La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 18

La Liga is starting to look like it will be Atletico Madrid’s to lose. Diego Simeone’s team are a point ahead over Real Madrid but have 3 games in hand over them. Real Madrid could only draw 0-0 against Osasuna in their latest game.

Barcelona are moving up the table and are now in 3rd place with 34 points. They have won 3 games in a row and Lionel Messi scored two goals at the weekend and looks back on form after a slow start to the campaign.

Early pacesetters Real Sociedad have slipped down to 5th place and they have won just once in their last five games. Let’s take a look to see which players earned the most fantasy points this past week in La Liga.

Goalkeeper: Juame- Valencia 7pts

It’s not been an easy season for Valencia but Juame in goal has been solid at times and at the weekend he kept a clean sheet, his third of the season, as Valencia beat Valladolid 1-0.

Defender: David Garcia- Osasuna 5pts

Osasuna faced one of their most difficult games of the season as they played Real Madrid and they came away with a 0-0 result. David Garcia was solid at the back and the player picked up 5 points and now has a total of 15 overall.

Defender: Raul Albiol- Villarreal 5pts

Raul Albiol was brilliant in defence and with all of his experience commanded his defenders well enough. Villarreal beat Celta Vigo 4-0 and Albiol would cost you 7m to add to your team.

Defender: Jose Gaya- Valencia 7pts

Jose Gaya not only kept a clean sheet at the weekend as Valencia beat Valladolid 1-0 but he also assisted in the only goal of the game to earn 7pts. It hasn’t been an easy season for the player who was on minus points but he now has 5 overall.

Defender: Oier Mate- Osasuna 5pts

Many expected Osasuna to lose to Real Madrid who are going for the title but the team held firm and the defenders had to be 100% focused and concentrated and got a point from the game as it ended 0-0. Oier Mate has now helped to keep 5 clean sheets this season for the club.

Midfielder: Daniel Parejo- Villarreal 8pts

Daniel Parejo had a memorable game as he assisted in the opening goal for Villarreal as they beat Celta Vigo away from home 4-0. Then he scored the 3rd goal. That was only his 2nd goal of the season and he has a total of 16 points, earning half of that in this game alone.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 5pts

Carlos Soler scored the only goal of the game as Valencia beat Valladolid 1-0. Soler’s value is 6m and he has contributed in 10 of Valencia’s goals so far, with six of them being his goals.

Midfielder: Moises Gomez- Villarreal 6pts

Moises Gomez scored his first goal of the season as Villarreal beat Celta Vigo 4-0. This win has helped the club up to 4th place, and their objective will be Champions League qualification for next season.

Midfielder: Alex- Cadiz 4pts

Alex earned 4 points and he opened the scoring for Cadiz as they beat Alaves 3-1. Alex now has 15 points and is the highest midfield points earner in the fantasy rankings for the club. That was his 1st goal of the season.

Striker: Antoine Griezmann- Barcelona 10pts

Barcelona are in form and Antoine Griezmann had a starring role to play as Barca beat Granada 4-0 away from home. The Frenchman scored the first goal, then set up Lionel Messi for the second before scoring the final goal. He now has scored 5 goals so far.

Striker: Youssef En-Nesyri- Sevilla 14pts

Sevilla are one of the best in form sides in La Liga and they beat Real Sociedad 3-2 in a very entertaining game. Youssef En-Nesyri scored a hat-trick to get all the goals for the home side. He has scored 8 goals so far and his value is worth 6.5m.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 13

Atletico Madrid finally lost their first game of the season and what a game to do it in as they lost in the Madrid derby to Real Madrid by 2-0. The club also lost 1st place to Real Sociedad who drew their third game in a row.

The league is very exciting now as just four points is the difference between 1st and 4th and Real Madrid are now in 3rd place after winning back to back games. Barcelona beat Levante 1-0 thanks to Lionel Messi but the 2019 champions are still in 8th place.

It was a weekend of few goals in La Liga though with just 19 scored.

Let’s take a look below at which 11 players make the team of match day 13.

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Courtois had be to very alert as Real Madrid played and beat city rivals Atletico Madrid 2-0. True Courtois wasn’t as busy as he would have expected to be but he did make a good save to deny Atletico in what was the biggest game in Spain of the weekend.

Defender: Quini- Granada 5pts

Quini helped Granada to keep a clean sheet as they beat Elche 1-0 away from home in a very tough and close contest. Quini has only come on from the bench twice this season but may get more nods after this performance and his value is 4m.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5pts

A very solid display from Sergio Ramos at the weekend who helped Real Madrid to a clean sheet over Atletico Madrid and has now helped to keep 4 this season, he has 22 points overall so far.

