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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Unai Emery helping to give Villarreal a second wave of excellency in La Liga

Many sing about the fairy tale of New York around Christmas but Villarreal are the fairy tale of Spanish football. Let’s face it how many football fans had heard of the club before their fantastic run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2006? Whatever the figure halve it down to how many fans knew of the club back in 1998. That year Villarreal made their debut in La Liga.

It really is an amazing story, and true we’ve seen it before where clubs from a second division get promoted and do well enough to finish in the top 5 for example and qualify for Europe. But Villarreal went that step further and though they have been relegated on a few occasions since 1998 they keep coming back, have attracted quality players and coaches and are doing rather well this season.

This summer Unai Emery former coach of PSG and Arsenal signed a three year contract with the club known as ‘The Yellow Submarines’, and he already has a 53% win rate. The most stunning fact is that Villarreal have lost just once this season and are in 3rd place with 20 points, three in front of Real Madrid and six in front of Barcelona and four from the top.

No one is expecting Villarreal to be a realistic challenger for the title this season, though at the present time La Liga is well open to invitations, but if the club can finish in a European position Emery would have done his job and brought the club full circle.

It is incredible to think that the club have risen from a population of just 50,000 and their achievements have been quite incredible. Not only reaching the 2006 Champions League semi-final, but they also reached the semi-finals of the Europa League on three occasions and finished as runners up in La Liga back in 2008. They finished just 8 points shy of Real Madrid the champions but 10 points in front of Barcelona, that Barcelona team who were just getting ready to become one of the best clubs sides we have ever witnessed.

The recruitment at Villarreal has been impressive and apart from a few seasons when they club didn’t perform at all well these past 22 years have been incredible for the club. Much of that is down to club president Fernando Roig.

Roig took the gamble to buy Villarreal back in 1997 and it has been his clear investment and strategy that has brought the clubs most successful era to fruition in the past two decades. Back in 2017 Roig had this to say about the club. “The fans can complain that we haven’t won a trophy, but I’d like to assure them that really, the best thing for Villarreal is ensuring that the club remains in the top flight that’s our own Cup tournament in a way. For this club, the most important triumph is playing in the top division every year and playing in Europe every now and again. Villarreal is economically stable and in a few years’ time, our youth academy will be a source of new talent for the team.

Villarreal have had stand out players of the past including Juan Roman Riquelme, Robert Pires, Giuseppi Rossi and Diego Forlan to name a few. The current squad are doing well too.

Gerard Moreno currently has 57 goals and is just 26 shy of becoming the clubs all time leading goalscorer. At 28 he has the time to do it as long as he stays fit and doesn’t leave beforehand. This season alone Moreno has scored six goals and has the most fantasy points of any Villarreal player with 25 so far.

Just behind him is his striker partner Paco Alcacer who would cost you just 3m and has earned 24 points this season. He has been involved in seven goals so far and has scored 5.

Manuel Trigueros and Daniel Parejo have bolstered the midfield and in defence Mario Gaspar has stood out, he has 14 points so far and has helped to keep 3 clean sheets.

Once again the future looks bright for Villarreal, and this season in particular could be very memorable indeed if they can keep up their good form under Emery. Right now nobody can be thinking that their yellow submarine is going to sink this season.

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La Liga: Best 11 Players of the Weekend: Matchday 7

El Clasico was the game on everyone’s mind and yes it felt strange to witness a Barcelona and Real Madrid game without any fans. It was Real Madrid who picked up the three points though as they recorded a rare with at Camp Nou winning 3-1. The pressure will be on Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman as he saw his side slip to 12th place!

Real Sociedad are top of the league after winning their 3rd game in a row when they easily overcame Huesca 4-1 and Atletico Madrid are creeping up the table after going 5 games without defeat and at the weekend they beat Real Betis 2-0.

Let’s look at the La Liga team of the weekend, did any of your players make the final cut?

Goalkeeper: Marko Dmitrovic- Eibar 7pts

Marko Dmitrovic was hailed as something like a hero at the weekend as Eibar beat Sevilla 1-0 away from home. He made some important saves as Sevilla had over 20 attempts on goal and though a few goalkeepers picked up 7 points he seems more deserving in this vital and important away victory.

Defender: Mario Hermoso- Atletico Madrid 7pts

Atletico Madrid continued their fine by beating Real Betis 2-0 and it was important for the club to record a clean sheet also. Mario Hermoso was brilliant at the back and also assisted for the clubs first goal which opened up the chance to win the game.

