La Liga 2017…Who’s Taking Top 4
April 7, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

la-liga-2017-whos-taking-top-4

There are certain things we like to associate with the style of football that we play here on the islands hanging off the edge of Europe. We relish the so-called “blood and thunder” environment that exists here, a place where a big tackle is more appreciated than a cross-field pass. This is particularly true of this side of the world’s most prestigious competition, the Premier League (sorry League of Ireland, maybe someday).

Another label that is often attached to England’s first division, is the “fact” that it is the best league in the world. Yes, one might hear this and scratch their heads as they picture Marc Albrighton sitting in his large house, wearing an actual Premier League winner’s medal around his neck. While it may possibly be one of the most competitive leagues in Europe, this is more likely due to a questionable standard, and not quality.

The Best In Europe

The same accusation of a poor standard cannot be levelled at Spain’s premier division, La Liga. This is an undeniable truth, the standard in Spain is miles ahead of that in England. This can be seen year in, year out – you only need to look at their teams’ results in the Champions League and its uglier brother, the Europa League. They consistently have representatives in the latter stages of these competitions. In fact, the last three years has seen the same country take home three Champions league and Europa League titles. Can you guess which one?

Tell this to your pal who loves his EPL, and he’ll probably say that the same top sides dominate every year. It’s true that Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two teams that every single other club in the world dread, and this is not just in relation to facing these in competition. It’s almost understandable that a fan of a team in England mightn’t exactly be broken hearted when their favourite player has a dip in form, as there is the ominous feeling that he might just be a ‘man of the match’ performance away from being swooned off to one of the two top teams in Spain.

coutinho

But when you compare the recent title races of the two countries, over the past couple of seasons, there is no comparison. Three teams are still in with a somewhat genuine shot at the title in Spain, and this has been the case for the past few seasons. England hasn’t seen an actual title race since Liverpool’s famous collapse in 2014. Yes, Leicester’s heroics were both amazing and bizarre last season, but they finished ten points ahead of their nearest rivals. This year’s title race finished in January, also.

The Title Race

This year two old foes will fight to the very end for La Liga dominance. At the minute, it seems that it’s advantage Real Madrid. Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over Leganes leaves them with two points to spare over their arch Catalonian nemesis, with a game in hand. But this title race is anything but finished. Madrid will look at their remaining league games, and two will instantly stand out. They will face cross-city rivals, Atlético, and Barcelona at home in what may prove to be a roller-coaster run in.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Atlético Madrid will go to the Bernabeu, tomorrow, in the knowledge that they are unlikely to trouble the top two, as they sit eight points adrift of second place Barcelona. However, they will be more than willing to do Messi and co. a favour, by wrestling three points off their fiercest rivals. Atlético have stabilised since their poor 3-0 loss to Real in November, but they haven’t exactly been fantastic in recent games, either.

Real Madrid had been in cruise control at the top, but any slip up between now and the end of the season, could see Barca swoop in and steal a title.

Who’s Taking Top 4

While things are beginning to heat up considerably at the summit of the table, things aren’t quite as tight amongst those battling it out for a top four place. Despite Sevilla’s shocking run of recent form, which has seen them without a win for six matches in all competitions, they still sit a comfortable seven points ahead of their nearest rivals, Villarreal.

whos-taking-top-4

After three successive Europa League wins, a daring and impressive first half of the domestic season, and qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Sevilla were riding high as a potential title race loomed. Now, they will be delighted to secure a Champions League spot in the hopes that they can perform better next year, than their capitulation at the hands of Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester this season. With a seven point cushion, they won’t be caught, will they?

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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La Liga 2017…Who’s Taking Top 4
April 7, 2017 (No Comments) by Andy Leech

la-liga-2017-whos-taking-top-4

There are certain things we like to associate with the style of football that we play here on the islands hanging off the edge of Europe. We relish the so-called “blood and thunder” environment that exists here, a place where a big tackle is more appreciated than a cross-field pass. This is particularly true of this side of the world’s most prestigious competition, the Premier League (sorry League of Ireland, maybe someday).

Another label that is often attached to England’s first division, is the “fact” that it is the best league in the world. Yes, one might hear this and scratch their heads as they picture Marc Albrighton sitting in his large house, wearing an actual Premier League winner’s medal around his neck. While it may possibly be one of the most competitive leagues in Europe, this is more likely due to a questionable standard, and not quality.

The Best In Europe

The same accusation of a poor standard cannot be levelled at Spain’s premier division, La Liga. This is an undeniable truth, the standard in Spain is miles ahead of that in England. This can be seen year in, year out – you only need to look at their teams’ results in the Champions League and its uglier brother, the Europa League. They consistently have representatives in the latter stages of these competitions. In fact, the last three years has seen the same country take home three Champions league and Europa League titles. Can you guess which one?

Tell this to your pal who loves his EPL, and he’ll probably say that the same top sides dominate every year. It’s true that Real Madrid and Barcelona are the two teams that every single other club in the world dread, and this is not just in relation to facing these in competition. It’s almost understandable that a fan of a team in England mightn’t exactly be broken hearted when their favourite player has a dip in form, as there is the ominous feeling that he might just be a ‘man of the match’ performance away from being swooned off to one of the two top teams in Spain.

coutinho

But when you compare the recent title races of the two countries, over the past couple of seasons, there is no comparison. Three teams are still in with a somewhat genuine shot at the title in Spain, and this has been the case for the past few seasons. England hasn’t seen an actual title race since Liverpool’s famous collapse in 2014. Yes, Leicester’s heroics were both amazing and bizarre last season, but they finished ten points ahead of their nearest rivals. This year’s title race finished in January, also.

The Title Race

This year two old foes will fight to the very end for La Liga dominance. At the minute, it seems that it’s advantage Real Madrid. Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over Leganes leaves them with two points to spare over their arch Catalonian nemesis, with a game in hand. But this title race is anything but finished. Madrid will look at their remaining league games, and two will instantly stand out. They will face cross-city rivals, Atlético, and Barcelona at home in what may prove to be a roller-coaster run in.

Cristiano Ronaldo

Atlético Madrid will go to the Bernabeu, tomorrow, in the knowledge that they are unlikely to trouble the top two, as they sit eight points adrift of second place Barcelona. However, they will be more than willing to do Messi and co. a favour, by wrestling three points off their fiercest rivals. Atlético have stabilised since their poor 3-0 loss to Real in November, but they haven’t exactly been fantastic in recent games, either.

Real Madrid had been in cruise control at the top, but any slip up between now and the end of the season, could see Barca swoop in and steal a title.

Who’s Taking Top 4

While things are beginning to heat up considerably at the summit of the table, things aren’t quite as tight amongst those battling it out for a top four place. Despite Sevilla’s shocking run of recent form, which has seen them without a win for six matches in all competitions, they still sit a comfortable seven points ahead of their nearest rivals, Villarreal.

whos-taking-top-4

After three successive Europa League wins, a daring and impressive first half of the domestic season, and qualification to the knockout stages of the Champions League, Sevilla were riding high as a potential title race loomed. Now, they will be delighted to secure a Champions League spot in the hopes that they can perform better next year, than their capitulation at the hands of Craig Shakespeare’s Leicester this season. With a seven point cushion, they won’t be caught, will they?

Andy Leech
Writes about sport and the general idiocy of the human race. Once read a George Orwell book and now understands life.

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