La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 23

Real Madrid have closed the gap on Atletico Madrid to just 5 points and Zinedine Zidane’s team are in excellent form having won their last 3 games in a row. However Atletico has 2 games extra to play and are still in the driving seat.

However it is Barcelona and Sevilla who are in the best form and the clubs have won their last 5 games in a row. Luis Suarez for Atletico still has the most goals with 16 so far but that man Lionel Messi has caught up and he scored a brace at the weekend as Barcelona beat Alaves 5-1 and he now has 15.

Let’s take a look below at the players who have made this La Liga team of the past week.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

There were not many clean sheets over the past week and it came down to two goal keepers and Courtois gets the nod. He had to stay alert against a very good side although it is true that Valencia had very few clear cut chances.

Defender: Unai Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Unai Garcia is not a house hold name but he earned his 5 points as he helped to keep a clean sheet for Osasuna as they beat Levante 1-0. Levante had plenty of chances on goal and Garcia kept his nerve. The defender has not had a great season so far and actually has spent the majority of it with minus points, however he now is in the positive with this latest haul.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Raphael Varane has made the best 11 team again and he has been in a rich vein of form lately. He was solid and consistent as Real Madrid beat a great rival in Valencia and helped his team to keep another clean sheet as they try and challenge for the league title.

Defender: Diego Carlos- Sevilla 5pts

Diego Carlos is another player who has been in consistent form and Sevilla can’t do without him as helped the club and he has now kept 9 clean sheets this season and has a total of 38 points and his value is just 6m.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad

Nacho Monreal has a total of 30 points now and he has had an impressive season so far. Real Sociedad beat Getafe 1-0 and Monreal was at the heart of everything in defence. Sociedad seem to have found their form again and the club are on a good run and are back in 5th place.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 8pts

Toni Kroos enjoyed a great game for Real Madrid as he assisted in the clubs first goal against Valencia and then scored the 2nd to earn himself 8 points. Kroos now has 27 points in total.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Another familiar face making the best of teams is Marcos Llorent and the talented midfielder had another great week as he opened the scoring as Atletico beat Granada 2-1 and the he assisted in his sides 2nd goal which ended up being the winner. He has assisted in seven goals so far this season.

Midfielder: Lucas- Real Madrid 4pts

Lucas can get criticised sometimes but the player was strong and bold against tough opposition in Valencia and made some wonderful passes. Lucas now has 26 points and his value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 4pts

Nabil Fekir scored the opening goal for his side Real Betis as they beat Villarreal 2-1 away from home in an important goal for the side. Fekir has 24 points and has 2 goals so far.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 10pts

Lionel Messi earned a fantastic 10 points over the weekend as he scored his 14th and 15th goals of the season as Barcelona easily beat Alaves 5-1. Messi was on electrifying form and now has 61 points and is just 3 behind Luis Suarez for the top striker in Spain.

Striker: Santi Mina- Celta Vigo 8pts

Santi Mina earned 8 points as he scored the opening goal and last one as his team Celta Vigo beat Elche 3-1. Mina now has 5 goals for the season and his value is 7m.

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Granada hoping for European qualification for next season

When we think of La Liga we tend to dive in and look for Barcelona, Real Madrid or Atletico Madrid, and those clubs have warranted why we do that. The big 3 will be dominating for some time one suspects. But this season there have been some surprise packages from Real Sociedad to Villarreal. Another club that has caught the eye is Granada.

Granada are currently in 7th position and have 27 points and they are only 3 points away from a European finish which would be incredibly beneficial for the club. Last season Granada finished seventh and this is quite remarkable because in the previous season they were playing their football in the Segunda Division. A lot has changed for the club in such a short time.

A lot of Granada’s good fortune comes down to current coach Diego Martinez who joined the club in 2018 when they were in Spain’s second tier and he has not only guided the club back to La Liga but also last season they qualified for the Europa League.

Martinez has plenty of good experience too coaching Sevilla’s B teams during the 2010s and helping out as an assistant to Sevilla during their successful spell in the Europa League during the 2010s, and he is only 40 years old.

Martinez has come in with fresh ideas and has been hailed as a possible future great coach, right now he is doing wonders for Granada who when promoted may have been content with finishing in midtable and just surviving but for the second season in a row they remain a force to be reckoned with.

This season Granada have qualified from their Europa League group and next month they will play their 2 legged round of 32 match against Italians Napoli.

Domestically the goals have been shared around and Jorge Molina and veteran Roberto Soldado have scored the most with 3 goals each. The player with the most points in the fantasy rankings is striker Darwin Machis and Molina who have 12 points each. Machis is valued at 5.5m and while he has been struggling with goals scoring just twice so far he has assisted in a further three goals.

Perhaps this season the club could aim a little higher too with more consistency given that they are only 5 points short of a Champions League place and that really would be historic for the club.

