PSG march on in Ligue 1 and it’s all change at Monaco

The Ligue 1 season has reached the half way point and it is no surprise to see that PSG are in 1st place. They have 45 points and have indeed not even reached their own personal half way stage as they have a game in hand. Continue this type of form and the club could finish the season with 96 points.

Ever since Neymar came back from injury at the beginning of December PSG have really stepped it up and before the Christmas break the club were playing their best most confident football of the campaign so far.

They have scored 11 goals in their last 3 matches and along with Neymar, Kylian Mbappe is finding his shooting boots. Mbappe has 11 goals and 4 assists so far.He is in 2nd place in the Ligue 1 fantasy rankings.

PSG currently have a 7 point lead over Marseille and in effect that could be 10 points with their game in hand to play. As for Marseille they have been solid and none of their ‘circus’ football and unpredictability which has dogged the side over the past few seasons has been seen. The club have no losses in their last five games picking up 13 points in the process and their last match ended in a 3-1 win over Nimes.

It’s possible that Marseille have one eye on the title though PSG would really need to collapse but the club are thinking 100% about 2nd place which would give them a Champions League place for next season. Lille at the moment are the real threat to that and they have been impressive given the personnel they have lost last season.

Lille are 5 points behind and indeed lost 5-1 away to Monaco in their last game but they have won 9 games this season and remain a threat. Rennes have also been a major surprise in 3rd place with M’Baye Niang sticking in the goals for the club, he currently has 8 goals so far this campaign.and Rennes are one of the best teams in the league for pure form having won their last five games. From 2nd to 4th it really does look exciting in the league.

Nantes and Reims have blown hot and cold this season and if only they could have a little more consistency they could be challenging Marseille for 2nd place but they have fallen 9 points and 10 points respectively behind. Both sides and especially Reims have shown mean defences in the first part of the season.

Monaco have been brilliant and look almost back to their best. They are unbeaten in 4 games won their last match 5-1 against Lille, also knocked Reims out of the French Cup and are in 7th place. But that was enough for Leonardo Jardim who was sacked for the 2nd time in 12 months. The new coach has been named as Roberto Moreno who managed the Spanish national side for some time. Oh and Monaco have the leading scorer in the league in their ranks in Wissam Ben Yedder who has scored 13 goals, he has turned out to be a superb buy.

It’s incredible to think that from 8th to 13th only two points separates the teams and it is Angers who are clinging on to that 8th position. A derby win against Nantes 2-1 last time out propped them up the table.

So Ligue 1 is really fighting on all fronts and for once PSG are not completely clear in the distance. Can Marseille catch them and can Marseille hang on to 2nd place? Watch this space as the 2nd half of the campaign gets under way.

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Julen Lopetegui keen to put his stamp on Sevilla ahead of 2019-20

Lopetegui Sevilla wasted little time in appointing a new manager following the conclusion of the 2018-29 La Liga season, with former Real Madrid boss Julen Lopetegui stepping into the hot seat at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Despite a difficult 12 months, in which Lopetegui controversially left his post as head coach of the Spanish national team – to take up the post with Los Blancos – which ended poorly, after just three months, he is hopeful of resurrecting his career in Andalucia.

Caretaker boss Jaoquin Caparros’ strong end of season run secured Europa League football for the incoming Lopetegui, but there is still work to be done at the club.

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Top La Liga Strikers in 2018/19: Wissam Ben Yedder

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Wissam Ben Yedder has just finished his 3rd season with Sevilla and it was his personal best yet as he helped the team to finish in the top six and qualify for the Europa League next season.

There were improvements in all of Ben Yedder’s game this past season and at 28 his best years could still be ahead of him.

Before this season Ben Yedder had never scored more than 11 goals in La Liga but he managed 18 and on top of that he assisted in another 9 goals, meaning that he contributed to 27 of Sevilla’s league goals. Overall Ben Yedder earned 91 points finishing just 2 points behind Barcelona’s Luis Suarez.

