Comeback of the La Liga: Things to Know

Comeback of the La Liga: Things to Know

To the joy of many La Liga fans, the league is coming back. The first game will be played on the 11th of June. Sanchez said in an address to the nation on Saturday: "Spain has done what it should and now new horizons are opening for everyone. The time has come to resume many daily activities. From June 8, La Liga will return to football." La Liga president Javier Tebas said earlier this week he was "excited" about the prospect of matches returning. He stressed they could only proceed with clearance from health authorities, but the go-ahead from Sanchez means Spanish football will soon be up and running once more. But it is very important to follow the sanitary precautions and respect the evolution of the pandemic, we cannot lower our guard. Spanish teams were allowed to return to training recently and have been working in groups of 10 this week, though they must continue to adhere to social distancing measures. Games will likely be played without supporters present to minimise the risk of the disease spreading again, La Liga’s last match played was on March 10, leaving each team with 27 matches played. As we pick back up with Spain’s title race, it’s the usual suspects, Barcelona and Real Madrid taking things down to the wire with 58 and 56 points respectively. La Liga president Javier Tebas has implemented an ambitious plan to see matches played every day upon the league’s return. Teams will have at least 72 hours between matches, games will be played behind closed doors with strict safety precautions and the plan will be to have all matches concluded, with that being said, altogether there should be 11 rounds by July 19.

Covid-19 restrictions

Even though LA Liga is continuing, make no mistakes, the games will not be played under the same conditions as before the pandemic. The main reason why they are able to start playing again is that Spain has managed to bring the number of infections under control in recent weeks, with the government reporting no deaths from coronavirus on Monday for the first time since the beginning of March. But with more than 27,000 confirmed fatalities, the country has been one of the worst-hit in the world and it is no surprise the approach to football's return has been cautious and the attitude of some fearful. Many are adamant that, without fans, the campaign should not resume at all.  Spain has been gradually lifting confinement restrictions because of the coronavirus pandemic, with some regions entering advanced stages that could allow them to have matches with at least some fans in the stadiums. Second-division club Las Palmas had wanted to host its match next weekend with fans at its base on the Canary Islands, which has made more progress than other areas controlling the outbreak. Madrid and Barcelona are among the regions lagging behind. Until recently, Tebas and the government were not considering having fans back in any of the stadiums until next season.

All the players and team members of the La Liga have tested for  COVID-19 recently, miraculously, not a single player tested positive. The league is expected to oversee all of the clubs’ trips for matches to minimize the risk of infections. A fully equipped doctor staff with the required tests will be at each game in case a player or team member doesn't feel right. The fans will have the option to watch matches with virtual crowds including supporters’ chants when it restarts this week. Fans will also have the option to either watch the original feed from the empty stadiums or an alternative one with crowds superimposed on the stands, similar to video games. The league had been testing virtual crowds along with video game company EA Sports, which will provide the audio that it uses in its FIFA titles. One more interesting addition that wasn't possible before, is that the league will use new camera angles as it will be able to move camera locations to positions where they would have previously affected fans. The aerial camera will modify its flight path to offer new shots. Robotic cameras will be used in the tunnels for health safety reasons. Only a limited number of media members will be allowed in the stadium to cover games.

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Situations in the clubs

Most players and staff members of Eibar have expressed reservations about playing too soon. They believe that it is still too soon to continue playing. On the other side, FC Barcelona's players couldn't be happier about the whole situation. One of their main options in attack, Suarez, has been injured and it wasn´t believed that he would play in the last games of the season, within the 3 month break period, he was able to fully recover. The training staff said that they have not seen the players so motivated in a long time. On the other side at Real Madrid, the team says that they aren't best pleased with how the schedule for the first four matchdays in the return of the competition has been mapped out. The main reason why Madrid aren't happy about the schedule is that they feel Barça have been given an advantage in the Week 28, 29, 30 and 31 timetables, seeing that in all four games that the azulgranas play their games before Zidane's team. Real Madrid-Eibar was due to be played on Friday 13 March, so a home in would have allowed Zidane's side to put pressure on Barça, who were down to play Mallorca the following day at 18:30. Had that game been played in the original order, and Madrid had beaten Eibar at the Bernabéu, they would be a point ahead of Barcelona in the table, which would leave Setián's needing a win at Son Moix (Madrid have the better goal difference if the two are tied on points). Barça always plays 24 hours, sometimes 48 hours before Madrid - they travel to the Pizjuán on Friday 19th, while Madrid is at Anoeta on Sunday 21st. With both teams being only a game away from taking the first place it is understandable that Real Madrid is upset. 