Granada are a team who have proven that a good work ethic can have a team expected to be fighting in the middle of the table actually pushing for Europe and deserving to be there too.

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Is Atletico Madrid’s La Liga title in danger after Kieran Trippier’s 2 month ban?

Kieran Trippier has been one of Atletico Madrid’s best players this season but there has been bombshell news as he is now set to miss the next 2 months with an English FA ban.

That ban is related to alleged inside knowledge of the football world that could have been used as an advantage to then bet on that market. It must be said that Trippier has denied all of these allegations from the English FA, but for now the ban stays.

Trippier’s name has been cleared on some charges but not all and in line with UEFA’s rules it means that Trippier has been banned from all football activities for the next 14 weeks. Because of the Christmas period that means that Trippier won’t be back in action until the very end of February, and this is obviously a blow for his club.

Trippier has been a success for Atletico since his switch from Tottenham and this season so far seemed to have been his best. With 52 points so far Trippier is the best ranked defender for Atletico Madrid where he has helped keep an impressive 9 clean sheets already. Though he hasn’t scored yet that isn’t his job but he has assisted in 4 goals. Overall Trippier is only 2nd to Jan Oblak, the goalkeeper who has 61 points.

Trippier’s contribution to the team simply cannot be underestimated and of course one of the problems was his key presence, and how that will be missed. Under Diego Simeone Trippier has become a stable figure in the team and the last year has felt like a second coming for the club who were so successful in the 2010s.

Could Trippier’s ban trip up Atletico Madrid in the league and Champions League? pardon the pun. Currently the club are looking at their first La Liga title in seven years and are in 1st place with 29 points. Real Madrid their rivals and neighbours have the same points however Atletico have played 2 games less.

There is also the question that up until a few weeks ago Atletico had conceded just 2 goals, and even now it is only 5. Sure the team are full of great defenders in the likes of Mario Hermoso and Felipe but Trippier is seen as the one where the players look to both on the pitch and in the dressing room.

Trippier is pleading his innocence and will appeal and coach Simeone and thousands of fans will be hoping that his charge can be overturned, if not this could be an act of trying to get his sentence shortened.

The next few weeks after the Christmas season will be intriguing between London and Madrid and could get rather tense, watch this space.

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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 Week 10

Barcelona lost their 3rd game of the season and they are now down in 12th position and 12 points behind current leaders Real Sociedad. Sociedad have won 70% of their games so far and have pulled out a 3 point lead at the top.

Real Madrid could only draw 1-1 away to Villarreal and Atletico Madrid have gone 2nd after beating Barcelona. Let’s see if any of your players made the team of the weekend below.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Jan Oblak kept his sixth clean sheet of the campaign and one of the most important ones as Atletico Madrid overcame Barcelona 1-0 at home. Oblak had to make 5 crucial saves and now has 42 points overall.

Defender: Kieran Tripper- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier has been one of the best defenders in Spain this season and has really grown as a player with Atletico Madrid. He helped to keep a clean sheet and shut out Barcelona.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad 5pts

Real Sociedad won a tough game 1-0 over Cadiz and Monreal really put in a shift to keep the newly promoted side at bay. Monreal has kept 4 clean sheets so far this season and is valued at 8.5m.

Defender: Felipe- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Felipe is the 3rd best ranked defender in the league and helped to keep a 5th clean sheet for Atletico Madrid. This game at the weekend was more impressive given that he shut out Lionel Messi and co, as they beat Barcelona 1-0.

Defender: Zaldua- Real Sociedad 5pts

Not many defenders picked up points over the weekend in La Liga and the best defending teams have been Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. Zaldua played well and maintained the back line superbly. He has only managed to start 2 games this season but could see that increase with this performance.

Midfielder: Yannick Carrasco- Atletico Madrid 5pts

What a game for Yannick Carrasco who scored the only goal of the match to beat Barcelona 1-0. Carrasco had just been booked and his game didn’t look so good but a few minutes later and just before half time he scored. He has scored 2 goals this season and now has a total of 17 points.

Midfielder: Gonzalo Melero- Levante 4pts

Levante drew 1-1 with Elche and Gonzalo Melero scored the opening goal of the game for Levante. He also put in a good shift in midfield and distributed the ball well. His value is worth 6m.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Angel Correa has appeared in the team of the week on many occasions and he has been a solid player for Atletico. He played a very pivotal role for the club as they overcame Barcelona 1-0 and at times kept Messi quiet.

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj- Real Sociedad 4pts

Adnan Januzaj provided his first assist of the season as Real Sociedad beat Cadiz 1-0. He is the 2nd best ranked midfielder for the club and has 20 points overall now.

