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La Liga: What Lies Ahead?

La Liga: What Lies Ahead?

There are just six rounds to go in another fascinating La Liga season, and while we mostly agree who is going to win the league, there are plenty of matters to be settled and we’ll the there right to the end with our SBOBET tips and updates.

Barcelona took a stranglehold on the title with a 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid last week and the pre-season La Liga 2019 predictions of the title staying with Barca are looking good as Lionel Messi and Co have built up a nine-point lead.

It would be a shock of epic proportions if Ernesto Valverde’s side was to let that advantage slip.

Kings of Madrid

Outside Catalonia, the biggest La Liga 2019 news is the battle for second place between the two Madrid giants. Both are out of the Champions League, rather earlier than expected so ceding the second spot to the other will represent a disappointing season to the side which finishes third.

Zinedine Zidane has been helicoptered back into the Bernabeu to see out a rocky ride of a season, in which the fans have turned against Gareth Bale as a scapegoat for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, from which Los Blancos don’t seem to have recovered. ZZ promises an overhaul in the summer.

It hasn’t all gone smoothly down at the Wanda Metropolitano either. Atleti will have to complete their season without the services of striker Diego Costa after he copped for an eight-match ban when he said something a little too offensive to the referee during the defeat to Barca. But, unlike Real, Diego Simeone’s team has plenty of firepower in the shape of Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata, who were both on target in a 2-0 win over Celta Vigo on Saturday. And, of course, they have the meanest defence in Europe, led by the granite-hard Diego Godin.

Prediction: Atleti will hold off Los Blancos and take the Madrid crown.

Champions League Race

Sevilla is well in the hunt for that invaluable fourth spot and a hard-fought 3-2 win over Real Betis showcased their attacking options alongside main man Wissam Ben Yedder. Pablo Sarabia, Franco Vazquez and El Haddadi Munir were all on target and Sevilla’s strength in depth will come into play in the final run in.

On paper, Valencia is the strongest team to challenge Sevilla but has two tough games coming up, away to Real Betis and Atletico Madrid. And it has been surprising package Getafe making the running at the moment. Jose Bordalas has his team well organised and the strike partnership of Jorge Molina and Jaime Mata has been fruitful for the Madrid side.

Getafe plays Sevilla next week and that is a huge game.

Deportivo Alaves has fallen away recently after taking just one point from 12 and is one of the teams likely to miss out, and will have to aim for the consolation of a Europa League place, guaranteed for those in fifth and sixth… and there may be a place for seventh. Athletic Bilbao and Real Betis are both in that hunt.

Prediction: Sevilla’s superior squad will grab fourth place.

Relegation Battle

There is a fierce fight raging to stay in the division, with seven teams at risk of landing one of the three unwanted relegation places. Huesca occupies bottom spot but is putting in a spirited effort to stay at the top table, holding Barca, minus Messi, to a goalless draw this weekend. But it will be a big ask for them to survive. The other two places are unclear, with big names Villarreal and Celta Vigo in danger, along with Rayo Vallecano, Real Valladolid and Levante. And moneybags Girona could get sucked into the fight having lost three on the bounce.

Prediction: The Yellow Submarine will rise just in time and Huesca and Rayo Vallecano will be joined by Levante in the drop zone.

Pichichi Trophy

Well, there are no prizes for this one. Lionel Messi’s going to win the Pichichi Trophy for the sixth time and the third in a row and he’s the all-time top scorer in La Liga. Barca’s genius has scored 33 league goals already, 13 ahead of his team-mate Luis Suarez.

And there has to be an honourable mention for Girona’s Cristhian Stuani, who has scored 18 goals despite his side getting pulled into a relegation scrap.






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Stuart Wilkin
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