Unheralded Sergi Roberto continues to prove his worth for Barcelona

Sergi

Due to his incredible adaptability to operate in so many different positions, such as a central midfielder, winger or fullback, and his undoubted all-round quality, Sergi Roberto continues to prove his worth to Barcelona.

And under Quique Setien’s tenure, he’s shown what a vital asset he is to the tactically sophisticated technician’s plans, with him giving his manager much flexibility as to how best deploy him and his team in general.

Operating at right back, a role he’s now extremely familiar with, for Barca’s crunch clash with Getafe, Roberto once again put in shift littered with upside, in a match where he notably scored his first league goal since 2017.

Despite Barcelona dominating possession for large chunks, third placed Getafe still posed a major threat offensively with their transitions, physicality and nous upfront. So Roberto had to be on his game to handle this threat, which he was, dealing with whatever came his was quite comfortably indeed.

Facing off against talented Barca loanee, Marc Cucurella, Roberto certainly won the battle, for he defended with conviction and awareness to keep his adversary quiet. Good in 1v1s, tracking runs attentively, strong in aerial duels and timing his challenges cleanly, the 28-year-old hardly put a foot wrong, thus ensuring Cucurella struggled to have his usual impact.

When not directly marking Cucurella, Roberto remained positionally secure, as he’d recognise when to tuck infield to ensure compactness, step out, drop back, shift across or support his defenders.

The fact he chimed in with eight ball recoveries, three interceptions, two clearances and won two aerial duels punctuated his strong output.

Meanwhile, on the offensive side of things, Roberto was customarily assured in possession, stroking around the ball tidily to connect, construct and break the lines when the opportunity arose. Two footed and boasting fine vision, the Spaniard’s ability to remain unfazed by pressure to combine with his teammates to get away from danger or to find the free man was a big plus against Getafe’s fierce pressure.

Image 1 - Superb incisive pass to play in a teammate

Superb incisive pass to play in a teammate

Without question, however, his most striking contribution came from his wonderful forward bursts. Curling and timing his runs superbly so he could remain onside while exploiting the blindside of his marker, he added valuable width and depth to Barca’s attacks. Credit must go to the likes of Frenkie De Jong and Antoine Griezmann especially, for they drew their trackers narrow to generate openings for Roberto to explore.

Image 2 - Brilliantly timed blindside run in behind

Brilliantly timed blindside run in behind

Image 3 - Sublimely timed run in behind to take advantage of the space

Sublimely timed run in behind to take advantage of the space

Image 4 - Wonderful depth run as he catches Getafe off guard

Wonderful depth run as he catches Getafe off guard

Image 5 - Cucurella getting drawn inside which frees up Roberto to receive

Cucurella getting drawn inside which frees up Roberto to receive

Image 6 - Providing a great outlet for the switch

Providing a great outlet for the switch

Indeed, his goal offered a glowing testament to his aptitude here, with him angling his out-to-in blindside run smoothly to evade his marker before finishing with aplomb on his left foot.

Image 7 - Fantastic blindside run to get free before finishing

Fantastic blindside run to get free before finishing

Some other ways he unbalanced Jose Bordalas’ men came courtesy of his slick underlapping runs and rotations with Griezmann, which posed dilemmas for Getafe on who should mark who. His high and wide positioning also saw him available for quick switches of play, where he often found himself in a 2v1 overload with Antoine Griezmann or a 3v2 superiority to get at the away team.

Image 8 - Helping form a 2v1 out wide with Griezmann

Helping form a 2v1 out wide with Griezmann

Image 9 - Forming the free man as Barca form a 3v2

Forming the free man as Barca form a 3v2

When looking at his offensive numbers, and they were solid too, as he completed 41 of 46 attempted passes, five of six attempted passes into the box and final third, two shot assists, two dribbles and two touches inside the box.

After yet another accomplished display by the regularly unheralded Barca utility, this will do wonders for the heavily derided figure’s confidence, who regularly comes in for rather harsh criticism.

With such a massive period ahead that includes the Clasico against Real Madrid, their Champions League tie with Napoli and a tough contest with Real Sociedad, you can guarantee Setien will value his presence no matter where he decides to deploy him.

