La Liga: Best 11 Players from Week 15

Atletico Madrid remain the favourites to win the league title as they are 2 points clear of Real Madrid and have 2 games extra to play over them, indeed Diego Simeone’s team have only played 15 games so far.

Real Madrid look like the only team to challenge Atletico at this point in time and one has to wonder if the league is now a two horse race?

Barcelona are in 5th place but are 10 points behind Atletico but they have improved and are unbeaten in their last 5 games. With Real Madrid Barcelona have scored the most goals in the league with 30 so far.

Let’s look at the players that made the team of the week in La Liga, did you have any of them?

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona 7pts

Marc ter Stegen had to be alert at the weekend as Barcelona only beat Huesca 1-0 and he had many stoppages to make as the home team had 4 good shots on target. The goalkeeper now has 22 points overall.

Defender: Anaitz Arbilla- Eibar 5pts

Anaitz Arbilla came on as a 2nd half substitite as Eibar beat Granada 2-0 and kept a clean sheet and he helped to maintain a good result and earned 5 points in the process. His value is 6.5m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Jordi Alba helped to keep a clean sheet and earned 5 points as Barcelona beat Huesca 5-0 and Alba now has helped keep six clean sheets this season.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0 and whilst Varane wasn’t involved in any goals his job is to keep a clean sheet which he helped to do. Varane has 30 points overall now and has helped to keep an impressive seven clean sheets so far this season.

Defender: Sergino Dest- Barcelona 5pts

Sergino Dest has been a success story for Barcelona so far this season and he has 17 points overall as he earned 5 at the weekend when he helped to keep a clean sheet, his 4th of the season as Barca beat Huesca 1-0.

Midfielder: Lucas- Real Madrid 8pts

Lucas had a superb game as Real Madrid won at the weekend and he scored the opening goal and set up the second. Lucas now has 20 points overall and his value is 6.5m.

Midfielder: Frenkie de Jong- Barcelona 6pts

Frenkie de Jong was the difference as Barcelona made heavy weather of Huesca winning 1-0 and de Jong got the only goal of the game, the midfielder now has 2 goals this season and has earned 20 points so far.

Midfielder: Marco Asensio- Real Madrid 7pts

Asensio had a great game as Real Madrid beat Celta Vigo 2-0. After assisting in the first goal he scored the second which ended up being Real’s winner and he now has contributed in 3 goals for Los Blancos.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 6pts

Real Sociedad are losing the pace at the top of the league but Portu was able to earn 6 pts. He had to come off the field but at the time earned some points for a then clean sheet but the game finished 1-1. Overall Portu has done well this season and has 42 points.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Luis Suarez had a good last game as Atletico beat Alaves 2-1 away from home. Suarez assited for the first goal and then became the hero grabbing the winner at the end. He lost some point as he was soon booked. Suarez has 9 goals this season.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 4pts

Gerard Moreno was the hero for Villarreal as they beat Levante 2-1 and Moreno grabbed the 2nd goal for the home side. Moreno has been brilliant this season and has 9 goals and his value is 8.5m, which looks like a bargain.

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Unai Emery helping to give Villarreal a second wave of excellency in La Liga

Many sing about the fairy tale of New York around Christmas but Villarreal are the fairy tale of Spanish football. Let’s face it how many football fans had heard of the club before their fantastic run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006? Whatever the figure halve it down to how many fans knew of the club back in 1998. That year Villarreal made their debut in La Liga.

It really is an amazing story, and true we’ve seen it before where clubs from a second division get promoted and do well enough to finish in the top 5 for example and qualify for Europe. But Villarreal went that step further and though they have been relegated on a few occasions since 1998 they keep coming back, have attracted quality players and coaches and are doing rather well this season.

This summer Unai Emery former coach of PSG and Arsenal signed a three year contract with the club known as ‘The Yellow Submarines’, and he already has a 53% win rate. The most stunning fact is that Villarreal have lost just once this season and are in 3rd place with 20 points, three in front of Real Madrid and six in front of Barcelona and four from the top.

