La Liga: Best 11 Players from Week 25

Barcelona took top spot again as Real Madrid lost to Levante in a shock result and for Barca Lionel Messi got back on form scoring 4 goals as Barcelona beat Eibar 5-0. We take a look at the best performing players in La Liga from the weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Tomas Vaclik- Sevilla 7pts

Tomas Vaclik really stuck out at the weekend as he kept a clean sheet in Sevilla’s 3-0 win over Getafe. This result has helped the club move into the top four. Vaclik earned 7 points and this puts his total to 50 for the season so far.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad 9pts

Nacho Monreal had a great weekend as he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet as Sociedad strolled to an 3-0 win over Valencia, the icing on the cake was that Monreal scored the 2nd goal.

Defender: Zaldua- Real Sociedad 7pts

Zaldua helped keep a clean sheet in Sociedad’s 3-0 win but also assisted in the teams first goal which got the ball rolling and for that he was able to earn a very solid 7 points. It is his 5th clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Diego Carlos- Sevilla 5pts

Diego Carlos earned 5 points as Sevilla easily won their game beating 3-0. Carlos has been one of the most important defenders in Spain where he has now kept an impressive 10 clean sheets.

Defender: Clement Lenglet- Barcelona 5pts

Lenglet played an important role to keep a clean sheet as Barcelona beat Eibar 5-0. It was important for the player who has sometimes got criticism in his role, but it was the players 5th clean sheet of the season for the Catalan giants.

Midfielder: Angel Correra- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Angel Correra is ranked as the 3rd best midfielder in La Liga and for good reason and another 6 points were earned as his team beat Villarreal 3-1. He opened the scoring and then assisted in the 2nd goal and now has a total of 43 points.

Midfielder: Fernando- Sevilla 8pts

Fernando has 17 points in total and at times has struggled this season but he had a very positive weekend scoring Sevilla’s 2nd goal and then making the assist for the 3rd.

Midfielder: Arthur- Barcelona 6pts

Arthur scored Barcelona’s 5th goal as they club beat Eibar 5-0 to go top of the table. It was the players 3rd goal of the season and this was such an important win and he capped the games victory off nicely.

Midfielder: Jorge Koke- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Koke had another great game scoring the 2nd and then setting up Felix for the 3rd goal as Atletico beat Villarreal 3-1. Koke now has 31 points and is ranked as one of the best midfielders in La Liga.

Striker: Darwin Machis- Granada 8pts

Granada beat Osasuna 3-0 and Machis scored the 2 opening goals in just over 20 minutes to earn a fantastic 8 points in fantasy La Liga. He now has 5 goals for the season.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 18 pts

18!, you read that right 18 points for the master player Lionel Messi was earned at the weekend as he scored an incredible 4 goals past Eibar as Barcelona went top of the league. A hat trick seemed sufficient but the great Messi scored another and he now has aptly 18 goals in the league.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Week 24

Real Madrid were shocked as they could draw at home against Celta Vigo 2-2. With Barcelona getting past Getafe with a 2-1 win it means that Barca are just one point behind Madrid with 14 games left to play. From the top 6 teams only two won in Barcelona and Villarreal and that has also made Champions League finishing positions more open and interesting.

Let’s take a look below at who performed the best this past weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Joel Robles- Real Betis 7pts

Only two goalkeepers in La Liga earned 7 points and it happened in the same match as Leganes took on Real Betis. The game ended 0-0 but Joel Robles deserves this one being the away goalkeeper and Levante had 11 goal attempts.

Defender: Oier Mate- Osasuna 8pts

It was a perfect match for Oier Mate who not only kept a clean sheet for his club but also scored the only goal and winner as Osasuna beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 away from home.

Defender: David Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Garcia alongside his team mater Oier Mate helped to keep a clean sheet away from home and earned 5 points. That is his 7th of the season where he has helped his club.

Defender: Aissa Mandi- Real Betis 5pts

Aissa Mandi has been good at collecting yellow cards which has hampered his points total, but at the weekend he did a perfect job for Real Betis and he has helped the club keep 4 clean sheets this season.

