Beginner’s Guide to La Liga 2019/20

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La Liga is set to return in early June, so we bring you up to date on the current state of Spain's top division.

Barcelona celebrate winning La Liga

With the Bundesliga firmly into their return, other major European leagues are following suit to quickly wrap up their leagues.

It’s looking likely that the next league to return will be La Liga, with the league given the go ahead by the Spanish government to resume as early as June 8.

Much like in Germany, games will be played behind closed doors with strict protocols in place to ensure the safety of players, staff and officials.

When the season does resume, it will be a two-horse race between current champions Barcelona and fierce rivals Real Madrid.

Here’s a quick guide on when La Liga will return, what has happened so far this season, which players to look out for and where you can watch.

When Will La Liga Return?

La Liga trophy being held aloft

There’s no specific date as of yet, but La Liga will start no earlier than June 8th.

As this day falls on a Monday, it’s unlikely a game will be played on this date but the following weekend.

La Liga president Javier Tebas that the aim is for games to resume on June 11 or 12, with it looking likely the opening match will be the Seville derby between Real Betis and Sevilla.

There’s still a long way to go before the return can be confirmed however, as training regimes are still limited to small groups.

Unfortunately, there is still a possibility that June will be too soon for football to continue considering Spain is one of the worst hit countries in Europe.

Spain is currently experiencing a down trend but if things worsen, we may see the start date pushed back until safe to restart.

Hopefully, things go to plan and we see La Liga come back in early June.

What’s the Current State of La Liga?

Diego Costa playing for Atletico Madrid

At the top of the table, the title is being fought between Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Atletico Madrid, who are usually challenging the usual top two, have been below par so far and sit in sixth place, accumulating the most draws in the league.

Atleti’s poor season has been a blessing for Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Getafe, who occupy the rest of the top five and are in a battle for the Champions League places.

Valencia sit in the final Europa League spot with Villarrael, Granada and Athletic Bilbao hot on their heels.

Towards the bottom, Espanyol have a mountain to climb if they want to play in the top flight next season.

Abelardo’s team are six points behind Celta Vigo, who sit just outside the relegation places.

Real Mallorca and Leganes also find themselves in the bottom three with work to do when the season resumes.

Eibar and Real Vallodolid, who went on bad runs of form before the season was suspended, will be looking over their shoulders to avoid being dragged into a relegation fight.

La Liga Players to watch

Leonardo Messi, captain of Barcelona

As usual, the statistics are dominated by Lionel Messi, who tops the goals and assist categories.

The Argentine has 19 goals and 12 assists, sitting way ahead of Karim Benzema in second who has 14 goals and Portu who has eight assists.

Messi is now on course to win the top scorer award for the fourth consecutive season and seventh overall.

Gerard Moreno, Villarreal’s star striker, has also been in fantastic form with 11 goals and has quietly turned into one of the most prolific goal scorers in La Liga.

At the back, Real Madrid have the best defence with just 19 goals conceded, which is astonishing considering Barcelona have conceded 31.

Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane continue to be a formidable partnership.

Atletico Madrid and Athletic Bilbao also have been brilliant at the back, but a lack of goals means both aren’t doing as well as they could be.

A couple of youngsters to keep an eye on are Sociedad’s Ander Barrenetxea and Mikel Oyarzabal.

Where Can I Watch La Liga?

When La Liga does return, the main place to watch would be on Sky Sports.

For an alternative, fans of Spanish football can also subscribe to Premier Sport’s LaLigaTV, who’ll be showing all the live games.

Jordan is a journalism graduate with a background in sports journalism covering football across a number of online publications, who now works in Gibraltar producing content for Mansion.
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