Real Betis to break transfer record for Borja Iglesias

Borja Iglesias

Real Betis fell away from the European places last season primarily due to a lack of firepower and a blunt attack in the final third. The striking position was earmarked many months ago for being their primary area of concern this summer with the aim of landing a minimum of one prolific player.

A multitude of reports now claim that the club are prepared to break their 22-year long transfer record to land Espanyol striker Borja Iglesias. The hitman has a €28m release clause at the RCDE Stadium and that would trump the signing of Brazilian winger Denilson, in then (1997) a world record transfer which brought Betis into global headlines. Continue reading

Espanyol could be forced to SELL star names before they buy new players

espanyol-hermoso

New Espanyol manager David Gallego could find himself faced with a particularly unpopular decision to make ahead of the 2019-20 La Liga season.

Despite securing a dramatic last-day-of-the-season Europa League qualification, the Catalan side are likely to be be pursuing European football again, but without the budget to match their ambitions.

With that in mind, Gallego is likely to have to sell one of the club’s big names, in order to bring fresh faces through the door at the RCDE Stadium.

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Espanyol wary of summer of sales and instability

espanyol

Espanyol are back into Europe for the first time since 2007 and there is a tangible sense of excitement and optimism around the club. Espanyol went unbeaten through their last nine matches of the season, including winning each of their last three, to clinch seventh place and a return to the Europa League – their first European venture since losing the 2007 final on penalties against Sevilla.

Yet within weeks of the league finishing, there is already a sense of anxiety and unease about events that are unfolding this summer. Boss Rubi already appears certain to depart, having told the club chairman Chen Yansheng that he wants to be allowed to join Real Betis. The two clubs are currently locked in negotiations to find a fee to confirm the move. Continue reading

Espanyol boss Rubi set to join Real Betis

Rubi Espanyol

The departure of Quique Setien from Real Betis created one of the most high-profile and interesting job vacancies in European football. In his first season at the helm, Setien led the club back to European football but inflated expectations and a greatly increased budget meant that this season’s 10th-place finish was one of disappointment.

A series of stars have arrived at Los Verdiblancos over the past 18 months: Pau Lopez, Marc Bartra, William Carvalho, Sergio Canales, Giovani Lo Celso. International standard players whose standard is competing in Europe and next season presents an opportunity for the club to focus on domestic competitions and potentially even launch a bid for a top four spot. Continue reading

Week 38: Best 11 Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

Barcelona-vs-Eibar-1(1)

La Liga has ended for another season. As we knew weeks ago Barcelona are champions and Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid made up  2nd and 3rd places respectively. Valencia grabbed the final Champions League spot from Getafe and Girona joined Huesca and Rayo Vallecano back to the Segunda division.

We take a look below at the final best team of the Spanish league season, who performed the best and were they in your team?

Formation 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Jaume- Valencia

A couple of shot stoppers got the required 7 points but we will give this to Juame since his efforts more than helped Valencia reach the Champions League position by finishing in 4th place. It was also Valencia’s 3rd win in a row.

Defender: Daniel Wass- Valencia

Keeping with Valencia, Wass was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet with a 2-0 win over Valladolid ensuring Champions League football. Wass made some very important interceptions.

Defender: Roberto Rosales-Espanyol

Roberto Rosales picked up a fantastic 9 points at the weekend as he scored Espanyol’s opening game and helped keep a clean sheet. The result gave Espanyol the final spot in the Europa League too.

Defender: Martin Mantovani- Huesca

Huesca are relegated but Martin Mantovani had a weekend to remember. Huesca beat Leganes 2-1 and Mantovani came off the bench to get 2 goals and win the game for his club, that’s no mean feat for a defender who hadn’t been in good form.

Defender: Marc Bartra- Real Betis

Real Betis stunned Real Madrid at the Bernabeu as they beat them 2-0 in the final game of the season. Bartra kept  a clean sheet which is rare away to Madrid and should be applauded and did fantastically well.

Midfielder: Adri Embarba- Rayo Vallecano

Adri Embarba has made a few team of the weeks and that is good going for a player that plays for the bottom club. They drew 2-2 against Celta Vigo with Embarba getting the first goal and then assisting in the second.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia

Carlos Soler earned 6 points as he scored the first goal as Valencia beat Valladolid 2-0 to finish in 4th place. Soler has 31 points overall from 27 games played and that was just his 2nd goal of the season.

Midfielder: Victor Sanchez- Espanyol

Espanyol made it to the final Europa League spot on the final day of the season and some of that success was down to Sanchez who assisted in both goals in their 2-0 victory, to earn 5 points.

Midfielder: Daniel Parejo-Valencia

Parejo has been one of the stalwarts and make up of Valencia’s team for some time and he was able to earn 4 points at the weekend and squeeze into the team of the weekend as Valencia beat off Getafe to finish in 4th place.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo

Iago Aspas is the 5th best striker in fantasy la liga and he scored both of Celta Vigo’s goals when they drew 2-2 with Vallecano. What was impressive is that they were 2-0 down with just ten minutes to play.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona

Of course it’s that man again, the one and only Lionel Messi who rounds off the best players of the weekend on the final day of the season. Messi scored another 2 goals as Barcelona drew their final game away to Eibar finishing 2-2. It was Messi’s 36th goal of the season.

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Week 37: Best 11 Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

BOR(1)

Just one team- Barcelona won from the top 3 as they increased their lead at the top to 11 points over Atletico Madrid. Real Madrid lost again as they just want the season to end but they will finish in 3rd anyway and be ready for the Champions League.