Defender: Martin Valjent- Real Mallorca 

Real Mallorca beat Alaves 1-0 and Valjent was a big part of that success and earning 3 points in the heart of defence. He has helped to keep 4 clean sheets this season.

Midfielder: Suso- Sevilla 6pts

Suso rescued a point for Sevilla who were losing 2-1 at home to Espanyol but with just minutes left Suso was able to get a very important goal for the home side. It was only his 2nd goal of the season but such an important one.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

It was a disappointing result at the weekend for Real Madrid who could only draw 2-2 at home to Celta Vigo. But Toni Kroos put in a good shift at home and also scored a goal to put his team back in the game after they conceded first.

Midfielder: Moises Gomez- Villarreal 4pts

Moises Gomez got the winning goal as his side Villarreal beat Levante 2-1 in a very close game. He has been involved in 7 goals this season and that was his 3rd of the season.

Midfielder: Thomas Partey- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Thomas scored only his 2nd goal of the season to help Atletico draw 2-2 with Valencia in an entertaining draw. The league is over for the club but they need to maintain a Champions League berth.

Striker: Gerard Moreno- Villarreal 6pts

Gerard Moreno had a brilliant game for Villarreal as he opened the scoring and then set up the winner as his side won 2-1. Moreno has scored 10 goals this season and created 3 further goals.

Striker: Lucas Ocampos- Sevilla 6pts

Lucas Ocampos also earned 6 points and did the same job as Moreno scoring his teams first goal and then setting up the assist for the 2nd as Sevilla drew 2-2. It was Ocampos’ 7th goal of the season.

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La Liga Best 11 Players from the Weekend: Matchday 21

Real Madrid went top after they beat Valladolid to win their 3rd game in a row. And Madrid took 1st place after Barcelona lost 2-0 away to Valencia. Atletico Madrid continued their poor form when they could only draw 0-0 at home to Leganes. After 21 games the league title and top 4 places are still up for grabs and we look at the players who performed the best in matchday 21. Do you have any of them? Now is the time to look!

Formation: 4-4-2.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

The goalkeeper choice goes to Thibaut Courtois because Real Madrid were the only side at the weekend to play away and keep a clean sheet and that was the goalkeeper’s 10th of the season.

Defender: Nacho- Real Madrid 8pts

Nacho played out the perfect game as he helped keep a clean sheet in a 1-0 win for Madrid over Valladolid and he also scored the winning and only goal of the game. An unlikely hero that is valued at 6.5m and has scored 21 points so far in total.

Defender: Roberto Rosales- Leganes 5pts

Roberto Rosales starred well for Leganes who stunned Atletico Madrid at their own stadium to hold out for a 0-0 draw, even with 10 men in the end. Rosales is valued at 5.5m and that was third clean sheet of the season.

Defender: Jose Angel- Eibar 5pts

Eibar held off Celta Vigo away with that game finishing 0-0 and Jose Angel was thick in the action and made some crucial tackles as he earned 5 points for the clean sheet. He can be part of your team for 8m.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5pts

Now with a total of 54 points for the season Sergio Ramos is the best performing defender in La Liga. He has played in 10 games where Madrid have kept a clean sheet and the veteran star does not come too cheap at 9m, but seems worth it.

Midfielder: Portu- Real Sociedad 8pts

Portu had a man of the match game after he assisted in Real Sociedad’s first goal and then  scored later on as his team won 3-0 against Mallorca in a one sided game. He has 42 points so far this season and is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Ruben Garcia- Osasuna 6pts

Osasuna’s game was 0-0 with just 10 minutes left when they were awarded a penalty and Ruben Garcia under obvious pressure scored and that goal was vital as the home side went onto win their game 2-0. Having earned 32 points this season Garcia looks like a great deal, valued at just 4.5m.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

Kroos was part of a Madrid midfield that stayed firm in a difficult match and helped the defence keep a clean sheet and the German international then assisted in Madrid’s only goal of the game. Kroos currently has 35 points.

Midfielder: Jesus Navas- Sevilla 4pts

Sevilla beat Granada 2-0 and the opening goal which helped the home side to win the game was assisted by Navas, who has had another solid outing for the club he has become most associated too. He has 24 points so far this season and costs 4.5m.