Defender: Jordi Alba- Barcelona 5pts

Barcelona were expected to thrash Levante especially being at home but that didn’t happen as they only won 1-0. However Levante had chances themselves which included 3 shots on target and Alba did very well at the back to keep the defence line well disciplined. Alba now has 19 points for the season.

Defender: Ferland Mendy- Real Madrid 5pts

Ferland Mendy is proving to be a good acquisition for Real Madrid and showed a lot of maturity in what would have been one of their toughest games of the season. Mendy helped keep a clean sheet and his value if you want to add him is 7m.

Midfielder: Carlos Soler- Valencia 6pts

Carlos Soler now has 29 points overall and earned another six at the weekend as Valencia drew 2-2 with Athletic Bilbao in an entertaining game which saw Soler score the opening goal for the hosts and then assist in the 2nd one.

Midfielder: Raul Garcia- Athletic Bilbao 3pts

Raul Garcia had an eventful game, he lost points as he received a yellow card but he also got Bilbao a point as he converted a penalty to make the game 2-2 against Valencia. For this week 3 points was enough to make the final cut.

Midfielder: Toni Kroos- Real Madrid 4pts

Toni Kroos should count himself special as his assist to set up Real Madrid’s first goal is a rare one to make against Atletico Madrid who had only conceded 2 goals prior to the Madrid derby. Kroos earned 4 points and his value is 7.5m.

Midfielder: Roberto Torres-Osasuna 4pts

Osasuna lost 3-2 against Real Valladolid in a very exciting game but Roberto Torres for Osasuna had a good match and he scored a goal also. Torres now has 12 points overall as he earned 4 points at the weekend and his value is 5m.

Striker: Fabian Orellana- Real Valladolid 4pts

Not many points were needed to make the list this week as Fabian Orellana got the points for scoring a penalty. It was an important one though as Real Valladolid ran out 3-2 winners at home against Osasuna. It was only Orellana’s 2nd goal of the season.

Striker: Lionel Messi- Barcelona 4pts

Lionel Messi usually gets more points than this to make the team but his 5th goal of the season was one of his most important. Barcelona were heading for a 0-0 draw against Levante with just 15 minutes of the game left to play and Messi scored from nothing, proving his talent once again.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of Week 10

Barcelona lost their 3rd game of the season and they are now down in 12th position and 12 points behind current leaders Real Sociedad. Sociedad have won 70% of their games so far and have pulled out a 3 point lead at the top.

Real Madrid could only draw 1-1 away to Villarreal and Atletico Madrid have gone 2nd after beating Barcelona. Let’s see if any of your players made the team of the weekend below.

Goalkeeper: Jan Oblak- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Jan Oblak kept his sixth clean sheet of the campaign and one of the most important ones as Atletico Madrid overcame Barcelona 1-0 at home. Oblak had to make 5 crucial saves and now has 42 points overall.

Defender: Kieran Tripper- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier has been one of the best defenders in Spain this season and has really grown as a player with Atletico Madrid. He helped to keep a clean sheet and shut out Barcelona.

Defender: Nacho Monreal- Real Sociedad 5pts

Real Sociedad won a tough game 1-0 over Cadiz and Monreal really put in a shift to keep the newly promoted side at bay. Monreal has kept 4 clean sheets so far this season and is valued at 8.5m.

Defender: Felipe- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Felipe is the 3rd best ranked defender in the league and helped to keep a 5th clean sheet for Atletico Madrid. This game at the weekend was more impressive given that he shut out Lionel Messi and co, as they beat Barcelona 1-0.

Defender: Zaldua- Real Sociedad 5pts

Not many defenders picked up points over the weekend in La Liga and the best defending teams have been Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad. Zaldua played well and maintained the back line superbly. He has only managed to start 2 games this season but could see that increase with this performance.

Midfielder: Yannick Carrasco- Atletico Madrid 5pts

What a game for Yannick Carrasco who scored the only goal of the match to beat Barcelona 1-0. Carrasco had just been booked and his game didn’t look so good but a few minutes later and just before half time he scored. He has scored 2 goals this season and now has a total of 17 points.

Midfielder: Gonzalo Melero- Levante 4pts

Levante drew 1-1 with Elche and Gonzalo Melero scored the opening goal of the game for Levante. He also put in a good shift in midfield and distributed the ball well. His value is worth 6m.

Midfielder: Angel Correa- Atletico Madrid 4pts

Angel Correa has appeared in the team of the week on many occasions and he has been a solid player for Atletico. He played a very pivotal role for the club as they overcame Barcelona 1-0 and at times kept Messi quiet.

Midfielder: Adnan Januzaj- Real Sociedad 4pts

Adnan Januzaj provided his first assist of the season as Real Sociedad beat Cadiz 1-0. He is the 2nd best ranked midfielder for the club and has 20 points overall now.