But the excitement is all about who will get that 4th and final Champions League spot. Currently Valencia have 58 points and lead on goal difference from Getafe who also have 58 points and there is also Sevilla in the mix with 56.

Below we take a look at the best performers of this past weekend in La Liga- did you have them in your team?

Formation 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Diego Lopez- Espanyol

Diego Lopez has kept his 2nd clean sheet in a row after Espanyol beat Leganes 2-0 to go into 9th place. Lopez gained 7 points at the weekend and now is valued at 4m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona

Yet another clean sheet for Jordi Alba and that is why he is rated as the best defender in La Liga Fantasy rankings. 5 points earned as Barcelona eased to a  2-0 win over Getafe.

Defender: Gerard Pique-Barcelona

People talk about Lionel Messi and the main reason that Barcelona have retained their league title. But the pairing of Alba and Pique at the back for the club has been instrumental, and their chemistry is unique. Pique made some great tackles and earned 5 points and his value is 7.5m.

Defender: Roberto Rosales- Espanyol

Roberto Rosales seemed like he was at the heart of everything happening for Espanyol as he helped to keep another clean sheet for the team who are now inside the top 10. Espanyol beat Leganes 2-0 and Rosales is valued at 5.5m.

Defender: Jaume Costa- Villarreal

Jaume Costa starred in Villarreal’s vital 1-0 win over Eibar which now guarantees the club safety for next season. Costa has 22 points for the season and is valued at 6.5m.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia- Athletic Bilbao 

Raul Garcia earned 8 points for Bilbao as they beat Celta Vigo 3-1 to shoot up into a Europa League spot. Garcia had the weekend of his season though as he scored the opening 2 goals of the game for his club including a penalty. Garcia is valued at 8m and has acquired 41 points.

Midfielder: Joaquin Sanchez- Real Betis

Sanchez was influential as the midfielder earned 7 points at the weekend to take his total tally to 37. He scored both of Real Betis’ goals including getting a last minute winner in a memorable weekend for the player.

Midfielder: Arturo Vidal- Barcelona

Vidal earned 5 points to make this team for league leaders Barcelona who brushed aside Getafe 2-0. Vidal got the opening goal and that was his 3rd of the season for the Catalan giants.

Midfielder: Sarabia- Sevilla

Sarabia continues to be an outstanding player for Sevilla and earned 4 points at the weekend. The player is ranked as the best midfielder in La Liga Fantasy rankings with 87 points and is valued at 7m. Sevilla just remain outside of a Champions League place and drew against Atletico Madrid 1-1 at the weekend.

Striker: Borja Iglesias- Espanyol

Borja Iglesias earned a brilliant 8 points as Espanyol beat Leganes 2-0 and the striker scored both goals including a nervous penalty which sealed all the three points. He has 69 points for the season and has scored a terrific 17 goals, claiming to be one of the best forwards in Spain right now.

Striker: Enes Unal- Real Valladolid

Enes Unal wouldn’t see his name on a player of the weekend too much but the Rayo Valladolid player opened the scoring against Vallecano and then assisted in his team’s 2-1 win over the club. Unal has 23 points and is rated at 5.5m.

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Five defeats in a row has Espanyol in a spin

Rubi Espanyol

It is said that a month is a long time in football and for fans of Espanyol, the past five weeks have felt like an eternity. On Matchday 12 at Sevilla, Rubi’s side led 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining. The club were poised to stay second and go within one point of league leaders and city rivals Barcelona. Dizzying heights for a club accustomed to languishing in mid-table.

Two late goals saw the Catalan side downed in Seville. Then they lost 3-1 at home to regional rivals Girona. Next up was a trip to Getafe, and another damaging defeat: 3-0. The Barcelona derby at home to the champions offered the ultimate sense of reviving form but instead they lost by four goals while they subsequently slipped to a 3-1 loss at home to Real Betis. Five games, five defeats. Continue reading

La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 12

parteyWith a full card of action scheduled in La Liga this coming weekend, let’s take a look at which players are worth consideration for inclusion in your fantasy teams over the next few days. With some nice fixtures coming up such as Sevilla doing battle with Espanyol, Celta Vigo hosting Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid hosting Athletic Bilbao (on Saturday) there will be plenty to keep you entertained between Friday and Sunday, so without further ado we will adopt a 4-3-3 formation this week and get cracking!

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La Liga Best XI – Week 11

ponsThis past weekend saw a couple of cracking games in La Liga, with Real Betis and Celta Vigo fighting out a thrilling 3-3 draw while Barcelona earned a hard-fought victory at Rayo Vallecano, triumphing 3-2. That win means the Catalans retain their three point lead over local rivals Espanyol at the top of La Liga, while Vallecano are four points adrift from safety, sitting second bottom. With that in mind, let us now take a look at which 11 players performed the respective roles the best in La Liga this weekend.

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Espanyol looking to keep pushing their progress

espanyol

Espanyol are certainly a surprise name to be included in La Liga’s Top Five, as the season approaches the end of its first quarter, but their results have warranted their rise up the table.

New manager Joan Francesc Ferrer arrived in June, after steering Huesca to promotion from the Segunda Division last season, and he faces his former club this weekend as Espanyol head to Aragon.

He has looked to establish a solid back bone in the team, as his first port of call as manager, with the same defensive back four starting over 80% of their games so far this season.

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