Striker: Oscar Plano- Real Valladolid 6pts

Oscar Plano opened the scoring for Real Valladolid as they beat Granada 3-1. He also set up the clubs 2nd goal and had an overall brilliant game away from home. It was Plano’s first goal of the season.

Striker: Lucas Perez- Alaves 6pts

Alaves were expected to lose to Valencia and sprung a surprise by drawing the game 2-2. Lucas Perez earned six points by assisting in the first goal for the club and then converting a penalty. The striker has scored 2 goals so far this season and his value is 4m.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 9

Real Madrid lost 4-1 against Valencia which just keeps the Spanish league more interesting as Real Sociedad won their sixth game of the season to go four points clear of the champions. Sociedad have not lost a game since the end of September.

Barcelona finally played like the Barca of old as they crushed Real Betis 5-2 and even Lionel Messi seemed happy as he scored a couple of goals. And Atletico Madrid have now won 4 games in a row as they crushed in form side Cadiz and they remain in 3rd place.

So with many points up for grabs for the players let’s take a look to see if any of your chosen players made the final cut and the team of the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Jan Oblak is regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world and he has already help keep 5 clean sheets this season. He was solid as a rock against Cadiz as they had genuine chances to score although Atletico ran out 4-0 winners in the end.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad 9pts

Nacho Monreal helped keep a clean sheet and Real Sociedad beat Granada 2-0. Monreal capped off a fantastic weekend by opening the scoring also and Sociedad stay top of the league.

Defender: Sergio Escudero- Sevilla 5pts

Sergio Escudero now has 10pts as he earned another 5 at the weekend as Sevilla came past Osasuna 1-0. Escudero actually started from the bench and played well and held the back line in a game that Sevilla could well have drawn. He is valued at 6m.

Defender: Zaldua- Real Sociedad 5pts

Zaldua put in a good shift but had to be substituted in the 2nd half. But helped Sociedad in defence with some fantastic passes and they kept yet another clean sheet.

Defender: Gimenez- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Gimenez earned all points as Atletico Madrid put paid to Cadiz’s great start. The club kept a clean sheet in a crushing 4-0 win. This was the defender’s first points of the season and he is valued at 7m.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 13pts

What  a memorable weekend it was for Carlos Soler who earned an incredible 13 points as Valencia stunned champions Real Madrid and won the game 4-1. Soler scored a hat trick and all of the goals were penalties. He kept calm for each one as Valencia made a huge statement. Soler now has 19 points overall.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 8pts

Another great win for Atletico Madrid as they overcame Cadiz by 4-0. Llorente assisted in the clubs first goal of the game and set up Felix and then scored the 2nd which seemed to deflate the visitors. From there on in there was only going to be one winner.

Midfielder: Fidel Chaves de la Torre- Elche 4pts

Elche drew 1-1 with Celta Vigo and Fidel as the player is known opened the scoring with a penalty. Though the club couldn’t hold on Fidel earned a good 4 points and has been solid this season and has 17 points overall. He may be worth looking into and he is valued at a fantastic bargain of just 3m.

Midfielder: Sergi Roberto- Barcelona 4pts

After their slow start Barcelona players have been missing from players of the weekend. Sergi Roberto saw his side beat Real Betis 5-2 and whilst remaining consistent in midfield he went one better and assisted for Barcelona’s last 2 goals of the game which were highly important and a huge factor in closing out the game.

Striker: Joao Felix- Atletico Madrid 10pts

Joao Felix has been on great form in the last few weeks and the highly promising youngster scored 2 goals including the opening one and assisted in another as he won man of the match as Atletico crushed Cadiz 4-0. Felix now has five goals so far this season.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 8pts

Lionel Messi is back! He scored 2 goals as Barcelona beat Real Betis 5-2 in their first real performance of the season. Messi now has 10 points and will want to build on this for the rest of the season and get back to the form that everyone knows him for.

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Fantasy La Liga Gameweek 5 Picks

The 2020-21 Spanish La Liga season continues this weekend following the international break with Granada and Sevilla kicking off the action on Saturday lunchtime.

Real Madrid and Barcelona are both in action on the same day, with the champions welcoming Cadiz to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium before Ronald Koeman’s side are also in the capital, away to Getafe.

Hare are our recommendations for your fantasy team this weekend:

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois (Real Madrid)
Real Madrid have kept three clean sheets in their four La Liga games to start the new campaign and are widely-expected to add another one versus Cadiz this weekend. Thibaut Courtois himself has been in fine form to start the new campaign.

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5 of the best La Liga transfers during the window

The summer transfer window is now closed around Europa and Spanish La Liga clubs have made a lot of business during the summer and first couple of weeks of the 2020-21 season.

New arrivals were landed as late as deadline day on Monday and managers have a fortnight to put their new plans in place due to the international break.