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Outright Bets

La Liga, Atletico Madrid not to lose a single match

The odds for Atletico Madrid going unbeaten over the next 11 matches represent excellent value. Los Colchoneros have been awful domestically this season, failing to utilise Joao Felix as the direct replacement for Antoine Griezmann, being forced to play without Diego Costa for lengthy periods due to injuries, and Simeone was forced to build an entirely new defensive line in the summer. However, let’s remember where we were when football stopped. Atletico Madrid had beaten Liverpool twice, including a fantastic 3-2 victory at Anfield which showed that Simeone’s team could match the best in the world when they are in form. Any questions over whether the former Inter and Lazio midfielder had lost his Midas touch with regards to defensive coaching were soon dispelled after one of the most impressive European away performances from a Spanish team in years. Champions League football is now on the back burner, and Atletico Madrid has to somehow find a way of getting back into the top four. They are one point adrift of fourth but they will restart the season with incredible confidence. We believe that Atletico Madrid was with Barcelona one of the teams in LA Liga who profited the most out of this Corona break. Their players are rested, they had time to find the spark needed to give them that extra push to finish this season really good. What makes Atletico Madrid so good, is that they have the best defensive structure in Europe and they only really have two difficult matches remaining, against Barcelona and Real Sociedad. It is not out of the question that the confidence from Anfield will carry them through to the end of the season, and a defence-led unbeaten run is very easy to imagine. The odds are really good and you will find the best odds at 1xBet (2.70).

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Atletico Madrid not to lose a single match
Spanish La Liga 19/20
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La Liga, Top goalscorer

Luis Suarez has not been fully fit to play at Copa America in Brazil since his operation in 2019. The decision to prematurely end his season to undertake such an operation was frowned upon by Barcelona fans and the club's management. His injury battles were carried over to the 2019/20 season, and he was expected to miss the rest of the campaign due to a knee condition that also needed surgery. What followed was a period of intense rehabilitation and the ability to play again this season due to the forced break from COVID-19. The word coming out of Barcelona is that Suarez is fit, healthy and more determined than ever to produce on the pitch. Furthermore, he has actual competition for his place now in the form of Martin Braithwaite and the superbly talented Ansu Fati which means we will be seeing Suarez doing whatever needed to keep his starting spot. With all this considered, odds of 6 for the Uruguayan to score the most goals in the division over the next 11 matches is an incredible value. Nobody can doubt the former Liverpool forward’s talent and he will be rested, fresh and playing alongside a rested and fresh Lionel Messi. Under Quique Setien’s coaching, there is potential for an attacking. If you are looking to bet, the best odds can be found at 1xBet.

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La Liga, Team to win the season

The title race sees Barcelona at 1.595 in the La Liga odds to go on and win their third-straight title. The league stoppage came at the best of times for Barca. Their last loss before the pandemic was against their rivals Real Madrid two games prior to the shutdown, a 1-0 defeat. The stoppage has given time for players like defender Samuel Umtiti and striker Luis Suarez to recover from injuries. Umtiti had already been dealing with an injury this season and suffered a calf strain during an individual training session in early May. Suarez suffered a major knee injury and had not played since January 9. The time off should allow both to feature for Barca during the restart. The Catalan giants will look to begin strong with what should be straight-forward wins over 18th-place Mallorca and 19th-place Leganes. They closed the season with bottom-half of the table teams Espanyol, Valladolid and Osasuna as well. Tougher matches will see them face third-place Sevilla and sixth and eighth-place Atletico Madrid and Villarreal. Of course, only two points back, Los Blancos still have plenty to say in the title race and are definitely the better value play at +2.24 odds. For Real Madrid, the stoppage may have been a good halt in the season for them as they were fledgeling at the time of shutdown. Madrid entered the break off a loss, 2-1 to Real Betis and had lost three of four, with just one win in five matches overall when you count their UCL defeat to Manchester City. A loss to Levante and a draw with Celta Vigo were not encouraging results. While Madrid resumes with the relegation-threatened 16th-place Eibar, they’ll then face top-four challengers Valencia and Real Sociedad. In all, they’ll face six Top 10 sides in their remaining 11 matches. This compared to the four that Barcelona will face, plus the already slight points advantage for Barca, make Barcelona the bet for us to win the La Liga title. This seems like one good value bet since the risk is pretty low. If you do want to find the best odds to bet on this match, go to 1xBet.

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