Defender: Facundo Roncaglia- Osasuna 5pts

Facundo Roncaglia put in a good display at the back as his club Osasuna beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0. The game looked to be heading for 0-0 and so a clean sheet was going to happen but Osasuna then got a last minute penalty.

Defender: Kieran Trippier- Atletico Madrid 5pts

Kieran Trippier has really impressed since joining Atletico Madrid and he put in a stellar performance as his club kept a clean sheet in beating Real Betis 2-0. Trippier is the 3rd best ranked defender in the league and has already picked up 20 points this season.

Defender: Carlos Akapo- Cadiz 5pts

For the second week in a row Cadiz have impressed and at the weekend they held off Villarreal to draw 0-0 with them and keep another clean sheet. Carlos Akapo has 13 points overall this season and at 5m looks like a very good price.

Midfielder: Marcos Llorente- Atletico Madrid 6pts

Marcos Llorente opened the scoring as he saw his side Atletico Madrid beat Real Betis 2-0. He also had a superb time in midfield controlling the game and creating chances and very much deserves his 6 points which now puts him on a total of 18.

Midfielder: Ruben Garcia- Osasuna 6pts

Ruben Garcia did not start the game but came on as a substitute because of an injury, and the fate was sealed in this game. Garcia converted a last minute penalty which gave his club all three points.

Midfielder: Tomas Pina – Alaves 6pts

Tomas Pina opened the scoring as Alaves overcame Valladolid 2-0 he now has 7 points overall and can be snapped up for just 3m. Pina took his goal well and that was the goal that set up his team for victory.

Midfielder: David Silva- Real Sociedad 4pts

David Silva has fitted into his new club with ease and he put in a commanding display as Real Sociedad beat Huesca 4-1. He assisted in the final two goals which was just the icing on the cake and put in yet another vintage display.

Striker: Mikel Oyarzabal- Real Sociedad 7pts

Mikel Oyarzabal makes the final cut for a 2nd week in a row and the Real Sociedad player is on hot form as he scored another 2 goals at the weekend to keep his side top of the league. Oyarzabal now has 4 goals this season and has also assisted in a further two.

Striker: Kike- Eibar 4pts

Kike scored the only goal that beat Sevilla in a 1-0 victory, which was taken in the first half. Kike now has 3 goals this season and has an overall points record of 12 and he can be brought into your team for the value of 6.5m.

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Santi Cazorla’s La Liga farewell tour has been remarkable

It’s a great shame that when Santi Cazorla plays what is widely expected to be his final La Liga game against Eibar on Sunday there will be no fans in the stands at El Madrigal to give him the sendoff he so clearly deserves. At another time in other circumstances, the Villarreal support would have brought down the house.

Cazorla wouldn’t just have been given a warm reception from his own fans. Along with Joaquin, the 35-year-old is probably the most universally popular player in the Spanish game at this moment. Of course, this status has been helped by the fact the playmaker never played for Barcelona or Real Madrid, but the way he plays the game has endeared him to millions.

Villarreal confirmed on Saturday that the match against Eibar will be Cazorla’s final game for the club. The 35-year-old has a number of options, with Beskitas and Saudi Arabian side Al Sadd both making offers to the player for one more season on the pitch. There is speculation Cazorla also has an offer from Arsenal to join Mikel Arteta’s coaching staff from next season.

After the season Cazorla has enjoyed, it’s a shame that he is leaving La Liga at all. The veteran playmaker has been in such form, scoring 11 goals and assisting eight times over the course of the campaign, that many presumed he would be a part of Luis Enrique’s Spain squad for this summer’s European Championships. That would have been a fitting reward for a truly remarkable season. Cazorla is indeed back among Spain’s best midfielders. That’s the level he is performing at.

Cazorla’s form is made all the more impressive when the nadir of his still recent injury troubles are taken into account. As recently as 2018, he looked certain to retire from the sport, with doctors even telling the player that he would be fortunate to walk again after contracting an infection.

The return to Villarreal gave Cazorla to rebuild his fitness and his career, with the 35-year-old coming up big for the Yellow Submarine over the last two seasons. The stands at El Madrigal might be empty when Cazorla takes to a Spanish Liga field for the final time on Sunday, but there will be fans of all persuasions around Spain saluting a true great of his generation.

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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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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

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