LA LIGA IS BACK!
Spain’s premier football league and arguably the world’s best in the last decade, La Liga (or known as LaLiga Santander for sponsorship reasons) is back for another season full of scintillating football.
With the title for Spanish supremacy on the line and the bragging rights inclining towards Real Madrid after a stunning Spanish Super Cup victory against arch rivals Barcelona, let’s analyze the movers and shakers of the upcoming season.
So without further ado, here are our predictions for the top 5 La Liga teams in the table for the 2017-18 season:
Starting with #5 on the list, I’d put this on a close call between Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao:
Given Villarreal’s consistency in the table over the last few seasons, a sturdy home record in the Madrigal and Bilbao’s dominance in the San Mames in La Liga over the last few years, these 2 teams can definitely be the defining factors in the title race, given that they virtually don’t stand a chance to win the title themselves.
Their home record will be crucial to their table positions and they will need to avoid stiff competition from Real Sociedad, who can be the surprise package.
3 time back-to-back Europa League champions. What more?
I wouldn’t rule out Sevilla from the top 4 this year, given their record against big teams and a penchant for the spectacular in Europe.
Sure, they’re without their coach Jorge Sampaoli and the ever-so-tremendous Unai Emery (the coach behind the 3 Europa League titles) but they seem to have enough squad depth to challenge for a top 4 spot or even a top 3 if they steer clear of the next team in this list.
#3. Atletico Madrid:
Diego Simeone has made champions out of a rugged squad and that will yet again be put to test. The last time Atletico won the La Liga was during the 2013-14 season and after making appearances in the 2014 and 2016 finals of the UEFA Champions League (losing both times to Real Madrid), Simeone will be hoping to do one better.
The transfer of Diego Costa is as imminent as it can be and local success will be a key to make sure Antoine Griezmann, their talisman since the last 3 seasons stays at the club.
A depleted squad, a star player departing for 222 million Euros (read more about it by clicking here), a turbulent board of directors, a virtually non-existent youth academy, zero squad depth, haywire tactics and a new manager appointed to save the day.
All this and much more and even then, Barcelona are still a force to be reckoned with, thanks to Leo Messi and Luis Suarez (the latter out for 4 weeks, currently), who have to lead the charge and compensate for a weak defense and an even weaker midfield.
But the eternal question still remains.
“Countinho, Dembele, none or both. Who will Barcelona buy?”
And finally, here’s the team I feel will win the La Liga.
#1. Real Madrid:
Was there ever any doubt with this one? I don’t think so.
A near-perfect squad with immense quad depth, a charismatic manager in the name of Zidane, a strong defense, world class midfield and Cristiano Ronaldo leading the attack.
All this and much more made Real Madrid the champions in 2017 and I feel the Los Blancos will retain their title.
Why am I confident?
A. They’ve not tinkered with the squad by adding first team starters and have rather invested in players like Ceballos and Theo Hernandez, making the squad more versatile and B., the existing squad is a cohesive unit which now flows like an inexorable juggernaut, evident by their scoring streak in 69 back-to-back matches (including their opening win against Deportivo).
With their dominance over Barcelona looking stronger than ever, Real Madrid look set to be favorites for the La Liga title.
Anyway, these are my predictions for the upcoming season and I’m sure there will be a lot of different opinions flowing in for the same.
Feel free to share yours in the comments and let us know!
Image Credits: Google Images
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