La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 12

Atletico Madrid remain the only team in La Liga unbeaten and they went top by a point after beating Valladolid. Real Sociedad had to concede top place as they drew their 2nd game in a row- is the pressure getting to the club?

Real Madrid narrowly beat Sevilla 1-0 to stay in 4th place but it was more sad news for an indifferent Barcelona side who lost their 4th game of the season 2-1 at Cadiz. Barcelona are 12 points behind Atletico and that has to be a worrying site for fans to see. Cadiz themselves have been a surprise package and are in fifth place with 18 points.

Below we take a look at the star performers from this past weekend.

Goalkeeper: Fernando Pacheco- Alaves 7pts

Fernando Pacheco put in a great performance for Alaves as he had to keep the then league leaders Real Sociedad quiet. The game finished 0-0 and Pacheco made some good saves. He has been in good form for Alaves and kept 4 clean sheets so far.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 9pts

Kieran Trippier is becoming a regular fixture to teams of the weeks in La Liga and here he is again. In beating Valladolid, Atletico kept yet another clean sheet. However Trippier also earned points by assisting in both of the goals in a 2-0 win that has sent Atletico to the top of the league. Trippier has 3 assists this season and has 46 points overall.

Defender: Hugo Mallo- Celta Vigo 9pts

Hugo Mallo earned 9 points at the weekend as Celta Vigo ovecame Athletic Bilbao 2-0. Mallo kept a clean sheet and scored the opening goal of the match, to cap off a perfect weekend for the defender.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5pts

Raphael Varane is now Real Madrid’s 2nd best defender in the fantasy rankings and he earned another 5 points at the weekend helping his side keep a clean sheet in a tricky 1-0 win away to Sevilla.

Defender: Carlos Clerc-Levante 7pts

Carlos Clerc has zero points now as his seven earned at the weekend helped him eradicate a minus score in the fantasy points. Levante beat Getafe 3-0 and not only did Clerc earn points for a clean sheet which is his first of the season but he also set up the 2nd goal.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Alongside Portu of Real Sociedad Marcos Llorente is the equal best midfielder in La Liga’s fantasy points and now has a total of 34. Llorente only came on as a 2nd half substitute but scored Atletico’s 2nd goal which effectively wrapped up the game, that was his 4th goal of the season so far.

Midfielder: Thomas Lemar- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Thomas Lemar opened the scoring for Atletico and in turn earned six points for the weekend. That was Lemar’s first goal of the season and his value is 6m, he now has 16 points for the season.

Midfielder: Joaquin Sanchez- Real Betis 4pts

Joaquin Sanchez hasn’t scored any goals so far this season but he assisted in his 2nd of this campaign as Betis impressively beat Osasuna 2-0 away from home.

Midfielder: Borja- Huesca 4pts

Huesca were involved in a six goal thriller at the weekend as away from home they drew 3-3 with Granada. Borja now has 8 points and his value is 7m

Striker: Alvaro Negredo- Cadiz 4pts

This wasn’t the weekend for strikers to earn many points but Alvaro Negredo deserves his four. Negredo came on for Cadiz against Barcelona just after the hour mark and 60 seconds later he had scored to make it 2-1 to the home side who claimed a famous victory. Negredo now has 3 goals and he has assisted in a further three also.

Striker: Roger- Levante 5pts

Roger opened the scoring as Levante beat Getafe 3-0 to escape the relegation zone. He lost points as he was shown a yellow. Roger has been involved in 5 goals for the club and has scored 3 so far and his value is worth 6m.

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The Best 11 Players in La Liga 2020/21 so far

With internationals taking over the domestic season last week and this week we look at the players who are making all the noise in the Spanish league so far. Just who has been the best performing players this season?. Both Real Madrid and Barcelona have struggled so far, and only 1 player overall has made the final cut- who is it? Just who has been making the biggest impact so far in the league? In a 4-4-2 formation we will find out below:

Goalkeeper: Remiro- Real Sociedad 35pts

Remiro and Jan Oblak have the same points and have clearly been the outstanding goalkeepers in La Liga, however Remiro has played more games and whist Oblak was expected to have a great season Remiro wasn’t. The shot stopper has kept 5 clean sheets so far this season and Real Sociedad are top of the league.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 27pts

Kieran Trippier is currently the best defender in Spanish football with 27 fantasy points earned. Atletico Madrid are in great form and the Englishman has helped to keep 5 clean sheets at the back and has also assisted in a goal. His value is 7m.

Defender: Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 21pts

Mario Hermoso alongside Trippier has been solid as a rock in Atletico Madrid’s defence and has helped keep 4 clean sheets, he has played 2 less games than Trippier with five matches completed so far, his value is 5m.

