Just how good is Martin Odegaard?

He provided, no matter which way you look at it, one of the defining storylines of the 2019/20 season in Spain. Written off as a teenager and a wonderkid who failed to fulfil his potential, Martin Odegaard showed why so many were wrong about him by loaning Real Sociedad on loan this season and marking himself out as one of the best players in La Liga.

Indeed, Odegaard is finally flourishing. The Norwegian is still only 21 years old, but he made the move to Real Madrid at such a young age (16) that this season felt like something of a career renaissance. In hindsight, the pressure that was placed on a player, and a person, so young was ridiculous. Odegaard deserved time to mature at his own rate, and that is now what he has done.

Odegaard’s sensational performances for Real Sociedad this season have led to speculation that his two-season loan at the Anoeta could be cut short this summer after just one season. The Norwegian has proven himself on loan and now his parent club could recall him in order to integrate him into their new look midfield for the start of the 2020/21 campaign.

Recent reports state that Real Madrid will take a decision on Odegaard’s future after the Champions League has finished, with Los Blancos 2-1 down from their last 16 first leg against Manchester City. They have some work to do to turn the tie around and make the quarter finals.

The noises out of the Santiago Bernabeu are that Real Madrid will have to sell players before they can make moves in the transfer market this summer. That might prove quite challenging given the financial landscape across the European game at this moment and so Florentino Perez might not have much money to throw around.

Perez always recognises the importance of hype and growing excitement among the Real Madrid support and so he could recall Odegaard to do this. The Norwegian has been on the books at the Santiago Bernabeu for the last five years, but the fans haven’t yet been given a real look at him. Real Madrid could, in a way, present him as something of a new signing this summer. It might be time for Odegaard to finally prove why Los Blancos kept him around and why he should be a big part of the club’s future.

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Vinicius Junior proves once again why he is so valuable to Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane is no stranger to throwing in a curve ball with his team selections and the Real Madrid performed a familiar trick on Sunday by naming James Rodriguez to his starting lineup for the crucial away game at Real Sociedad. This was the same James who hadn’t started a game for Los Blancos since the defeat to Real Mallorca all the way back in October.

Such was the fuss made about the Colombian’s presence that not much was said about the call to rest Eden Hazard just days after he’d turned in his best performance as a Real Madrid player so far in the 3-0 win over Valencia. In his place, Vinicius Junior was trusted on the left side of attack.

There is no doubting the potential Vinicius possesses. It’s easy to forget the Brazilian winger is still only a teenager such has been the impression he has made on the Santiago Bernabeu over the last two seasons. But for all that Vinicius frustrates and still has a lot of refining to do to his game, he is extremely valuable to Los Blancos.

He proved this, not for the first time, in the 2-1 win over Real Sociedad that took Real Madrid to the top of La Liga for the first time since their Clasico win over Barcelona at the start of March. While the visitors to the Anoeta struggled to break down La Real for much of the match, Vinicius made things happen.

It was the Brazilian teenager who win the penalty kick that Sergio Ramos stroked home to send Real Madrid on their way. There is an unpredictability and sometimes a lack of control to Vinicius’ dribbling, but this is partly what makes him so difficult to defend against and why when he gets the ball something tends to happen.

With James and Karim Benzema generally unwilling to drive at the opposition defence, Vinicius attempted to run through them. This saw him dispossessed a number of times, and the Brazilian could still do with polishing his final product in the final third, but nobody else currently at the Santiago Bernabeu approaches the game like he does. He gives Zidane something different and that something different helped earn Real Madrid what could prove to be a season-defining result. A result that puts them on course for the Spanish title.

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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

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

Could Martin Odegaard return to Real Madrid sooner than expected?

Not so long ago, Martin Odegaard found himself on the scrapheap alongside the likes of Freddy Adu, Kerlon and Gael Kakuta. Signed by Real Madrid as a prodigious teenager, the Norwegian was barely given a chance at the Santiago Bernabeu before he was written off. How such hastiness now looks foolish.

On loan from the capital at Real Sociedad, Odegaard has arguably been the best player in La Liga over the first few weeks of the season. The Norwegian, now 20 years old, has scored twice and has contributed one assist in six appearances for the Basque side, but those numbers don’t quite do justice to the impact he has made.

There was one particular moment in Real Sociedad’s 3-0 win over Alaves on Thursday night that illustrated the level at which Odegaard is playing right now. The Norwegian picked up the ball, beat two players and then threaded through a pass few would have seen let alone make for Mikel Oyarzabal to finish.

Odegaard is playing so well that some have already speculated whether he could be recalled early by Real Madrid. The Norwegian is on loan for the next two years at the Anoeta, but with Zinedine Zidane short of options in midfield he is surely already thinking about how he could use the 20-year-old in his own team.

“At the end of last season, I felt like it would be best for me not to return to Madrid,” Odegaard explained in an interview given just a few weeks ago. “At Madrid, there are lots of big-name players and there is a lot of competition. It was obvious that it was better for me to ask for a new loan, which I think the club also accepted. That’s why we decided so soon.”

Real Madrid’s signing of Odegaard all those years ago finally looks to be paying off, but they have yet to gain any benefit themselves. Instead it’s Real Sociedad, who sit just one point adrift of Real Sociedad at the top of La Liga, who are getting the best from the Norwegian as he matures into the superstar he always promised to be.

The discussion now being had at the Santiago Bernabeu is surely now focused on whether it would be better to keep Odegaard out on loan at Real Sociedad for the full duration of his loan spell or to recall him and start integrating him into the Real Madrid first team. If he continues playing in this manner, the decision might be made for them.

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 the upcoming weekend’s games

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

A preview of all the action in gameweek 4 of LaLiga

Another full list of LaLiga matches awaits all Spanish football fans this weekend. There are some very interesting matchups to look out for as well.

Here is our preview of all ten games.

Mallorca v Athletic Bilbao

Key men: Salva Sevilla (Mallorca); Inaki Williams (Athletic Bilbao)

Prediction: Mallorca 0 – 1 Athletic Bilbao Continue reading

This weekend’s fantasy LaLiga suggestions

Two rounds in, thirty-six to go. What tales has LaLiga in store for us between now and next May?

It’s time to look ahead to the upcoming games in Spanish football’s top tier 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 – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 11.0 million

Always a great choice, Jan Oblak will be confident of another clean sheet against Eibar. Continue reading