Ben Yedder started the season very slowly earning zero points from his first two games. And then against Levante where Sevilla were away from home, everything changed. The match finished 6-2 to Sevilla and Ben Yedder was the man of the match as he scored a hat-trick and assisted in another goal, with bonus points he earned 16 points in one game.

Another match that should be highlighted came in March when Sevilla now at home beat Real Sociedad 5-2. It was another hat-trick that earned Ben Yedder 14 points and so in those two games alone, even though they were months apart he was able to acquire 30 points.

Ben Yedder’s most consistent period during the season was in December and over the Christmas and New Year period where the striker scored points in five consecutive games totalling 15 points. And his worse single game of the season came against both Celta Vigo and Real Valladolid where he earned -1 point as he was booked in both games. Indeed while some players worst points is -3 or -5 points or more, to have the lowest points at -1 is actually decent and it only happened twice during the season when his points dipped into the minus category. This is due in part to the fact that he wasn’t sent off this season and was booked only 3 times.

In the last 4 games of the season, 3 of them ended with zero points which was disappointing. But the forward made up for it a little in Sevilla’s last game of the season which ended in a 2-0 win at home to Athletic Bilbao and Ben Yedder scored and made an assist in that game.

This season Ben Yedder would have cost you 7m to have in your team but he has just had his best season for Sevilla. In his debut one he earned 54 points, last season that was just 39 and now a massive 91 points, so his fee may rise for next term.

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Sevilla braced for big money bids for their star players

Pablo Sarabia

Sevilla are preparing for a summer of transfer speculation over their top players, after a strong finish to the 2018-19 La Liga season.

Interim manager Joaquin Caparros confirmed earlier this week that he would be leaving the club, after leading them to a fifth place finish and another Europa League qualification spot.

The club will look to appoint a new permanent boss as soon as possible, with links to former AS Roma manager Eusebio Di Francesco and Alaves’ Head Coach Asier Garitano.

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Getafe prove no pushovers in race for LaLiga top four spot

Getafe

Getafe picked up a massive three points in the race for a Champions League place via LaLiga’s top four over the weekend.

The home side beat a Sevilla team on a run of three straight wins to leapfrog them back into 4th position. They are now two points clear of both Sevilla and other top-four hopefuls, Valencia.

Sevilla looked the most likely to score early on. Franco Vazquez put his volley onto the top of the crossbar and Wissam Ben Yedder forced a save out of David Soria minutes later.

VAR played its part, however. Franco Vazquez was penalised for a handball in the 33rd minute and Getafe’s Jaime Mata made no mistake from the resulting spot-kick. Continue reading

Fantasy La Liga picks for this weekend’s Spanish league action

La Liga

Spain’s La Liga returns to action this weekend after the final international break of the season.

Starting with Girona v Athletic Bilbao on Friday night, all 20 teams are in action over a 48-hour period.

We’ve had a look at who we think the smartest fantasy La Liga picks are for the upcoming fixtures.

Have a read and see if any tips stick out which might suit your fantasy La Liga team this weekend.

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La Liga weekend fantasy football picks

La Liga

All 20 La Liga teams are in action this weekend. The action starts with Real Sociedad and Levante who meet on Friday evening and ends with Real Betis against Barcelona on Sunday night.

We’ve had a look at who we think the smartest fantasy La Liga picks are for the upcoming fixtures.

Goalkeeper – Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid) – 11.0 million

Jan Oblak’s pride will have taken a dent in the Champions League during the week. While he was not at fault for any of Cristiano Ronaldo’s three goals, the Slovenian international goalkeeper will be eager to resume normal service with a clean sheet in La Liga this weekend. Oblak has 94 points this season.

Sevilla stay in race for top four with big win over Real Sociedad

Sevilla

There were goals galore at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium on Sunday evening as the home side romped to a 5-2 win over Real Sociedad.

The win keeps Pablo Machin’s team in the hunt for a top-four finish and qualification for next season’s Champions League.

Inspired by the brilliance of their striker Wissam Ben Yedder, Sevilla managed to turn a 1-1 half-time scoreline into a 5-2 victory with a breathtaking second-half display.