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Fantasy LaLiga picks for this weekend’s action – Madrid derby takes centre stage

This weekend sees another full list of LaLiga clashes as Madrid prepares for the derby when Real host Atleti on Saturday afternoon.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

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

Goalkeeper – Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao) – 5.5 million

Unai Simon is the third-highest scoring goalkeeper in fantasy LaLiga so far this season but far cheaper than Thibaut Courtois and Jan Oblak. Simon is on 55 points.

Defender – Yuri (Athletic Bilbao) – 3.0 million

The highest-scoring defender is another incredible bargain at just 3.0 million. Yuri is another Athletic Bilbao player.

Defender – Yeray (Athletic Bilbao) – 2.0 million

A good cheap defender and another Athletic Bilbao bargain! Yeray is a great choice for many fantasy LaLiga managers.

Defender – Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid) – 7.0 million

Daniel Carvajal is enjoying some consistency at right-back this season for Real Madrid and is one of Los Blancos’ cheaper options.

Defender – Diego Carlos (Sevilla) – 6.0 million

Sevilla’s Brazilian centre-half is enjoying a strong season so far with Sevilla.

Midfielder – Daniel Parejo (Valencia) – 8.5 million

Parejo, the Spanish playmaker, having another fine season at the Mestalla.

Midfielder – Ruben Garcia (Osasuna) – 4.5 million

Five goals and one assist from Osasuna’s midfield makes Ruben Garcia one of the surprise packages of the LaLiga campaign so far.

Midfielder – Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal) – 5.5 million

Veteran midfielder Santi Cazorla only returned from long-term injury last season. He has been in great form for Villarreal.

Midfielder – Martin Odegaard (Real Sociedad) – 5.0 million

The 20-year-old Norwegian star who is still owned by Real Madrid has a huge future in the game. Martin Odegaard has performed brilliantly this season.

Forward – Lionel Messi (Barcelona) – 20.0 million

Lionel Messi won his sixth Ballon d’Or last week. The Argentine wizard missed the first few weeks of Barcelona’s season. Messi looked to be coming back to his best with two goals in the Copa del Rey during the week.

Forward – Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) – 10.0 million

Karim Benzema is ensuring no-one forgets about him in Zinedine Zidane’s new-ish Real Madrid squad.

Team in full (4-4-2): Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao); Yuri (Athletic Bilbao), Yeray (Athletic Bilbao), Daniel Carvajal (Real Madrid), Diego Carlos (Sevilla); Daniel Parejo (Valencia), Ruben Garcia (Osasuna), Santiago Cazorla (Villarreal), Martin Odegaard (Real Sociedad); Lionel Messi (Barcelona), Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)

Total cost: 77.0 million

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Top fantasy LaLiga picks as Barcelona prepare for tough tussle at Valencia

This weekend sees another full list of La Liga clashes as Spanish football’s top flight settles in for the second half of the season.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

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

Continue reading

Top fantasy La Liga picks for this weekend’s action in Spain

We have another full schedule of LaLiga games coming up in Spain this weekend.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

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

Continue reading

Best 11 players in La Liga week 19

We are officially at the halfway point of the Spanish league season and the favourites to win the league, Barcelona and Real Madrid are both locked on 40 points with Barca on top due to goal difference.

We take a look at the players who performed this past weekend in La Liga, who made the cut for the best 11 and who didn’t?

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

The spotlight has been on Courtois since his move to Madrid but this season he is amongst the very best goal keepers. Along with four others he was able to earn 7 points for his clean sheet. But he gets the nod as Madrid played a local derby in beating Getafe as the club won 3-0.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 9pts

What a weekend it was for Raphael Varane who kept a clean sheet in the Madrid derby as his team won 3-0. But what nobody was expecting was that he scored 2 goals in the game and was the main reason his side won and strolled in the end to victory. Varane is currently 4th in the fantasy rankings and can be bought for just 8.5m.

Defender: Daniel Wass- Valencia 6pts

Daniel Wass was at the heart of everything and had a very good game as Valencia beat Eibar 1-0 and are now in the top six. He would have picked up more points but he got booked in the game.

