La Liga 2018/19
This entry was posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018
Bad Timing Sky
Given that Sky Sports have now lost the rights to the Spanish league, fewer people will get to enjoy the, lets face it, two decent games a year the league throws up. Ironically however, they may have lost the rights at just the wrong time, with the big two in unusually tricky shape.
As the World Cup emphatically showed, la Liga is no longer where it’s at. There could also be a really Messi hangover at Barca from the summer’s events, and Real Madrid are in genuine transition, a fact that will not be assisted by players arriving back for pre-season in bursts. And although he may have been of an age, 41 goals will be missing now old Ronaldo is no longer at Real. They tended to be important ones too.
Atletico by contrast, have kept all of their key players, and in Thomas Lemar, have guaranteed some flair to go alongside the grizzle. They were right in the hunt last season, on the back of a 26 match unbeaten run before losing to Barca in March (a win would have closed the gap to two points.) Ex Sporting winger Gelson Martins is a better option than Vitolo, and the signing of Rodri from Villareal is a typically shrewd one.
Perhaps most pertinently however, they are no longer in a new stadium. Don’t expect them to drop 15 points there this season. The holders’ signings have been as disappointing as they are every summer, but shorn now of Paulinho and Iniesta, it may really matter for once. Malcolm may be a talent, but he can’t play in central midfield.
Take Atleti at 17/2 with Paddy Power to win la Liga.