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The La Liga Race – Round 15

At start of the season, if someone had predicted that after 14 matches Real Madrid would be on 4th place 8 points behind leaders than it could had been declared worst prediction. But as things stand after 14 matches there are many surprises in LaLiga table. Valencia at 2nd, Real at 4th, Girona at 12, Alaves at 19th who finished last season 9th. But biggest surprise of them is that FC Barcelona is at top of the table and they are not playing their best football, defensively they are very much solid but overall their season depends mostly on individual performances.

FC Barcelona.

They are unbeaten in league and they are 8 points above Madrid ,6 ahead of Atletico , and 5 clear at top ahead of Valencia but being at top they have been over dependent on some players. In attack Messi has led them with 13 goals and with further 4 assists and Paulinho has chipped in with timely strikes but Suarez has been very much off in league and in Europe. Departure of Neymar has also affected them in attack but that benefited them in defence as they have only conceded 7 goals this season. They have a tricky trip to Villarreal and a game against  Deportivo at home before facing Madrid in Classico on 23rd Dec at Bernabeu. They have injury concerns with Umtiti set to miss 8 weeks through hamstring injury while Masherano and Inesita are also injured. Record signing Dembele is expected to be fit for Classico.                                                                                                                                                           

Valencia.

Surprise package of this season but  the best team to watch so far this season in LaLiga. They have played some brilliant football this season and they are ahead of both Madrid clubs and are 5 points behind leaders. Their unbeaten run of league come to end last week with 1-0 loss against Getafe. Their prolific season includes draws against Barca, Los Blancos and Atletico but best performance was 4-0 victory against Sevilla. Their upcoming matches include a game against Celta and then a trip to Eibar before last game of the year against free scoring Villarreal. They have injury concerns with Jeison Murillo, GarayGoncalo Guides out injured.

 

 

Atletico Madrid.

Unbeaten but still 6 points behind leaders. They are out of UCL so they will now primarily focus on league to set up this season. The problem for Atletico this season has been the lack of goals, they are one of best defense  unit around but goal drought for Griezman and lack of goals from other front players has halted them very badly but it’s now time for them to show up their potential and a return for Costa will surely help them out. They have a trip to Real Beits before a game against Alaves at home and an away game against Getafe to end their year. They have injury concerns for Juanfran and Griezman is expected to be out of Beits game.

Real Madrid CF.                                                                                                                              

Champions are 8 points behind leaders and rivals FC Barcelona. But their situation is worse than what table suggest. They have huge injury problems and fit players are not performing up to the level. 2 goals in 10 games for Cristiano is an example of their problems this season. They have lost some of easy matches against Girona and Real Beits and have drawn against Levente, Athletic, Valencia and Atletico. This is their lowest points tally after 14 games in last decade.

 

Sevilla FC .                                                                                                                                     

Last season they finished 4th and deservedly too and this season they look out-of-place for some time but they are back on track. Just 8 points behind leaders but level with defending champions. They have mixed results so far this season.They lost against Barca but played well and deserved more from that game but losses against Valencia, Athletic and a draw against Espanyol were hard to digest. They have a tough away game against Madrid and then a home game against Levente before playing last game of year on road at Real Sociedad. They have no big injury concerns.

Written By Arbaz Ahsan Ranjha.

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