Stick your neck out! Who will win the league?
Sami: There usually aren’t many teams in the race but predicting the La Liga winners is always a difficult task. The balance in Real’s side, carrying on from the previous season seems impressive. Ancelotti as a manager has that in him to get it to work as well. They aren’t just massive names, but names that fit into the system well.
Vishal: Real Madrid were the top team in Europe last season, and they have only strengthened this season. I cannot look beyond them for the league title. Their target should also be this title, especially after winning the European Cup, and the domestic cup last season. Also, their competitors don’t really seem that strong, especially Atletico, who have lost some of their best players.
The next best. Who’ll secure the coveted Champions League spots?
Sami: There’s no stopping the Top 3. Atletico, Barcelona & Real Madrid will be in the top three (not in that order). That coveted 4th spot is more difficult to predict this time around. Athletic & Sevilla impressed last season and should do so again. I want to say Valencia, I like the squad they have with some exciting young players, but their instability with managers is concerning. If I had to stick my neck out, I’d go with Unai Emery’s Sevilla.
Vishal: Atletico have gotten weaker, but not weak enough to crash out of the top 4. Simeone is a very good manager, and has got some strong replacements. Barcelona will also be there for sure, with all their additions, and their already incredible team. Aside from these 2, and Real Madrid, who will win the title, Sevilla will possibly make it too. They’ve lost their star man, but still have an amazing manager in Unai Emery. I’m tipping them to make an impact in the league ahead of the likes of Valencia, Athletic, and Sociedad.
Down and out. Who is getting relegated this season?
Sami: Very excited by the return of Deportivo; it was incredibly disappointing to see them in the second division; with a complete bias, I expect them to survive. Can’t say the same about Cordoba & Eibar. The former may well be seen as a guaranteed three point opposition, while Elche don’t particularly inspire confidence. Having said that, never saw Betis going down last season, and they finished bottom, so don’t take my word for this!
Vishal: Vallecano play very good football, but they’re not effective enough in possession to make the grade for me. They got a lot of plaudits last season for holding more possession than Barcelona, but they lost the game anyway. Of the newcomers, Eibar look a little weak, and look likely to go down. Granada too, weren’t always convincing last season, and so, I’ll give the other new comers the benefit of the doubt.