Striker: Oscar Plano- Real Valladolid 6pts

Oscar Plano opened the scoring for Real Valladolid as they beat Granada 3-1. He also set up the clubs 2nd goal and had an overall brilliant game away from home. It was Plano’s first goal of the season.

Striker: Lucas Perez- Alaves 6pts

Alaves were expected to lose to Valencia and sprung a surprise by drawing the game 2-2. Lucas Perez earned six points by assisting in the first goal for the club and then converting a penalty. The striker has scored 2 goals so far this season and his value is 4m.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players from the Weekend: Matchday 22

Real Madrid beat Atletico in the Madrid derby to move 3 points clear of Barcelona who got a nervous win over Levante. Atletico have been underwhelming and this weekend looks to have put paid to their title. It’s a two horse race now between Real and Barca.

Let’s look at the 11 players who performed the best in La Liga at the weekend.

Formation: 4-4-2

Goalkeeper: Thibaut Courtois- Real Madrid 7pts

Only a few goalkeepers achieved 7 points at the weekend but our vote goes to Courtois because he was able to keep a clean sheet in the very important Madrid derby against a quality side.

Defender: Damien Suarez- Getafe 8 pts

Damien Suarez is having a very good season and he had a great game at the weekend as his side beat Athletic Bilbao 2-0. He kept a clean sheet and also scored a goal for a perfect weekend. Suarez would cost 7.5m to bring in.

Defender: Sergio Ramos- Real Madrid 5 pts

Sergio Ramos what more can you say about the quality of his defending. He kept a strong head too as he usually gets sent off in Madrid derbies and he help to keep a good clean sheet in 1-0 win.

Defender: Raphael Varane- Real Madrid 5 pts

Varane has a great chemistry with Ramos and it showed again, these two are world superstars and keeping a clean sheet ensured that Madrid are now top of the table. You can add Varane to your team for 8.5m

Defender: Djene- Getafe 5pts

Djene is doing very well at the back for Getafe keeping another clean sheet and also that is his 8th of the season and he is valued at just 5.5m so seems a real bargain.

Midfielder:Carlos Soler- Valencia 6pts

Carlos Soler was the highest scoring midfielder in La Liga in a strange weekend that saw few points for the midfield maestros of the league. Soler got the only goal as his side Valencia beat Celta Vigo 1-0.

Midfielder: Santiago Carzola- Villarreal 5pts

Cazorla earned 5 points and had a great game as Villarreal won their match 3-1. He assisted for the opener and then scored the 2nd goal through a penalty. But he dropped some points as he was booked late on.

Midfielder: Nabil Fekir- Real Betis 4pts

Betis drew 1-1 with Eibar and Betis have to thank Fekir for the goal. He has become a firm favourite with the fans, even if he is having a mixed season but maybe this goal will ignite his form and he may be worth taking on?

Midfielder: Ruben Jimenez-Villarreal 4pts

Ruben Jimenez earned another 4 points and he now has 13 in total and would cost only 5m, and could be a bargain if he has a strong finish to the league campaign.

Striker: Anssumane Fati- Barcelona 8pts

When Lionel Messi is not the hero for Barcelona someone else has to be and Fati has been superb this season, a real find. Barca beat Levante only by 2-1 but it was Fati who grabbed both goals. His value is sure to go up soon but he is currently just 5m.

Striker: Carlos Fernandez- Granada 6pts

Carlos Fernandez scored a goal and assisted in one just like his teammate so it was hard to split the players. But at the end of the day it was Fernandez’s goal that settled the game and won it 2-0 for Granada so he gets the nod. He has scored 4 goals this season.

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3 things to look out for in the Valencia v Barca game

One of the classic La Liga clashes takes place this weekend; Valencia v Barcelona.

Though not a derby as such, it’s not far off, and it’s a match that virtually guarantees goals and moments of the highest quality.

Under Albert Celades, Valencia are still trying to get back to somewhere approaching their best form under Marcelino. They’ve been hit and miss, but are always a dangerous opponent for the Blaugrana. Continue reading

A look ahead to the Spanish Super Cup

Although the new year has only just begun, the first silverware of the season is available in Spain.

Thanks to a decision by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF), the Spanish Super Cup is no longer a two-legged pre-season affair.

It’s been replaced by a ‘final four’ type competition. Continue reading

Liverpool and Chelsea are shot down in Champions League openers

The Champions League is back and the premier competition in European football wasn’t without its surprises.

First Liverpool, and the current European champions were beaten 2-0 by Italians Napoli, signalling a poor start from Jurgen Klopp’s team in their title defence. The biggest worry for Klopp will be that his side always looked second best and credit to Napoli who played brillantly and made the unstoppable looking Reds side look very normal in this competition.