Striker: Carlos Bacca- Villarreal 4pts

It was a low earning week for strikers, and Carlos Bacca scored one of Villarreal’s goals as they beat Alaves away from home 2-1. It was Bacca’s first league goal of the season but he has only started a handful of games for the club. His value is 10.5m, perhaps this could kick start his form?

Striker: Angel- Getafe 4pts

Angel got Getafe’s goal as they earned 3 valuable points at home to Real Betis winning the game 1-0. It was the players 9th goal of the season and he has 35 points already this season and his value is 7.5m.

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Ligue 1: Weekend Picks for Matchday 21

Cup competitions have dominated French football this month as they usually do in January but the league returns this weekend as Marseille will be trying to close the 8 point gap to PSG at the top. They will also be trying to fend off the threat from Rennes. The top 4 then is up for grabs still and the relegation battle, well take your pick from the bottom 8 teams. If anything Ligue 1 is a super close contest.

Below we pick the players who could make an impact at the weekend, based on form and also the teams that they will be up against, maybe you will fancy having some of them in your team?

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Steve Mandanda- Marseille

Steve Mandanda has conceded just 3 goals in the last 5 Marseille games and the club will be at home to Angers at the weekend where they will start as the favourites. Mandanda has 33 points and has 7 clean sheets so far, he is valued at 8.5m.

Defender: Hiroki Sakai- Marseille

Hiroki Sakai has been in brilliant defensive form for Marseille who should get all three points at the weekend when they play Angers. Sakai has been involved in games where he has kept 6 clean sheets. He has 21 points and is valued at 7.5m.

Defender: Joris Gnagnon- Rennes

Joris Gnagnon has 21 points and Rennes have been very impressive lately in not conceding goals, just 2 in their last five games. On Friday night the club will play Nice away from home and on the road they have not conceded a goal for their last 3 matches. Gnagnon can be yours for 8m.

Defender: Damien Da Silva-Rennes

Da Silva alongside Gnagnon has built a very good partnership and the player has started 18 games for the club. With 33 points so far he is ranked as the best defender for his club. He has kept 7 clean sheets and can be bought for a bargain 5m.

Defender: Axel Disasi- Reims

Reims have a really good defensive record in the league and it is even better at home. The club have conceded just 5 goals all season and Axel Disasi has been involved in 10 clean sheets. He has earned 48 points and Reims will be at home this weekend against Metz who are in 17th place.

Midfielder: Yoann Court- Brest

Yoann Court has started 13 games and has acquired 32 points. He has been involved in 10 goals with 7 assists. Brest are at home to Amiens and they have a very solid record at home losing just one game this season and that was to PSG. Court could make an impression here and he is valued at 6m.

Midfielder: Aleksandr Golovin- Monaco

Golovin has scored 3 goals and been involved in a further 3 and has really spearheaded Monaco’s season which has been a massive improvement on the last one. He is always involved in attacks and Monaco will be the favourites and be at home against Strasbourg.

Midfielder: Jason Denayer-Lyon

Denayer has had 17 starts but has just 12 points. He has faced a few problems this season and can be bought for just 3.5m. He isn’t always picked so this could be a risk including him but Lyon are at home to the bottom side Toulouse and will be big favourites not just to beat them but to do it convincingly.

Midfielder: Xavier Chavalerin- Reims

Reims will be big favourites to score goals and win when they take on Metz at the weekend. Chavalerin has only scored 1 goal and assisted in one but he is due more and Metz could be the perfect opponent for him to impress. He can be bought for 6m.

Striker: Wissam Ben Yedder- Monaco

Ben Yedder has been brilliant since Monaco signed him, and he is the top goalscorer in Ligue 1 with 14 goals. Monaco will be at home to Strasbourg and who would bet against him scoring at the weekend? He is valued at 7m which is simply a bargain and he has 62 points so far.

Striker: Andy Delort- Montpellier

Andy Delort performed well in the Coupe de France and he scored 2 goals as Montpellier sailed into the round of 16, after beating Caen 5-0. Delort will have a ton of confidence coming into this game and could be a good pick. He has 27 points so far this season and can be brought in for 7m.

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Real Madrid have fight, but for how long can they scrape results?