Ben Yedder scored a hat-trick after the interval to bring his La Liga tally for this season up to 15 goals.

Week 27: Best 11 Fantasy Players in La Liga

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Week 27 of Span’s La Liga season didn’t see much movement at the top as all of the top 4 sides won their respective games. Only Atletico Madrid have a chance of catching Barcelona now and they are still 7 points adrift of Lionel Messi and co. Below we take a look at the players that performed the best over the weekend.

Goalkeeper: Sergio Asenjo

Villarreal’s 2-0 win over Levante away from home at the weekend was huge as it lifted the team out of the relegation zone. Asenjo made some critical saves and kept a clean sheet to get into this team. He is ranked as the 9th best keeper this season in la liga fantasy even though his team are 17th which says a lot about his overall value to the team and perhaps he is a snip to keep up his form at 7m.

Defender: Victor Ruiz

Ruiz has not performed so well this season but was part of a Villarreal team that needed to win at the weekend and held firm to keep a clean sheet and earn 5pts. He is valued at 7m.

Defender: Santiago Arias

Santiago Arias makes our cut again as he was part of an Atletico Madrid side who claimed a clean sheet at home against Leganes. Arias has been one of the best defenders in La Liga this season and is currently ranked in 3rd place, his value is 8.5m

Defender: Aissa Mandi

Mandi has been solid for Real Betis at the back for the past few seasons and the youngster who used to play for Reims was part of  a defence that kept  a clean sheet against Celta Vigo to earn 5pts in La Liga fantasy he is currently just outside the top 10 standings.

Defender: Juan Torres

Torres led the line for Atletico once again and remains an integral part of the squad. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak has become very reliant on him as his team once again kept  a clean sheet to put the pressure on Barcelona. Torres is just 5m if you want to add him to your squad and earned another 5pts at the weekend.

Midfielder: Luka Modric

The Real Madrid and world player of the year shot into life v Rayo Valladolid and his team needed him as they romped home 4-1. Modric got on the score sheet to earn himself 4pts and his confidence took a major boost. He is valued at 8m.

Midfielder: Sarabia

There is no better midfielder in Spain than Sarabia who heads our La Liga midfielder fantasy points and he added another 4pts as he scored for Sevilla in their fantastic 5-2 win over Real Sociedad to keep the club in the hunt for a European finish. He is valued at 7m which looks like a bargain and is a massive 14pts ahead of 2nd place.

Midfielder: Daniel Parejo

The Valencia stalwart sits in 2nd place in the fantasy La Liga standings and earned 4pts at the weekend with his club as they beat Girona in a classic 3-2 match. He is valued at 8.5m.

Midfielder: Santiago Carzola

Carzola assisted the vital goal which helped his club Villarreal to a win and climbed out of the danger zone also. Carzola is 8th in the standings and valued at just 5.5m which looks like a good buy.

Striker: Wissam Ben Yedder

We don’t have to look further than Ben Yedder for our striker of the week after the forward scored a magical hat trick against Real Sociedad in the clubs 5-2 win and earned a massive 14pts in the process. He is ranked 3rd in La Liga fantasy striker and just 3pts behind Luis Suarez. Ben Yedder’s value is 7m.

Striker: Karim Benzema

The Real Madrid forward needed a game like this after a bad couple of weeks for his side. Madrid beat Vallecano 4-1 and Benzema looked back to his best scoring 2 goals and then assisting for Modric to score the 4th and final goal. He is valued at 10m and earned 10pts.

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La Liga’s top fantasy football picks for this weekend

Sarabia

This weekend sees another full lineup of La Liga action including the mighty El Clasico which takes place at the Bernabeu in Madrid on Saturday evening.

Real Madrid will be keen to put a halt to Barcelona’s march towards another La Liga title. A win for the home side would put them back within six points of Ernesto Valverde’s league leaders with 12 games remaining. Clearly, there’s still a lot to play for going into this gameweek.

Elsewhere, second-placed Atletico Madrid travel to play Real Sociedad while Sevilla are away to bottom-of-the-table Huesca.