La Liga Weekend Picks – Round 5

garcia3Last weekend’s La Liga action saw Girona recording a 3-2 home win against Celta Vigo in arguably the best of the action throughout the Spanish top flight, while Getafe did themselves plenty of credit with their 2-0 win at Sevilla. Real Madrid were held 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao, and Barcelona managed to scrape a 2-1 win at Real Sociedad despite performing far from their best. This coming weekend sees Barcelona welcoming Girona to the Nou Camp, while Real Madrid host Espanyol. Atletico Madrid have a trip to Getafe, while Eibar and Leganes do battle in a match surely worth keeping an eye on. With all that in mind, let’s take a look ahead and see which 11 players to monitor in the next round of matches.

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La Liga Best XI – Week 4

gayaThis past weekend saw Barcelona move two points clear at the top of La Liga following their tight 2-1 win at Real Sociedad, with Real Madrid having dropped points, their 1-1 at Athletic Bilbao ending their 100% start to the campaign. With that in mind, let us now take a look at which players performed best in their respective roles, with a 4-3-3 formation coming this week!

GK – Jaume (Valencia)
Jaume was one of several goalkeepers to keep clean sheets this weekend, but as he would only set you back 2.5m on the Euro Fantasy League game he was the cheapest of the bunch. Solid display in Valencia’s 0-0 home draw with Real Betis.

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Rayo Vallecano stadium fate remains unclear

Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano could find out on September 15th if their stadium, the Estadio de Vallecas, is fit to resume La Liga action.

The stadium was temporarily closed before their postponed game against Athletic Bilbao on September 1st, after safety fears following their season opener against Sevilla.

However there is growing concern that decision on the re-opening could be delayed by a further week, placing their game against Alaves on September 22nd in real doubt.

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Oumar Who? Assessing the Premier League’s Biggest Deadline Day Moves

Seydou Doumbia poses with a Newcastle shirt in the St James' Park dressing room

You probably know the drill with Deadline Day by now: a host of big names will be linked to a variety of clubs, but ultimately most fans will be left disappointed by their team’s lack of activity as the transfer window slams shut until the summer.

But there were four key signings that caught the eye yesterday….are they worth adding to your fantasy team?

Seydou Doumbia

The Ivorian brings a fantastic goal record to St James Park, and the Newcastle faithful will be hoping he fires in the goals that enable their side to avoid the dreaded drop.

Doumbia played for CSKA Moscow for a number of years before joining Roma, but the move to Italy never really panned out and he then returned to Moscow on loan. The good news for Magpies fans then is that he isn’t afraid of the cold!

But this looks a shrewd signing from Steve McClaren: he’s got his hands on a proven goalscorer without the hefty transfer fee. He has scored 66 goals in 108 games for CSKA, including a number of Champions League strikes.

“He is a natural goalscorer, someone who has scored goals in the Champions League and has played at the highest level,” McClaren said. “We believe he can make a mark in this team.”

Gianelli Imbula

Stoke have broken their own transfer record to land the signature of this powerful midfielder, so they obviously sense a quality investment.

The sings are good. Imbula became Portuguese football’s record ever transfer when he joined Porto in the summer for a fee in excess of £15 million, and after a number of eye catching performances – including those against Chelsea in the Champions League – the Potters have made their move.

Stoke actually played Porto in a pre-season friendly a matter of months ago, and Charlie Adam said: “I would say he is a Patrick Vieira type – a strong and powerful midfielder, a real driving force in there and perfect for the Premier League.”

Stoke fans will be hoping he has the same level of impact as the legendary Frenchman.

Abdoulaye Doucoure

A slight misnomer this one, in that Watford signed Doucoure but then instantly loaned him to Granada as part of the Pozzo family circus. The Italian owns the Hornets, the Spanish side and Udinese, and is happy to move his players around the three clubs as he sees fit.

Doucoure has appeared for the France Under-21 side and made more than 80 appearances in Ligue 1. He scored three times and assisted six others for Rennes last term from the centre of midfield.

Oumar Niasse

Mystery surrounds the signing of this £13 million striker from Locomotiv Moscow, although Niasse appears to be of a similar build and playing style to Romelu Lukaku; so Roberto Martinez is clearly trying to maintain consistency when the Belgian is unable to pull on the famous blue shirt.

The 25-year-old has netted 13 times for the Russian side this season, and Martinez is convinced he’s landed a cracking signing.

“We’re delighted as Oumar is a player we’ve been following for a long time,” he said. “He brings a real hunger and desire to be successful into what is already a strong squad.”