In the context of this season’s title race in La Liga it could prove be a big moment. Sevilla have ambitions of their own, with Julen Lopetegui taking the Andalusian side into the top four. Some have even suggested that Sevilla might make themselves outside challengers for the Spanish title this season. They must have fancied their chances of leaving the Santiago Bernabeu with something on Saturday.

Real Madrid, though, claimed a 2-1 win to establish a three-point lead over Barcelona at the top of La Liga with their Catalan rivals set to play Granada at home on Sunday evening. This was the sort of game Zinedine Zidane’s side likely would have dropped points from earlier in the season. It could even be argued that Sevilla were the better of the two teams on balance.

With Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Sergio Ramos and Fede Valverde all out through injury or suspension, Real Madrid were short-handed. The absence of Benzema in particular posed Zidane with a real problem. The French striker is enjoying the season of his life, but the drop off in quality in Benzema’s absence is dramatic.

Luke Jovic set up the opening goal with a clever backheel flick for Casemiro, but the Serbian striker has struggled to find his place at Real Madrid since joining from Eintracht Frankfurt in the summer. In the main, Jovic doesn’t facilitate others around him in the way Benzema does. Thus Real Madrid are a poorer team in attack with the Serbian leading the line. This was evident against Sevilla.

And yet Real Madrid still managed to find enough within themselves to claim a crucial three points at a critical point of the season. This has become a trend for Zidane’s side over the past few weeks. It was a similar story against Atletico Madrid in the final of the Spanish Supercopa, with a penalty shootout getting Real Madrid over the line when they probably should have lost in 120 minutes of open play.

This is obviously a good quality to have, but for how long can this sustain Real Madrid? There is still a sense that they have yet to find top form and top gear this season. They have scraped through games at time, just getting over the line when they probably should have fallen short. Zidane still has to take Real Madrid to a higher level.

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How badly will Real Madrid miss Fede Valverde against Sevilla?

It was the moment that essentially decided the Spanish Supercopa final. Real Madrid’s win over Atletico Madrid in Saudi Arabia last weekend won’t be remembered for the penalties in the shootout, nor will anything during the 90 minutes stick in the mind. Instead, Fede Valverde’s cynical, last-ditch tackle on Alvaro Morata will be remembered.

The Uruguayan midfielder didn’t really have any other choice. With five minutes left of extra time, Morata was released clean through on goal. Valverde was the only one chasing back and so it was up to him to fell the Atletico Madrid striker, taking the straight red card for his troubles.

Valverde picked up the Man of the Match award almost purely for his tackle, raising a debate over whether such a decision was in the spirit of the game. Whether it was or wasn’t, the 21-year-old will now miss Real Madrid’s home match against Sevilla on Saturday, a landmark moment in this season’s title race at the top of La Liga.

The Uruguayan has become a key member of Zinedine Zidane’s side this season. He has filled a hole in Real Madrid’s midfield, leaving Casemiro, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric to fight over just two positions. It’s no exaggeration to say Valvede is now one of the first names on the team sheet.

Against Sevilla, Real Madrid will need to win the battle in the centre of the pitch. Julen Lopetegui will have revenge on his mind, returning to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first time since he was sacked as Real Madrid manager last season, and his team, currently sitting in fourth place, are a strong outfit capable of beating the best.

This is a critical point of the season for Spain’s top two. The fixtures will come thick and fast over the next few weeks as the Copa del Rey and Champions League start to clutter their schedule. A lot will be demanded of players like Valverde, but the 21-year-old will miss Saturday’s important match.

It will instead be up to the likes of Casemiro and Kroos to disrupt Sevilla’s play through the middle of the pitch. The Andalusians are excellent in transition and so Real Madrid must provide protection for their back four. Valverde would have helped do this. Finding someone to perform his duties will be key to what happens on Saturday.

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Best 11 Players in Spain’s Copa del Rey

The top teams were not involved in the latest round of the Copa del Rey as Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Valencia contested a new format of the Spanish Super Cup which was being played as a mini tournament in Saudi Arabia. That means that this week let other players shine. With no league matches over the weekend we will take a look at the best performing players in the Copa del Rey.

