La Liga 2015-2016 Preview: Can Barca hold on to the title or will Real spoil their party?

La-ligaThe only constant in life is change goes a popular adage, and it is truly commendable as to how correct this is. The word permanent can barely be used in our daily lives, so forget about using it in the world of football. Seven or eight years ago, if someone came and told you that England and it’s Premier League would cease to be the best football league in the world, not too many of you would have believed that person. But that is how the cookie crumbled. The Premier League is no more the dominant force that it once was because now, Spain is the place to be. The sun kissed nation are currently the power centre of European football and for quite a few reasons.


Why is the Spanish La Liga considered to be the best football league in the world?

The first bit of evidence to support the above statement is the fact that the last two winners of the UEFA Champions League have been Spanish sides. The second big reason is of course the massive population of the game’s biggest talents all plying their trade against one another in La Liga. Finally, their national team and the success that it has enjoyed in the not too distant past make up a big part of La Liga’s rise. While it is easy to predict that the Spanish clubs will have a good year in general, what is hard to put a finger on is whose going to lay claim to the league title. So let’s get straight down to it and see who’s been up to what during the close season and who looks most likely to win La Liga 2015-2016.

So who should I put my money on?

Bookmakers are taking a lot of interest in speculating on who will reign over Spain the coming season. Barcelona are the favourites to lift a second consecutive La Liga title after having a perfect year the last campaign where they won every tournament that they took part in. Bet365 has Barcelona at 8/11 for the La Liga title for the coming season. Real Madrid for La Liga is at 13/8 by Bet365, Skybet,Totesport and Betfred. Similarly, Boylesport, Sportingbet, Betvictor, Paddypower, Winner, Betfair, Bwin and Titanbet all have Real at 7/4.

So, you can see that Barca are being considered as the favourites for the title, but read on to know why everyone thinks so and how you would not be taking too big a risk if you put your money on them.

What have Barca, Real and Atleti been up to during the transfer window?

Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid are of course the three favourites to land the Spanish league, but the real head scratching begins when you have to pick out a probable winner between these three. As far as summer rebuilding is concerned, all the three teams have begun to make new additions to their squads.

Barcelona have signed Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal for a combined fee of around 37 million pounds. Real Madrid have signed just one major name in Brazilian right back Danilo who joined the club for 22 million pounds from F.C. Porto. Atletico Madrid however, have already racked up the longest list of transfers out of the top three Spanish sides. Diego Simeone’s side have snapped up forwards Jackson Martinez, Luciano Vietto and Yannick Carrasco. The three frontmen cost the club a combined fee of 56 million pounds.

 Atletico look all set, but are there are any areas that Real Madrid and Barcelona still need to strengthen before the season gets underway?

Atletico currently have the lead in this race as they have made the changes that their squad needed, but that does not guarantee success. New signings are always a risk and we are yet to find out whether any of these lads can be a hit in Spain. Real Madrid on the other hand have at least one major bit of business that still needs taking care of, and that is finding an adequate replacement for Iker Casillas. For Barcelona, one major signing is still required to bolster their midfield and we can be sure that both of these clubs will do the best they can to adequately plug the gaps ahead of the new campaign.

How do these three compare in terms of squad size and depth?

Coming to squads, the matter greatly swings in the favour of Barcelona and Real Madrid who are blessed to have some extremely talented players not just on the pitch, but also on their bench. These two sides boast great squad depth and have two world class players competing for each spot. The strength in depth of a squad is one of the biggest requirements for any club that aims to win a league title, because of obvious reasons.

 And what about the men in the hotseat?

Finally, after having weighed up the three teams, their summer signings till date and their squads, we come to the last piece of the jigsaw and that is the men who will be commanding these players. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid have an advantage in this field because they have the added stability of beginning the season with the same manager. For Real Madrid though, things will be very interesting as we are yet to see how big a hit Rafael Benitez can be. The former Liverpool boss is a manager of the highest order, but he will need time to acclimatize himself to the players and vice versa.

Image – La Liga.

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