Defender: Stefan Savic- Atletico Madrid 20pts

Atletico Madrid dominate the defence in Spanish football that is because they have staggeringly only conceded 2 goals this season from their seven games played. Savic has 20 fantasy points so far and has helped keep 4 clean sheets.

Defender: Felipe- Atletico Madrid 19pts

Felipe not only defends well but also has pace on the counter attack and is yet another Atletico Madrid player to make it in defence this season. The club have only conceded 1 goal at home and 1 away. Felipe has helped to keep 4 clean sheets.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 30pts

So far Portu has been the best defender in the league and has 30 points after a blistering start which has saw his team Real Sociedad in the top position. He has been involved in 6 goals, scoring 4 and assisting in 2 and has been a revelation this season, his value is 8.5m.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 25pts

Back to Atletico Madrid and their best midfielder has been Marcos Llorente. He has scored 3 goals and assisted in two others. He has been a great fixture in the middle of the field and one of the best players in the league so far overall.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 22pts

Angel Correa has been able to link up well with Llorente in midfield. His contribution to the team has also been very important. He isn’t much of a goalscorer, although has scored this season but he is all about assist, and has already set up 4 goals this season.

Midfielder: Federico Valverde- Real Madrid 20pts

From Real Madrid and Barcelona it is incredible to think that only 1 player has made this team of the season so far. It’s been an interesting season though. Valverde has scored 3 goals and assisted in one, in an otherwise bumpy start for Zinedine Zidane’s team.

Striker: Mikel Oyarzabal- Real Sociedad 27pts

With Real Sociedad being the best team so far in the league it is no surprise that they have a striker who has started so well. Mikel Oyarzabal has chalked up 27 points through scoring six goals and also assisting in a further two. His current value is only 8m and he could end up being the best striker over the season at this rate.

Striker: Paco Alcacer- Villarreal 24pts

Paco Alcacer seems to be having a second wind as a striker and has done well with Villarreal so far this season. He has scored 5 goals and assisted in 2 and wit 24 points he is currently the 2nd best striker in Spain. His value is a real bargain at just 3m.

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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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Atletico Madrid finally on the road to salvaging their season

The picture was bleak for Atletico Madrid as they returned to action after a three-month hiatus due to the coronavirus shutdown. Diego Simeone’s side had endured a difficult campaign and faced an uphill battle to just finish in La Liga’s top four, securing their place in next season’s Champions League.

Now, though, things look a lot better. Atletico Madrid have found a vein of form, winning four of the five games they have played since La Liga’s return to lift themselves up to third place in the table. With the end of the season now coming into sight it appears the capital club will once again have a seat at the top table of the European game next season.

A few tweaks from Simeone have contributed to this change in fortune. Of course, the faltering form of those around Atletico Madrid has helped, with Real Sociedad and Getafe in particular struggling to pick up where they off in March, but the Argentine coach deserves credit for the changes he has made.

One major tweak has seen Marcos Llorente been converted into something of an attacker. Signed from Real Madrid last season, Llorente was initially used as a holding midfielder. His performance at Anfield, scoring twice to knock Liverpool out of the Champions League at the last 16 stage, seemingly opened Simeone’s mind to his attacking capabilities.

Llorente has been pushed higher up the pitch and has given Atletico Madrid a creative presence that they were previously lacking in the final third. His new role has added a new dimension to Simeone’s side, opening up space around the edge of the opposition box and in the penalty area. Atleti are a better balanced side now than they were at any other stage of the season.

Diego Costa has also found some form having had three full months to rest up, while Atletico Madrid’s defence is doing a better job of defending set pieces, giving Simeone a bedrock to build his team upon. All of a sudden, there is a structure and form to Atletico Madrid’s play again. They are a team unit again.

Of course, even if Atletico Madrid finish in the top four, this season cannot be considered a success. They targeted silverware before the start of the 2019/20 campaign. But they are finally on the road to salvaging something and giving themselves a platform again.

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Has Diego Simeone finally figured out how and where to use Marcos Llorente?

It could be that Atletico Madrid’s 5-0 win over Osasuna earlier in the week is looked back upon as a turning point in the career of Marcos Llorente. Lured from Real Madrid last summer, the addition of Llorente was deemed as quite a coup for Atleti. Llorente is a talented young midfielder who many see as one of Spanish football’s best hopes for the future.

And yet Diego Simeone didn’t seem to know what to do with the 25-year-old for the first two thirds of the season. Competition is currently stiff for midfield places in the Atletico Madrid squad and Llorente soon found himself down the pecking order behind the likes of Koke, Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey.

