The 2015/2016 La Liga campaign is very exciting with Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Real Madrid and surprisingly Villarreal all competing for the title. Atletico Madrid are current log leaders, just two points ahead of Barcelona who have a game in hand. Real Madrid are third, two points behind their great rivals, followed by Villarreal, who are breathing down their necks, are only two points further back. Atletico Madrid are the only team who were busy in the transfer market, they have brought in two Argentines Augusto Fernandez from Celta Vigo and Matias Kranevitter from River Plate. Interestingly both are defensive midfielders, this is maybe the necessary depth Cholo needs to try and reclaim La Liga. With Augusto Fernandez and Saul in the team, Simeone now has two players who are in the top five of La Liga players who average the highest tackles per 90 minutes.
Barcelona’s transfer ban is finally over meaning that Arda Turan and Alex Vidal are available, both don’t look like new signings however, as they have managed to settle in rather quicker. Turan has already registered two assists in La Liga for Barcelona, playing in a number 10 role Arda looks comfortable in his new team. Only thing new at Real Madrid is that they have changed coaches, sacking Benitez and bringing in former player and fan favourite Zinedine Zidane. Under him, Madrid have played three and won two, whilst drawing the other, scoring 11 and conceding 2. With the BBC starting to find form Real are very much in the title race, with no Copa Del Ray obligations, Madrid have an excellent chance. Last but not least Villarreal have depended largely on their deadly front three Bakambu, Soldado and Denise Suarez whom have managed to help the Yellow Submarines keep up with the top three and only find themselves seven points behind log leaders Atletico Madrid. Villarreal could make a surprise return to the UEFA Champions League if they manage to continue their fine form.
Who is going to win the Pachichi?
Daniel Guiza of Osasuna was the last player to win the Pachichi apart from Ronaldo and Messi which was about nine years ago. From then on it was either Ronaldo or Messi. Falcao and Diego Costa challenged but neither could win it. However this season it looks very, very open. Luis Suarez is currently leading the race for the Pachichi with 18 goals followed by Neymar, Benzema and Ronaldo who are all at 16 goals. Gareth Bale who has been Real Madrid’s best player is comfortably sitting on 13 while Imanol Agirretxe (Real Sociedad), Lucas Hernandez (Deportivo) and Antoine Griezmann (Atleti) are at 12 goals respectively. Messi who has been injured this season is on 8 goals.
Does La Liga still revolve around Messi & Ronaldo?
With Messi being injured, Barcelona have shown that they can play without him as Luis Suarez leads the goal charts with 18 and Neymar leading the assist charts with 9, Messi wasn’t really missed. As For Ronaldo it looks like age has started to catch up with him although he has managed to score 16 goals, most of those goals have been against small opposition. He has failed to score in the big games (Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, FC Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga and Villarreal) Most have blamed Benitez for this slump, but with Zizou incharge things might change.
By Tuta Ilonga, Spanish football expert, on 25/01/2016 at 11:04