Top La Liga Strikers in 2018/19: Karim Benzema

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Real Madrid had a season to forget after Zinedine Zidane parted ways with the club last summer, only to come back in March. And Cristiano Ronaldo finally waved goodbye and joined Juventus in Serie A. Madrid went on to win nothing this season but one bright spark was French forward Karim Benzema who at 31 scored 21 goals and assisted in 6 other goals. In short he was Madrid’s best player this season.

In the Fantasy football rankings for strikers in La Liga Benzema finished 2nd only to Lionel Messi although still finished a cool 75 points behind the Argentinian. He started 35 games for Madrid and his disciplinary record was superb receiving only 1 yellow card all season. Overall if we take into account all of the major leagues his striker rank would be 8th, and that isn’t bad for a player who would have cost you 10m to be in your team.

What was incredible about Benzema’s total score and finishing 2nd in the La Liga rankings was that he started the season very poorly where he earned just 17 points from his first 11 games. Indeed it seemed that the former Lyon player was overpriced, but it was at that point where his quality came through and his fortunes changed.

His two best games this past season were against Athletic Bilbao when he scored a hat-trick and earned 14 points and his outstanding display against Rayo Valladolid when he scored 2 goals and then assisted in another in Madrid’s 4-1 win. His last game ended in a 2-0 defeat against Real Betis thus earning no points.

But this season was a massive improvement from Benzema, who earned more points than he has in the last 2 seasons combined. In 2016/17 he got 54 points and last season just 40.

And of course Benzema broke a near 60 year record with Madrid this season. In April Benzema scored all of the last 8 goals that Madrid had netted in La Liga breaking a record set by the great Ferenc Puskas in the 1961/62 season when he netted the last 7.

Speculation is rife that Benzema has played his last season for the club after spending 10 years with Los Blancos. Despite his personal successful season Zidane may feel that after 10 years Benzema should call time on his Madrid career and play elsewhere and let’s face it Benzema could still command a big club if he was to leave Madrid. If this is to be his last season with the club he has scored 222 goals from 465 appearances and been incredibly consistent in a period for the club where he won 17 trophies including 4 Champions Leagues.

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Real Madrid must ease reliance on Karim Benzema next season

Almost from the moment Zinedine Zidane’s return to Real Madrid was confirmed, the Santiago Bernabeu outfit have embarked on the longest pre-season programme in football history. Indeed, with Real Madrid out of the Liga title race, out of the Copa del Rey and out of the Champions League, the final couple months of the season became about preparing for the next one.

This has seen Zidane experiment with a number of options in essentially dead rubber games. He has tried different options in goals – Thibaut Courtois, Keylor Navas and even his own son, Luca Zidane. He has alternated between Marcelo and Sergio Reguilon at left back. Alvaro Odriozola and Dani Carvajal have taken it game about at right back. Jesus Vallejo has earned the Frenchman’s trust while even the forgotten man Mariano Diaz has been given a chance up front.

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Of course, Mariano has only been given a run in the first team due to the injury suffered by Karim Benzema. Questions were asked of the Frenchman last season, to the extent where his exit from the Santiago Bernabeu looked probable. However, the exit of Cristiano Ronaldo last summer changed things and Benzema has delivered, crossing the 30-goal mark.

However, Real Madrid have become too dependent on the goals of Benzema. With Mariano’s goal in the win over Villarreal last weekend, he became the first player that isn’t Benzema to find the back of the net in 568 minutes. While they were once reliant on Ronaldo to provide a cutting edge in the final third, now it’s Benzema they lean on.

This is arguably the most pressing of all the concerns Zidane must have in his mind ahead of next season. Real Madrid will undergo a summer overhaul, with the squad almost certain to be replenished. It is in the final third where their efforts will be focused most acutely and they must find goals.

Quite simply, the likes of Marco Asensio, Gareth Bale, Isco and Lucas Vazquez haven’t contributed enough in front of goal this season. Even Vinicius Junior, the breakout star of the 2018/19 La Liga season, needs to sharpen up his finishing. The addition of players like Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, both expected to join Real Madrid this summer, should held, but Zidane knows what he must find ahead of next season – goals.

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This weekend’s suggested fantasy La Liga picks

La Liga

There was a full schedule of LaLiga midweek games over the last couple of days but there will still be ten more games for your viewing pleasure this coming weekend in Spain’s top tier.

Starting with Athletic Bilbao and Alaves at midday on Saturday, the action continues right through until Real Betis play Espanyol on Monday night, with all 20 LaLiga clubs in action over the two days.

