEO: Coutinho frustrates Liverpool and Barcelona while injuries hit Real Madrid

Just over a week into January and fantasy managers are already dealing with transfers and injuries across Europe. To help cover some of the biggest news and fixtures, Nicholas Carroll provides this week’s Euro Fantasy League preview.

In the Premier League, Liverpool will look to defend their 13-match unbeaten run in the league against Manchester City without the recently departed Philippe Coutinho.

Romelu Lukaku looks to have returned to full fitness and will be a big chance to score when Manchester United hosts a struggling Stoke City. Continue reading

Milan looking for a return to the Glory Days

AC Milan completed another miserable season in Serie A by finishing sixth and winning less than half of their matches in the top flight. It’s a long way from their golden years and in particular 1998-90 when they were winning everything in sight and disposing of their rivals with ease. They have sat back and watched Juventus take over Italian football and as the Turin club romped to their sixth title in a row, the first time an Italian club has managed such a feat, it must have stirred something at Milan as they have made some major signings in a bid to get back to the summit of the Serie A. Continue reading