No one is expecting Villarreal to be a realistic challenger for the title this season, though at the present time La Liga is well open to invitations, but if the club can finish in a European position Emery would have done his job and brought the club full circle.

It is incredible to think that the club have risen from a population of just 50,000 and their achievements have been quite incredible. Not only reaching the 2006 Champions League semi-final, but they also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League on three occasions and finished as runners up in La Liga back in 2008. They finished just 8 points shy of Real Madrid the champions but 10 points in front of Barcelona, that Barcelona team who were just getting ready to become one of the best clubs sides we have ever witnessed.

The recruitment at Villarreal has been impressive and apart from a few seasons when they club didn’t perform at all well these past 22 years have been incredible for the club. Much of that is down to club president Fernando Roig.

Roig took the gamble to buy Villarreal back in 1997 and it has been his clear investment and strategy that has brought the clubs most successful era to fruition in the past two decades. Back in 2017 Roig had this to say about the club. “The fans can complain that we haven’t won a trophy, but I’d like to assure them that really, the best thing for Villarreal is ensuring that the club remains in the top flight that’s our own Cup tournament in a way. For this club, the most important triumph is playing in the top division every year and playing in Europe every now and again. Villarreal is economically stable and in a few years’ time, our youth academy will be a source of new talent for the team.

Villarreal have had stand out players of the past including Juan Roman Riquelme, Robert Pires, Giuseppi Rossi and Diego Forlan to name a few. The current squad are doing well too.

Gerard Moreno currently has 57 goals and is just 26 shy of becoming the clubs all time leading goalscorer. At 28 he has the time to do it as long as he stays fit and doesn’t leave beforehand. This season alone Moreno has scored six goals and has the most fantasy points of any Villarreal player with 25 so far.

Just behind him is his striker partner Paco Alcacer who would cost you just 3m and has earned 24 points this season. He has been involved in seven goals so far and has scored 5.

Manuel Trigueros and Daniel Parejo have bolstered the midfield and in defence Mario Gaspar has stood out, he has 14 points so far and has helped to keep 3 clean sheets.

Once again the future looks bright for Villarreal, and this season in particular could be very memorable indeed if they can keep up their good form under Emery. Right now nobody can be thinking that their yellow submarine is going to sink this season.

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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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Fantasy La Liga Gameweek 2 Picks

Real Madrid begin the defence of their La Liga title on Sunday night with a trip to Real Sociedad, but games that were due to involve Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are still postponed for their involvement in European competition last month.

With seven matches taking place in the Spanish top flight this weekend here are our fantasy football picks:

Goalkeeper: Rui Silva (Granada)
Granada started their season with a 2-0 win at home to Athletic Club last weekend and have a good opportunity to make it six points from six by hosting Deportivo Alaves in gameweek 2.

Goalkeeper Rui Silva will set your fantasy team back just £3.0m and is significantly cheaper than the other two goalkeepers who kept opening weekend clean sheets.

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Fantasy La Liga Gameweek 1 Picks

The 2020-21 Spanish La Liga season kicks off on Friday night with Granada hosting Athletic Club.

Defending champions Real Madrid have been given the opening weekend off due to their participation in the Champions League over in Portugal last month. Likewise, Barcelona, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid all have the weekend off. Elche and Getafe will therefore not be in action for week 1 either as they were scheduled to meet last season’s top two.

All eight games kick off at different times meaning fans can watch all of their fantasy players on TV. With that in mind, here are eleven players to consider for your first squad of the new season:

Goalkeeper: Sergio Asenjo
Difficult to call a clean sheet in the opening weekend particularly with none of the big teams in action. Villarreal didn’t have the best defensive record last season but they finished fifth and host Huesca on the opening weekend so Sergio Asenjo could be a smart choice.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Week 24

Real Madrid were shocked as they could draw at home against Celta Vigo 2-2. With Barcelona getting past Getafe with a 2-1 win it means that Barca are just one point behind Madrid with 14 games left to play. From the top 6 teams only two won in Barcelona and Villarreal and that has also made Champions League finishing positions more open and interesting.