Goalkeeper: Alejandro Remiro- Real Sociedad

Alejandro Remiro made some good saves as Real Sociedad his team then went on to beat Ceuta by 4-0. But it was his initial saves early in the game that enabled the team to grow in confidence and win. Remiro is valued at 6m and has kept 3 clean sheets in the league so far.

Defender: Sergi Gomez- Sevilla

Sergi Gomez was a rock in defence for Sevilla and whilst the other two defenders by his side also played their part they got booked. But Gomez played a clean game and the 27 year old looked impressive as his side beat Escobedo 5-0.Gomez is 6.5m to buy.

Defender: Lucas Olaza- Celta Vigo

Celta Vigo overcame Merida 4-1 and Lucas Olaza held his own as left back. He made some brave challenges and even though he was part of a defence that conceded a goal, it’s harsh to be critical of his over all performance when his team wins so well.

Defender: Jesus Navas – Sevilla

A supremely gifted footballer and Jesus Navas put in a great display as Sevilla won their game 5-0. He kept a clean sheet and he assisted in the 5th goal to round up a great game for him. It’s worth noting that Navas normally plays in midfield for Sevilla, but they deployed him in defence for this cup game

Defender; Ander Capa- Athletico Bilbao

Ander Capa had an excellent game as his side won 4-0 and of course he kept a clean sheet. He is having a really good domestic season in La Liga too where he has scored 26 pts and can be bought for 5.5m which looks like a very decent price.

Midfielder: Maxime Gonalons- Granada

Maxime Gonalons had a very solid game in the middle of the field as his team Granada won 1-0 against Tamaraceite. Many pundits thought the score would be bigger, but Gonalons simply put his head down and knew this would be a tough physical battle and he left the pitch with no cautions against him. In La Liga he has only earned 3 pts so far but can be snapped up for a relatively cheap 5m.

Midfielder: Carbo Bellapart- Badalona

True you may not have heard of Carbo Bellapart who plays in the lower leagues for Badalona. But he played such an important part as his team stunned and knocked out La Liga team Getafe, by winning 1-0. He was assured and confident and local media praised him.

Midfielder: Matias Vargas- Espanyol

Espanyol faced a potential tricky tie against San Sebastian Reyes who talked up a good game before the match. They made Espanyol work hard for the win and Vargas distributed the ball well, as his side eventually won 2-0.

Striker: Soriano – Girona

Soriano scored two goals and helped his club overcome a resiliant round of football. Girona were playing in La Liga only a few years ago and they will want to get back, they played some good football in this cup game as they look to have a deep run. Soriano is 34 now and has been around for a while and the veteran striker would have been very happy to have scored a brace to help his team.

Striker: Asier Villalibre- Athletico Bilbao

Asier Villalibre had a fantastic game as he scored two goals in Athletico Bilbao’s 4-0  win away to Sestao. He was really on his game and perhaps is deserving more of La Liga game time. He certainly had his own personal match of the season with this performance.

Striker: Enes Unal -Valladolid

Enes Unal has been lightning up La Liga lately and he came through in the Copa del Rey also. He scored both goals as his side Valladolid beat Marbella 2-1. Even though they were the favourites to win the match finished at 1-1. But Unal was able to strike in extra time to get the winner. He is valued at 5.5m to bring into your team.

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A preview of this weekend’s LaLiga action

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 matches.

Sevilla v Celta Vigo

Key men: Jordan (Sevilla); Aspas (Celta Vigo)

Prediction: Sevilla 2 – 1 Celta Vigo

Sevilla are the early LaLiga leaders and I can’t see that changing after this game. They should overcome Celta Vigo on Friday night. Continue reading

Fantasy LaLiga picks for this weekend’s matches

How did your LaLiga fantasy team get on over the opening weekend?

I’m sure, like all of us, you’ll need to make some changes throughout the squad. Well, that’s what we’re here for.

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

A good budget option, Unai Simon is only half the price of last week’s pick, Jan Oblak. Simon managed a clean sheet against Barcelona so another one is very possible away to Getafe. Continue reading

LaLiga fantasy picks for the opening weekend of the season in Spain

LaLiga returns this Friday night when Atheltic Bilbao welcome the reigning champions to San Mames.

Will anyone be able to stop Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and co from winning Barcelona’s third successive Spanish league title?

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

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