As always, we’ve taken a look at the fixtures from a LaLiga fantasy football viewpoint to help you with your picks for the weekend.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy LaLiga team this weekend. Continue reading

Week 33: Best Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

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It was a weekend that saw the top 5 clubs in Spain win and Barcelona edging nearer to the league title once more and their 4th championship in five years. In the big match to help progress a top 4 position Getafe and Sevilla, 4th v 5th and it was Getafe who won the game 3-0 and the club moved into 4th place. Indeed another contender for a top 4 placed emerged in Valencia as Sevilla dropped down to 6th place.

But which players were the best performing of the past weekend, and who has earned you the most points in your team- look at these players and perhaps if you don’t have them, get them quick, as the season draws ever closer.

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: David Soria- Getafe

In truth there were a few goalkeepers that earned 7 points at the weekend including Jan Oblak for Atletico Madrid. But David Soria of Getafe gets the nod given that his side won 3-0 and kept a clean sheet in such a big game as playing Sevilla, it could be a turning point in his career and for the club this season. Soria is 6m and is currently the 3rd best ranked keeper in La Liga Fantasy.

Defender: Diego Godin- Atletico Madrid

All of Atletico Madrid’s back four put in a super shift as the club conquered over Eibar 1-0 away from home. This was Godin’s 4th clean sheet in the last five games, and his tactical awareness and tackles was pivotal to keeping another clean sheet. He is valued at 9m and is currently ranked as the best defender in La Liga- this performance simply underlined that.

Defender: Ignasi Miquel- Getafe

Miquel has started just 2 games for Getafe this season but was drafted into the team because of injuries and considering his lack of first team football put in a memorable display in the heart of a defence that stopped Sevilla from scoring. His value is 2.5m.

Defender: Gimenez- Atletico Madrid

We often talk about the more recognisable players of this brilliant Atletico Madrid defence, but Gimenez has put in his great displays too and did so well alongside Godin. He earned 5 points as Atletico beat tricky Eibar away from home 1-0 and his value to buy is 6m.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid

Varane has not had a great season with Madrid but the hope is with Zinedine Zidane back with the team that will change. Varane has just 32 points this season but 5 were earned at the weekend as Real Madrid beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0. Varane is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Thomas Lemar- Atletico Madrid

Thomas Lemar not only scored the goal that won Atletico Madrid the match against Eibar but he put in a brave performance and looked very dangerous on the ball to earn 6 points this past weekend. Lemar has played 18 times and looks good value at 6m.

Midfielder: Sofiane Boufal- Celta Vigo

Sofiane Boufal has earned just 25 points this season and 20% of those points came in just one weekend as his club Celta Vigo rose to victory over Girona. Boufal was excellent as he assisted in the first goal and scored the 2nd, in a 2-1 win. However he dropped points for a yellow card. Boufal can be bought for 6.5m.

Midfielder: Marc Roca- Espanyol

Marc Roca seldom earns point but he got 4 at the weekend as Espanyol drew 2-2 against Levante away from home. Roca got his clubs 2nd goal which put them in the lead and played one of his best matches of the season. Roca is just 5m to buy.

Midfielder: Gareth Bale- Real Madrid

Earning 4 points was enough to get Gareth Bale into the team of the week. But the Real Madrid play maker had a good, solid and determined game. This culminated in the Welshman setting up Karim Benzema for the clubs 3rd goal at the end of the game. Bale has started 19 games this season and is valued at 11m.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid

Karim Benzema has been in our team of the week quite a few times this season and he was simply sensational at the weekend, where he earned a massive 14 points after scoring a hat trick. Real Madrid beat Atlethic Bilbao 3-0 and Benzema got all of his goals in the 2nd half of play. He is valued at 10m and is ranked in fantasy La Liga as the 2nd best striker in the league.

Striker: Jorge Molina- Getafe

Jorge Molina and Getafe were playing perhaps the biggest and most important game of their season so far as Getafe played Sevilla a direct top 4 rival for Champions League qualification. Molina scored a penalty and a great goal in a match that ended 3-0. He has 9 goals this season and his value is rated at 6m. He is ranked 8th in Fantasy La Liga standings.

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Fantasy La Liga picks for the coming weekend’s action

La Liga

Every La Liga team will be in action this weekend, starting from early on Saturday and finishing with a Monday night game between Leganes and Real Madrid.

As always, we’ve taken a look at the fixtures from a La Liga fantasy football viewpoint to help you with your picks for the weekend.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy La Liga team this weekend.

Goalkeeper – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 11.0 million

Widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, Jan Oblak has amassed 104 fantasy La Liga points this season already. Continue reading

Is Eden Hazard the right man for Real Madrid?

Anyone who watched Chelsea’s comfortable 2-0 win over West Ham United on Monday evening surely drew one conclusion – Eden Hazard really wants a move to Real Madrid this summer. The Belgian has been the subject of much speculation linking him with a switch to the Spanish capital and against the Hammers at Stamford Bridge, he was in sparkling form.