Let’s take a look below at who performed the best this past weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Joel Robles- Real Betis 7pts

Only two goalkeepers in La Liga earned 7 points and it happened in the same match as Leganes took on Real Betis. The game ended 0-0 but Joel Robles deserves this one being the away goalkeeper and Levante had 11 goal attempts.

Defender: Oier Mate- Osasuna 8pts

It was a perfect match for Oier Mate who not only kept a clean sheet for his club but also scored the only goal and winner as Osasuna beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 away from home.

Defender: David Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Garcia alongside his team mater Oier Mate helped to keep a clean sheet away from home and earned 5 points. That is his 7th of the season where he has helped his club.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi has been good at collecting yellow cards which has hampered his points total, but at the weekend he did a perfect job for Real Betis and he has helped the club keep 4 clean sheets this season.

Defender: Martin Valjent- Real Mallorca 

Real Mallorca beat Alaves 1-0 and Valjent was a big part of that success and earning 3 points in the heart of defence. He has helped to keep 4 clean sheets this season.

Midfielder: Suso- Sevilla 6pts

Suso rescued a point for Sevilla who were losing 2-1 at home to Espanyol but with just minutes left Suso was able to get a very important goal for the home side. It was only his 2nd goal of the season but such an important one.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

It was a disappointing result at the weekend for Real Madrid who could only draw 2-2 at home to Celta Vigo. But Toni Kroos put in a good shift at home and also scored a goal to put his team back in the game after they conceded first.

Midfielder: Moises Gomez- Villarreal 4pts

Moises Gomez got the winning goal as his side Villarreal beat Levante 2-1 in a very close game. He has been involved in 7 goals this season and that was his 3rd of the season.

Midfielder: Thomas Partey- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Thomas scored only his 2nd goal of the season to help Atletico draw 2-2 with Valencia in an entertaining draw. The league is over for the club but they need to maintain a Champions League berth.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 6pts

Gerard Moreno had a brilliant game for Villarreal as he opened the scoring and then set up the winner as his side won 2-1. Moreno has scored 10 goals this season and created 3 further goals.

Striker: Lucas Ocampos- Sevilla 6pts

Lucas Ocampos also earned 6 points and did the same job as Moreno scoring his teams first goal and then setting up the assist for the 2nd as Sevilla drew 2-2. It was Ocampos’ 7th goal of the season.

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A preview of gameweek 5 in LaLiga

Football, football, football.

Here is our preview of all ten games in LaLiga this coming weekend.

Osasuna v Real Betis

Key men: Roberto Torres (Osasuna); Nabil Fekir (Real Betis)

Prediction: Osasuna 1 – 1 Real Betis Continue reading

Vicente Iborra set for La Liga return with Villarreal

Iborra

Vicente Iborra looks set to return to La Liga, after 18 months with Premier League side Leicester City, with Villarreal is likely destination.

Iborra, who won three Europa League titles during his time at Sevilla between 2013 and 2017, was signed by The Foxes to bolster their midfield options following the exits of N’Golo Kante and Danny Drinkwater, to Chelsea.

The move was heralded as Leicester moving in the right direction after big name departures, as the 2015-16 Premier League champions saw off a number of interested parties to get the deal over the line.

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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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La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 2

andre silva sevilla

The first weekend of the season in La Liga saw Real Madrid, Barcelona, Levante, Real Socieded, Sevilla, Huesca and Athletic pick up victories, while Valencia and Atletico Madrid shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Let’s take a look at which players could shine for their clubs this weekend.

GK – Oier (Levante)
Oier was one of five goalkeepers in La Liga to pick up seven points at the weekend, helping Levante win 3-0 away at Real Betis. Valued at 5.50m with a promising set of fixtures coming up, the 28-year-old could be worth looking at.

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