Here’s a look back over the transfer window to five players we believe could have the biggest impact on your fantasy team this season:

1. Luis Suarez (Atletico Madrid)
The Uruguayan had a quiet end to his career at Barcelona by his standards but showed he still has it with a brace in his 12-minute Atletico Madrid debut in the 6-1 thrashing of Granada.

Luis Suarez may be considered a gamble for your fantasy team because he will set you back £10.50m, but with Diego Costa seeing a lack of game time and Joao Felix not putting up the goals in his first season, the 33-year-old could quickly establish himself as Diego Simeone’s main goalscorer.

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Fantasy La Liga Gameweek 4 Picks

The 2020-21 Spanish La Liga season continues this weekend after a full round of fixtures midweek.

FC Barcelona started the season with a convincing 4-0 thrashing of Villarreal over the weekend and will face Celta Vigo away on Thursday, before hosting Sevilla over the weekend.

Meanwhile. defending champions Real Madrid face a potentially tricky match versus Real Valladolid on Wednesday before travelling to Levante on Sunday.

Here are this weekend’s tips for your fantasy team:

Goalkeeper: Jordi Masip (Real Valladolid)
Real Valladolid welcome Eibar to the Jose Zorrilla Stadium in the first La Liga game of the weekend. Sergio’s side play a defensive game and had the best defensive record in the bottom half last season as a result. Although they’re without a clean sheet in their first three prior to travelling to Real Madrid on Wednesday night, weekend opponents Eibar are really struggling to score so this is an excellent opportunity to Jordi Masip to register a shutout.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Matchday 3

It’s officially the 3rd week of the Spanish season but this was the first game that Barcelona were involved in and they didn’t disappoint as they swathed aside Villarreal 4-0.

Champions Real Madrid came back from a losing position to stun Real Betis and win 3-2 in a very entertaining game. But the man taking all of the headlines will be Luis Suarez, who scored 2 goals for his new club Atletico Madrid as they crushed Granada 6-1.

Let’s take a look below at the best 11 players this past weekend, did any of them make your team?

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Norberto Neto- Barcelona 7pts

Credit need to be given to Norberto Neto who usually doesn’t get much game time for Barcelona. He joined last season but this was only his 3rd game for the club. Barcelona were clearly the superior team as they demolished Villarreal 4-0 but Neto still had a job to do and kept composed and got his clean sheet.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 7pts

Jordi Alba was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet as Barcelona easily beat Villarreal 4-0 at home. Alba also assisted in Barca’s first goal of the game, and their first of the season and it was another solid game for him.

Defender: Xabier Etxeita- Getafe 5pts

Xabier Etxeita earned 5pt as he helped keep a clean sheet for his club Getafe as they drew 0-0 with Alaves, he is valued at just 3m and could be a bargain pick if he can keep up his performances throughout the season.

Defender: Clement Lenglet- Barcelona 5pts

Lenglet was criticised last season in an overall poor season that his club Barcelona had. Of course this wasn’t all his fault and the defender put in an assured performance as he helped keep a clean sheet in Barca’s win over Villarreal which they won 4-0.

Defender: Ruben Duarte- Alaves 5pts

Ruben Duarte put in a good shift at home as Alaves were able to pick up a point with a 0-0 draw against Getafe. It wasn’t the best of games but Duarte showed his qualities and made a few very good interceptions during the game. Because he was in minus points before, these 5pts have helped him and he now has a total of 4pts.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 8pts

Atletico Madrid were superb in beating Granada 6-1 and Angel Correa was at the heart of the action in midfield. Correa assisted in 2 of the six goals and was a constant threat in his position. He is valued at 7.5m.

Midfielder: Unai Lopez- Athletic Bilbao 8pts

Unai Lopez had a great game in midfield for Bilbao and scored both of their goals grabbing the three points as Bilbao beat Eibar impressively away from home by 2-1.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

Portu had a solid game as he opened the scoring for Real Sociedad and made brilliant use of possession in midfield. Sociedad went onto beat Elche 3-0 at the weekend. Portu is valued at 8.5m and has an overall score of 8 points so far this season.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

A brilliant game for Marcos Llorente in midfield who scored Atletico’s 4th goal in their 6-1 win over Granada. He was all over the pitch- in a good way and it was no surprise in the end that he also assisted in another goal.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 10pts

What a debut for Luis Suarez who signed from Barcelona just a few weeks ago. Not only did he see his new team score 6 goals in their first league game of the season, he scored a brace. What made his debut more impressive is that he only came on for the last 20 minutes. He is valued at 15m.

Striker: Anssumane Fati- Barcelona 8pts

Anssumane Fati seems like a striker worth keeping an eye on, he had a very decent last season and has started this one in great form. He scored 2 of Barcelona’s 4 goals against Villarreal and they were the opening two goals which effectively killed off the game. At just 5m Fati looks a steal for a great bargain.

Player of the weekend: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 10pts

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