Defender: Daniel Carvajal- Real Madrid 5pts

This was another solid game for Carvajal in defence as he was able to help his side to a clean sheet with a 3-0 win at Getafe. The defender is currently the best in La Liga fantasy rankings and has 50 points so far and is just 7m to buy.

Defender: Domingas Duarte- Granada 5pts

Domingas Duarte has proved to be one of the surprise defenders this season and is doing well week in and week out. He helped his team secure a 1-0 win over Mallorca and kept a clean sheet in doing so as the club propped up the table.

Midfielder: Luka Modric- Real Madrid 6pts

The world player of the year in 2018 was dominant in midfield as Real Madrid beat Getafe and to top it off after the club were 2-0 up he put the win beyond doubt by scoring a 3rd goal, which was ironically his 3rd of the season.

Midfielder: Manuel Trigueros- Villarreal 4pts

Trigueros has only scored 10 points all season and 40% of those came in this match as Villarreal beat Real Sociedad 2-1 away from home. The midfielder opened the scoring for his side after converting a penalty.

Midfielder: Santiago Cazorla- Villarreal 4pts

Sticking with Villarreal is Santiago Cazorla who came on as a substitute on the hour mark and then won the game for his side with a goal as the club ran out 2-1 winners.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Midfielders did not have a great weekend in La Liga with the average best scores of just 4 points. Correa gained his after his side beat Levante 2-1 and he opened the scoring which set the game up for his side.The player has earned 29 points so far this season.

Striker: Luis Suarez- Barcelona 6pts

Luis Suarez is still scoring goals as his team Barcelona drew 2-2 with Espanyol in the derby game. Suarez scored the equaliser for Barca and the teams first goal which ended up setting them up with a point at least to go home with. Suarez is the 3rd best striker in the league so far and has scored 11 goals.

Striker: Enes Unal- Real Valladolid 7pts

But the best striker this past weekend goes to Enes Unal who bagged 7 points as his side drew 2-2 with Leganes. Both times Valladolid were a goal down and both times Unal scored to get them back in the game. He is valued at 5.5m and has scored 3 goals so far this season.

How well do you know European Football? Want to challenge the best Spanish Fantasy Managers? Play www.liga-fantasy.com now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fantasy LaLiga picks for this weekend – Messi has to be in

We have another full schedule of LaLiga games coming up in Spain this weekend.

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games as you decide on what changes, if any, to make in fantasy LaLiga.

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

Goalkeeper – Unai Simon (Athletic Bilbao) – 5.5 million Continue reading

LaLiga predictions – Barcelona face big test at Atletico Madrid while Real Madrid look to continue good run of form

It’s another busy weekend in Spain’s LaLiga. There is a full schedule of games to look forward with one particular highlight being the meeting of Atletico Madrid and Barcelona on Sunday night.

Here’s our brief preview of every single LaLiga game taking place over the coming days.

Celta Vigo Vs Real Valladolid

Key men: Denis Suarez (Celta Vigo); Oscar Plano (Real Valladolid) Continue reading

Match previews for this weekend’s LaLiga action

LaLiga returns tonight and there are some interesting matchups to look forward to over the whole weekend.

Time to sit back and enjoy these games after last week’s international break.

Levante Vs Mallorca

Key men: Jose Campana (Levante); Ante Budimir (Mallorca)

Prediction: Levante 2 – 1 Mallorca Continue reading

LaLiga match previews

LaLiga returns on Friday night and there are some interesting matchups to look forward to over the whole weekend.

Enjoy these games before another international break kicks in next week!

Real Sociedad Vs Leganes

Key men: Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad); Martin Braithwaite (Leganes)

Prediction: Real Sociedad 2 – 0 Leganes Continue reading

Match previews of this weekend’s Spanish LaLiga action

Spanish top-flight football returns this weekend after the international break.

There is a full schedule of 10 LaLiga games to keep us interested between Friday night and Sunday night.

At the moment, Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid side leads the way, two points clear of Barcelona at the top of the table.

Newly-promoted Granada has been the surprise package of the season so far, flying high in fourth place after 8 games. Continue reading