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diego godin - atletico madrid (la liga)
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Will Atletico’s second act be enough to stop Barcelona’s La Liga triumph?

La Liga’s 19th Week the top clubs scrambling to earn critical points. With Real Madrid and Valencia drifting far from the top spot, is Atletico Madrid to remain Barcelona’s main challenger this season? 

Casual La Liga fans could be excused for thinking that the race for the top spot is over. After all, Real Madrid still look shaken up following Ronaldo’s departure and sit 10 points behind leaders Barcelona. The Camp Nou side, for their part, have won their last five league games and with Messi in usual splendid form, have cruised to the competition’s pinnacle during its first part.

However, when talking about serious challengers, Atletico Madrid we should not be discarded. Diego Simeone’s side are second in the league, five points behind Barcelona and eager to move out of the shadow of Spain’s two most famous sides.

Atleti take on Levante at the season’s half point, but this will hardly be a walk in the park. Levante have done well in away games recently, even managing to defeat Real Madrid back in October.

Barcelona take on the visit of 12th place Eibar. Valverde’s men still resemble a team trying to find itself, but fortunately guided by the incredible performances of Lionel Messi throughout this journey. So far, the Argentinian has scored 16 goals and has provided 10 assists, making him by far, the top player in this season of La Liga.

It’s been quite a miserable season for Valencia, with the team stuck in 11th place. Hopes that the Bats would be giving Spain’ elite a run for their money this year, have been unceremoniously laid to rest. But with half of the season gone, Valencia will need to start earning points if they are to have any hopes of starring in European competitions next season. Their challengers this weekend will be Real Valladolid, a team that’s been pushed into a similar mid table place.

Sevilla are third in the league, but have shown be predisposed to having real problems retaining their spot in latter parts of the season. Victory away to Athletic Bilbao would be enough to really get their fans excited about a potential podium finish.

santiago solari - real madrid

Meanwhile, Real Madrid close out the week against Real Betis. It’s an add encounter given that the two teams currently occupy the fifth and sixth place in the league. Los Blancos‘ recovery has been a slow one, in fact, failing to win their last three league games and a new loss could put them 13 points behind Barcelona.

La Liga fantasy football returns this weekend. A free contest will be organized in FootballCoin, with the top managers set to be up for important cryptocurrency prizes.

Eduard Bănulescu

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