La Liga Round 23

21 Feb

There were a few shocks this weekend in La Liga – firstly, one of Messi’s goals was a scrappy tap in. Secondly, Falcao didn’t score against poor opposition, but perhaps the biggest shock is that Levante are no longer in 4th place!

Yes, it finally happened. The favourite early season team of every neutral have lost one game too many (at home to 12th placed Rayo Vallecano 5-3). After just 3 points from 8 games, and no wins in the same period, the chasing pack decided to wake up, and Bilbao, Espanyol, and even Atletico Crazy Madrid have all moved above them. In fact, the win took Vallecano to within one point of them. It’s a shame they couldn’t keep up their early season form, but the way it’s going, they’ll be lucky to stay up. They have a 9 point buffer, but they’re in terrible form, and have let in 9 goals in the last two games. I’ll have a look at the end of season table to compare the first half of the season to the second – I certainly can’t recall of a collapse like it, with maybe the exception of Norwich City in 1994-95 who had one win from their last 20 games.

More of the same at the top as Real Madrid continued their Championship Manager form, racking up their 18th win in 19 league games. And as long as they keep it up then it doesn’t matter what Barcelona do. And that includes Lionel Messi. It seems odd that he’s still doing things for the first time, but Sunday saw him score 4 league goals in one match for the first time – and impressively it was against 3rd placed Valencia. Whilst it doesn’t help him close the gap on Real Madrid, it does improve his average opposition ranking to 8.85 per goal – lower than Ronaldo, and also increases his tally vs Top 6 teams to an impressive 7.

Fabregas continues to have the best average opposition ranking, though as pointed out previously, his goals have dried up. Cristiano Ronaldo continues to lead the way against the Top 6 with a massive 12 goals. Messi’s 4 goals have closed the gap though, and also in the number of total league goals. They’re scoring stats over the past 2 and a half seasons really are amzingly similar.

Falcao, as mentioned above, didn’t actually score against 19th placed Sporting Gijon, as Atletico dropped 2 points. Regardless of that, he still retains the worst average opposition index, which means he’s still the league’ flat track bully.

Last week’s predictions:

“1. Falcao to score against 19th place Gijon – his AOI is the worst in the Top Scorers list, and he has 3 against 20th placed teams, and 2 against 18th placed.

2.  Llorente to score against Malaga – he has a decent average of 9.36, and has 3 against Top 6 teams, so a team in 7th should be within range.

3. Messi to score against Valencia – to increase his record vs Top 6, and because he’s the best player in the World. Can you bet on assists?

4. It’s tempting to go for a Levante win – their average opponent per win is 7.88 or 8th. They’re well overdue a win, and are at home against a consistently inconsistent Vallecano (LLWWLLWW). Though confidence is very low – so check the odds and it might be worth a fiver.

I’ve not included Ronaldo to score against Racing as they have a Champions League game in the mid week after. If he plays though, it’s probably gonna result in a hat trick.”

Well I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t quite nail this one. Yes, both Messi and Ronaldo scored, but it hardly takes a sophisticated system to work out that the two best players in the world will score. In my defence, Llorente didn’t play in Bilbao’s 3-0 win over Malaga.

I’ll have another go at a different league before the weekend’s fixtures.

Cheers,

Liam

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2 Responses to “La Liga Round 23”

  1. Luciano March 2, 2012 at 18:01 #

    The spanish league is a much weaker league than the english league..thats why people like ronaldo messi xavi and all them shine cause they have no one to play against..everyone who is good is split between two team ral and barca..everyone else there is shit lets see messi play in the english league..yeahh right he would last more than a week because he wouldnt be the star..Manchester United..Chelsea..Arsenal..Man City..Liverpool tottenham..all which are better

    • lpcorbett March 5, 2012 at 23:14 #

      I would agree that the league as a whole seems to have gotten weaker – the gap between 1st and 6th is currently 32 points and is likely to grow. Compare that to the Premier League (22 points), Germany (19 points) and Italy (26 points) and you have a point. Though to say everyone else outside the top 2 teams are poor wouldn’t be accurate. David Silva and Juan Mata both came to the Premier League from Valencia, and are two of the best players in England.

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