La Liga Preview – Will Real Madrid prove too strong for Barcelona, Atletico Madrid & Sevilla?

By Mark Peters IN General,La Liga - 08:21 Aug 20th 2017

The 2016/17 campaign was a phenomenal one for Real Madrid and their supporters, with the European heavyweights claiming a third Champions League title in the last four seasons, as well as a first La Liga crown since 2011/12.

Zinedine Zidane’s men have already added both the UEFA Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup to their trophy cabinet this season, despite keeping their powder relatively dry in the transfer market.

Being without the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo for the first four games of the new top-flight campaign is certainly not ideal, but the team proved that they can manage just fine without their star performer last season:

Cristiano Ronaldo
POS: FWDAGE: 32Y 6M
HEIGHT: 6FT 1INWEIGHT: 12ST 8LB
 
LL | RMD | 16/1716/17 16/17 | RMD | LL
WITHWITHOUT
29
MATCHES
9
69%
WIN%
100%
21%
DRAW%
10%
LOSS%
75
GOALS FOR
31
31
GOALS AGAINST
10
2.6
GOALS F
PER GAME
3.4
1.1
GOALS A
PER GAME
1.1
34.8
MINS PER
GOALS F
26.1
84.2
MINS PER
GOALS A
81
13.6
SHOTS F
PER GAME
14.1
2.3
POINTS
PER GAME
3
7
CLEAN SHEETS
3
6
TOTAL
6

Barcelona are having a summer to forget, with Neymar’s world-record move to Paris Saint-Germain up by a 5-1 aggregate defeat at the hands of arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

Add to that the knee injury picked up by Luis Suarez that is set to rule him out for around a month and the bizarre £36.4m signing of Tottenham reject Paulinho and it is easy to see why optimism is somewhat lacking around Camp Nou.

That could all change if the Catalan giants are able to prize Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele away from Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund respectively though:

Philippe
Coutinho
versusOusmane
Dembele
MIDPOSITIONMID
25Y 2MAGE20Y 3M
5FT 8INHEIGHT5FT 10IN
11ST 2LBWEIGHT10ST 2LB
 
PL | LIV | | BVB | BL
06/16 - 06/1706/16 - 06/17
28
STARTS
20
2244
MINS
PLAYED
1864
13
GOALS
6
7
ASSISTS
10
1
OPENING
GOALS
1
3
WINNING
GOALS
7
HOME
GOALS
4
6
AWAY
GOALS
2
HEADED
GOALS
1
L
1
R
12
GOALS
R/L FOOT
L
2
R
3
173
MINS
PER GOAL
311
8
TOTAL
2

Sevilla sat second at the halfway stage of last season, before eventually falling away to finish fourth, but it is difficult to see the five-time Europa League winners offering as much of a title challenge under new boss Eduardo Berizzo.

The same cannot be said of an Atletico Madrid side who will be boosted by their move to the revamped Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, allowing them to accommodate up to 67,703 of their passionate supporters.

Although they currently find themselves under a transfer embargo, the team from the Spanish capital have managed to keep hold of Antoine Griezmann, a player who has elevated his game to new levels after linking up with Diego Simeone:

Antoine Griezmann
POS: FWDAGE: 26Y 4M
HEIGHT: 5FT 9INWEIGHT: 11ST 4LB
GAMES
ASSISTS
GOALS
14/15
A. Madrid
37
1
22
15/16
A. Madrid
38
5
22
16/17
A. Madrid
36
8
16
TOTAL
111
14
60

VERDICT

Real Madrid look absolutely awesome at the moment, whilst Barcelona seem in disarray, so perhaps Atletico Madrid could be the team to offer some kind of challenge to their city rivals.

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