Something has changed, though. Simeone had some time to think about Llorente’s role in the Atleti team over the coronavirus shutdown and has subsequently deployed in a new position in the last two games. Used as more of an attacker than a midfielder, Llorente drove Atletico Madrid to two very important wins in back-to-back games.

Introduced off the bench for the final 30 minutes against Osasuna, Llorente scored and contributed two assists in a 5-0 win that represented Atletico Madrid’s best performance of the Liga season so far. And the 25-year-old followed it up with an impressive display in a win over Real Valladolid days later.

It would appear that Simeone has unlocked Llorente’s inherent creativity and invention by moving him higher up the pitch. While he has been previously used as a number six and a number eight, it’s as something closer to a number 10 that Llorente has finally found his place in the Atletico Madrid team.

This conversion could be a game-changer for Atletico Madrid as they attempt to rescue a difficult season. This season was always going to be one of transition for the capital club, with Simeone more than once referencing his desire to change Atleti’s style of play and identity as a whole.

Saturday’s win over Real Valladolid lifted them up to third place over Sevilla, significantly boosting their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League when just a few matches ago they had a lot of work to do. And if Atletico Madrid are to take their seat at European club football’s top table again it will be Llorente who has helped them do so.

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Marcos Llorente to Atletico Madrid: Real Madrid’s mistake?

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Atletico Madrid are closing in on the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente. Whilst the deal – which is said to be valued in the region of €40m – will theoretically benefit both clubs and the player, it is demonstrative of a further weakening of the relations between the two.

Llorente has never been a regular in Madrid’s starting line-up and previous reports have claimed that both Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in a deal. The central midfielder had been in line for a January loan move to Basque club Alaves but this was scrapped due to his high level of performances, but after a promising run of form he suffered an injury setback. Continue reading

Atletico Madrid show transfer intent before 2019-20 campaign

Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid are wasting little time in preparing for the 2019-20 La Liga season, with Diego Simeone already active in the transfer market.

The Argentinian boss reaffirmed his commitment to the club at the end of the season, despite the departures of key players and the reported lack of financial backing from the board.

However, the former Inter Milan midfielder has responded with his usual mix of pragmatism and tactical nous to quickly address the areas in his side that need strengthening.

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Zidane pushing for Real Madrid summer clear out

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Zinedine Zidane will push ahead with plans for a squad overhaul this summer, as he pledges to challenge Barcelona for the La Liga title in 2019-20.

The Frenchman has been clear in his desire to make changes at the club he led to three Champions League title between 2014 and 2017, and that means moving on some big names from the Santiago Bernabeu.

Club President Florentino Perez will fund certain transfer targets, but Zidane will have to clear out players to fund extra moves.

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¿Minutos para los niños blancos?

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En las últimas temporadas, el Real Madrid ha adoptado la política de fichar a futbolistas jóvenes llenos de talento y proyección. De momento no le está yendo mal. Estos jugadores saben aprovechar muy bien sus minutos y acaban siendo un revulsivo sobre el césped; sin embargo, no juegan todo lo que les gustaría.

Con la llegada de nuevas promesas al primer equipo, más las que ya estaban y las que podrían unirse, Zidane vuelve a tener otro bendito problema. Sus futbolistas tienen números de titulares, pero la alta competencia se lo pone complicado. Y no solo por los titulares, sino por los supuestos relevos.

Theo Hernández
El lateral de 19 años es una de las apuestas fuertes del club merengue. Viene para dar descanso a Marcelo, y aunque no sea nada fácil, tratará de quitarle el puesto al brasileño.

Marcos Llorente
Tras su cesión en el Alavés y su gran Eurocopa con la sub-21, el centrocampista de 22 años ha demostrado que tiene nivel para jugar en Primera División. No tendrá fácil hacerse con un hueco en el once titular, pero está claro que será un alivio para restar minutos a Modric o a Kroos.

Mayoral
Con 20 años y tras su paso por Alemania, viene para ser el recambio ofensivo de Mariano (que acaba de marcharse a Marsella). Jugará poco, y no solo porque la BBC parezca intocable, sino porque Isco y Asensio también quieren un hueco y cuentan con mejores números.

Vallejo
El central de 20 años ha cuajado una buena temporada cedido en Alemania y ha realizado un gran campeonato sub-21. La marcha de Pepe le ha abierto las puertas del Madrid, pero tendrá que lidiar con Ramos y Varane, además del polivalente Nacho, que ha respondido muy bien siempre que ha tenido minutos.

Fácil no será, pero sí que les supone todo un reto y un paso ineludible para triunfar en un gran equipo.