Still write Liverpool off at your peril, everyone knows how strong they are at Anfield and with the likes of Red Bull Salzburg and Genk in their group they should be more than fine. However notice needs to be given to Salzburg who smashed Genk 6-2. They had scored five of those goals in the first half. Also Napoli do not travel historically well and so this group is still obtainable for Liverpool.

The more disappointing result of the night for English teams would have been Chelsea, who at Stamford Bridge, lost 1-0 to Valencia. In years gone by this type of fixture would have been won a canter for the Blues, and problems still persist with the club with Frank Lampard in charge. They are playing some good football of course but not getting the results desired.

Chelsea could face an uphill struggle now with the likes of Ajax and Lille also in their group. Ajax who so impressed last season beat Lille 3-0 even though they have lost the core of what made them a great side, it is clear that their objectives will be to at least get to the knockout rounds.

Barcelona drew against Borussia Dortmund with the final score ending 0-0, but Barca will be more than happy with that at a very difficult ground. This is multiplied when we consider that ter Stegen saved a penalty from Dortmund and that Lionel Messi finally returned this season. The Argentine came off the bench in the 2nd half and Barcelona will be very happy about this development with La Liga looming at the weekend.

Inter Milan were very lucky to draw 1-1 with Slavia Prague. A last minute injury time goal by Nicolo Barella sealed a point at San Siro, a defeat would have been a big shock for the Italians.

Whilst it is just the first games of the competition there is a feeling that this edition could be wide open. Could a non big traditional team win it? The last one to do so was arguably Porto in 2004, still one has to remember that they one of the biggest teams in Portugal and had won the competition before in 1987. Another club that won it and shocked was Borussia Dortmund back in 1997. Maybe 2020 could see a change from the usual teams getting to the final and winning it?

It’s Valencia or West Ham for Maxi Gomez but surely the answer is simple

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Maxi Gomez who has had a solid 2 years at Celta Vigo scoring goals is wanted by two clubs in Europe, Valencia and West Ham. But which club will succeed in getting his services?

A few years ago this wouldn’t even be open for debate, Valencia would be the smart choice. A massive club who at one point in the last decade could challenge Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance and had a very good team. Gomez could have joined and become a better player. But in 2019, that doesn’t seem to be the case.

The best pull for Gomez to join Valencia is that the club will be playing Champions League football next season, and that is massive for any player who has never tasted playing at the highest level for club football. It’s a big ask for Gomez to turn that down when West Ham aren’t playing any European football next season.

Financially a move to West Ham would be better for Gomez too and the Hammers will be able to offer him much better wages. So where should the 22 year old go? The answer for some is an easy one and that is to play for West Ham in the Premier League.

The reason is due to two things. Firstly West Ham are clearly pointing in the right direction and having Manuel Pellegrini as boss is a great thing for the London side who have under achieved too much in recent years. The club have some genuine attacking quality and it is thought that they will be attack minded next season with the likes of Pablo Fornals and Andriy Yarmolenko.

However does Gomez want to improve as a player and person? If so if you move to a foreign country and sample that experience and different culture. If he stays in La Liga he will be doing what most English players do and stay in their comfort zone. There isn’t much wrong with that but you usually become a much better player with a move to a different club and you learn more about the game. The move would be a massive plus for Gomez who could prove his qualities in a different league.

Who is the bigger club is the other question. True it is Valencia but they are not as big as they once were, and what happens if they exit the Champions League in the group stages and then struggle for top 10 status in the league it can happen and the club do have financial difficulties.

Going to West Ham would be a challenge for Gomez and it won’t be easy, but spreading his wings and giving the club a chance to see his qualities just seems like the right option to take. It will be interesting to see who Gomez picks over the coming days/weeks.

Valencia transfer window to build on continuity and growth

Valencia celebrate

Valencia have recorded two successive top four finishes under their impressive boss Marcelino Garcia Toral and the message for the coming season is simple – more of the same please! Los Che, in their centenary year, also added the Copa del Rey title in May and want to continue to build on the momentum they have now built up.

Their success has been built on continuity and consistency, keeping and improving the same core of players within the squad and adding astutely. The club have not sought to make waves in the transfer market but unlike in recent years, they have acted astutely and shrewdly – impressively building a squad capable of challenging Spain’s elite. Continue reading

Top LaLiga Midfielders in 2018/19 – Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

Despite something of a nightmare season for Barcelona’s Brazilian playmaker, Philippe Coutinho still managed to accumulate the third-highest fantasy football points total for a LaLiga midfielder in 2018/19.

Coutinho was expensive, however, costing 10.5 million for any fantasy LaLiga managers who wanted him in their teams.

He made 22 starts in the Spanish league and another 12 substitute appearances, meaning he played in 34 league games altogether for Barca during the campaign.

Coutinho contributed five goals and only two assists as he underwhelmed the Camp Nou crowd on a regular basis. Continue reading