Zinedine Zidane was surely watching. So certain are some outlets that Hazard will join Real Madrid at the end of the season they have even reported the exact fee, with Chelsea said to be demanding £100 for their prize asset. With just one year left on Hazard’s contract, that would appear to be market value.

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Do Real Madrid need Hazard, though? Zidane will lead an overhaul of the tired and creaking squad at the Santiago Bernabeu this summer, with outgoings expected along with incomings. Real Madrid never really replaced Cristiano Ronaldo and Hazard is seen by many as the natural successor to the Portuguese forward.

It’s certainly true that Hazard as the strength of personality to handle the pressure that comes with being a ‘Galactico.’ He has been building up to this moment his entire career and so it’s unsurprising that the Belgian has ramped up his performances for Chelsea just as speculation has come to a head.

But what about his positional use to Real Madrid? Hazard, by trade, plays on the left wing. That is, arguably, where Real Madrid are best equipped for the future, with Vinicius Junior the youthful face of the club after a breakthrough season. Zidane also has Marco Asensio in that position. So where would Hazard fit in?

Could he play on the right side? That’s Gareth Bale’s position right now, but the Welshman could be sold to make way for Hazard, so there could be a gap to fill there. But that would require Hazard to adapt his natural game. Are Real Madrid really going to pay £100 million for the Belgian only to turn him into a different player?

Zidane could feasibly use Hazard through the middle, behind Karim Benzema as the central striker. The Belgian has played there before in his career, but not always to great effect. So while Hazard might be destined to pitch up at Real Madrid this summer, it’s not yet clear where he will actually fit in.

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Week 31: Best 11 Players of the Weekend in Fantasy La Liga

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Barcelona look like they will win the league after their season defining match up against 2nd placed Atletico Madrid ended in a 2-0 win for the Catalan giants, courtesy of goals from Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi. The win took Barcelona a huge 11 points clear with just 21 left on the board. Below we take a look at the best performing players this past weekend in La Liga for your fantasy team.

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Marc ter Stegen- Barcelona

Several goalkeeprs achieved 7pts this weekend but we will give the nod to Barcelona’s Marc ter Stegen based on the fact that Barca kept out the 2nd best team in Spain Atletico Madrid and ter Stegen kept a clean sheet against a team who had scored 45 times this season. ter Stegen is 2nd in the rankings and can be bought for 10m.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona

A colossal performance from Jordi Alba at the back for Barca who isn’t afraid to also attack and cause problems for the opposition. With just five minutes left v Atletico Madrid the match was 0-0 and he assisted in Luis Suarez’s goal, a famous performance and Alba is 3rd in the fantasy rankings and can be bought for 9m.

Defender: Djene- Getafe

Getafe have been brilliant this season and could qualify for the Champions League- they are currently in 4th place and Djene put in a terrific performance in defence, keeping a clean sheet as his team beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0. Djene ‘s value is 5.5m.

Defender: Sergi Gomez- Sevilla

Sergi Gomez was part of the Sevilla side who beat Valladolid 2-0 away from home in a tricky match on paper. It took Sevilla to 5th place and just 1 point behind Getafe. Gomez earned 5pts for his troubles and he is valued at just 6.5m which looks like a bargain.

Defender: Abdoulaye Ba- Rayo Vallecano

Abdoulaye Ba has started 20 games for Vallecano and has been part of a team that has conceded a massive 54 goals this season. That is why he deserves to be included in this team of the week for performers as he kept a rare clean sheet as Vallecano beat the mighty Valencia 2-0. It was a fantastic result for the club and Ba would cost 4m.

Midfielder: Giovani Lo Celso- Real Betis

The ex Barcelona player Lo Celso earned a huge 8pts at the weekend as Real Betis beat Villarreal 2-1. But it was an even more memorable weekend for Lo Celso who grabbed both of Betis’ goals. Lo Celso can be snapped up for 6m.

Midfielder: Sergi Darder- Espanyol

Sergi Darder is 10th in the midfielder rankings for fantasy la liga and he secured 8pts at the weekend as he opened up the scoring for Espanyol who went onto win their game 2-1. Darder is valued at 6.5m and has played 25 times this season.

Midfielder: Adri Embarba- Rayo Vallecano

This was a massive game for Embarba who assisted in both of Rayo Vallecano’s goals as they beat Valencia 2-0 given the team a massive boost of staying up. Embarba will need a few repeat performances if his side are to stay in La Liga and would cost just 3.5m.

Midfielder: Roque- Sevilla

Roque has struggled this season and started just 15 times being used as a substitute on a few occasions. However he earned 6pts as Sevilla kept a clean sheet in a highly intense game. Roque is valued at 3m.

Striker: Karim Benzema- Real Madrid

With most of the goals being scored by midfielders and defenders in La Liga this past weekend Karim Benzema was far and away the best performing striker in La Liga. The Real Madrid forward earned 8pts as he scored both of his sides goals in their 2-1 win over Eibar. Benzema would cost 10m.

Striker: Iago Aspas- Celta Vigo

Aspas has been here before as one of the best performers in La Liga and has done it again. He earned 7pts as Celta Vigo won 3-1 and he scored 2 of the goals to give his side a much needed 3pts. Aspas can be bought for 8.5m.

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Our La Liga fantasy football picks for this weekend

La Liga

After this week’s midweek fixtures, La Liga returns at the weekend with a full schedule of games. All 20 of Spain’s top-tier teams are in action on Saturday and Sunday.

As always, we’ve taken a look at the fixtures from a La Liga fantasy football viewpoint to help you with your picks for the weekend.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy La Liga team this weekend.

Goalkeeper – Norberto Neto (Valencia) – 7.0 million

Valencia travel to play lowly Rayo Vallecano on Saturday evening. It’s a good chance for a clean sheet for the away side. Neto has 7 points this season. Continue reading

Zidane’s Real Madrid return could offer reprieve for Isco

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The return to La Liga side Real Madrid of Zinedine Zidane could spell a return to first team action for midfielder Isco, after previous boss Santiago Solari froze out the Spanish international this season.

The former Malaga player has not started a La Liga game since Solari replaced Julen Lopetegui in back in October 2018, and the club announced earlier this week that they would be opening disciplinary proceedings against him, after he missed a team meeting.

However, with Zidane coming back to the club he left nine months ago, he could look to bring the 26 year-old back in from the cold.

Continue reading

Week 27: Best 11 Fantasy Players in La Liga

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Week 27 of Span’s La Liga season didn’t see much movement at the top as all of the top 4 sides won their respective games. Only Atletico Madrid have a chance of catching Barcelona now and they are still 7 points adrift of Lionel Messi and co. Below we take a look at the players that performed the best over the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Asenjo

Villarreal’s 2-0 win over Levante away from home at the weekend was huge as it lifted the team out of the relegation zone. Asenjo made some critical saves and kept a clean sheet to get into this team. He is ranked as the 9th best keeper this season in la liga fantasy even though his team are 17th which says a lot about his overall value to the team and perhaps he is a snip to keep up his form at 7m.

Defender: Victor Ruiz

Ruiz has not performed so well this season but was part of a Villarreal team that needed to win at the weekend and held firm to keep a clean sheet and earn 5pts. He is valued at 7m.

Defender: Santiago Arias

Santiago Arias makes our cut again as he was part of an Atletico Madrid side who claimed a clean sheet at home against Leganes. Arias has been one of the best defenders in La Liga this season and is currently ranked in 3rd place, his value is 8.5m

Defender: Aissa Mandi

Mandi has been solid for Real Betis at the back for the past few seasons and the youngster who used to play for Reims was part of  a defence that kept  a clean sheet against Celta Vigo to earn 5pts in La Liga fantasy he is currently just outside the top 10 standings.

Defender: Juan Torres

Torres led the line for Atletico once again and remains an integral part of the squad. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak has become very reliant on him as his team once again kept  a clean sheet to put the pressure on Barcelona. Torres is just 5m if you want to add him to your squad and earned another 5pts at the weekend.

Midfielder: Luka Modric

The Real Madrid and world player of the year shot into life v Rayo Valladolid and his team needed him as they romped home 4-1. Modric got on the score sheet to earn himself 4pts and his confidence took a major boost. He is valued at 8m.

Midfielder: Sarabia

There is no better midfielder in Spain than Sarabia who heads our La Liga midfielder fantasy points and he added another 4pts as he scored for Sevilla in their fantastic 5-2 win over Real Sociedad to keep the club in the hunt for a European finish. He is valued at 7m which looks like a bargain and is a massive 14pts ahead of 2nd place.

Midfielder: Daniel Parejo

The Valencia stalwart sits in 2nd place in the fantasy La Liga standings and earned 4pts at the weekend with his club as they beat Girona in a classic 3-2 match. He is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Santiago Carzola

Carzola assisted the vital goal which helped his club Villarreal to a win and climbed out of the danger zone also. Carzola is 8th in the standings and valued at just 5.5m which looks like a good buy.

Striker: Wissam Ben Yedder

We don’t have to look further than Ben Yedder for our striker of the week after the forward scored a magical hat trick against Real Sociedad in the clubs 5-2 win and earned a massive 14pts in the process. He is ranked 3rd in La Liga fantasy striker and just 3pts behind Luis Suarez. Ben Yedder’s value is 7m.

Striker: Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid forward needed a game like this after a bad couple of weeks for his side. Madrid beat Vallecano 4-1 and Benzema looked back to his best scoring 2 goals and then assisting for Modric to score the 4th and final goal. He is valued at 10m and earned 10pts.

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