Here is part 2 of the La Liga predictions! I’ll be covering 13th to 7th place in this article with the final article for this set of predictions being released in the coming days!
13th Place- Celta Vigo
Celta Vigo is the definition of a team that doesn’t play up to their full talent. They have a fantastic striker in Iago Aspas, who is being looked at by Real Madrid as a potential replacement for losing Cristiano Ronaldo this past summer. If Aspas stays and Celta Vigo figures themselves out defensively after giving up 60 goals last season this is a team that could move up the list and contend for a potential top 8 finish. I don’t see the defense improving much as only rotational signings were made to bolster the side. A defense in need of a big signing did not get one and I think that will be what holds Antonio Mohamed’s men.
12th Place- SD Eibar
After finishing 9th last season, Eibar went through a bit of a rough summer losing a few solid players for free after deciding not to renew their contracts. The likes of Takashi Inui, David Junca and Dani Garcia, all left on free deals. This hurts the club not only in terms of their squad but also financially because they received nothing back in losing those players. I expect Eibar to slide a little bit this season but they will avoid relegation and remain relatively average across the board.
11th Place- RCD Espanyol
A team marked by a few people as surprise relegation candidates, I have Espanyol finishing 11th just as they did last season. A solid defense that struggles to uphold a poor attack is what constantly holds Espanyol back. Losing their lead striker in Gerard Moreno will not help. But they did a solid job of countering that loss by signing Borja Iglesias and bringing in midfielder Sergi Darder. Finishing in the middle of the pack is usually harder than it looks but I believe Espanyol’s defense will guide them there.
10th Place- Getafe CF
Getafe finished in a respectable eighth place last season and look to build on that success with another solid finish. A team very similar to Espanyol, Getafe are known for their defense first and their offense second. They had the third best defense in La Liga last season only allowing 33 goals. However, they only scored 42 which was 13th in the league. Many of their signings have been midfielders and defenders so I don’t see that goal scoring tally increasing much. Look for another solid finish by Getafe this season.
9th Place- Real Sociedad
Super computers are often used to predict leagues before the season starts and this year those computers love Sociedad. Mid table finishes are always hard to guess and this one is no different. A solid attack and midfield led Real to 66 goals, which was third best in La Liga last season. However they lost promising defender Alvaro Odriozola to Real Madrid and did little to address that loss. I expect a repeat of last season for Sociedad. A high profile attack held back by a porous defense.
8th Place- Athletic Bilbao
This Bilbao team is usually found in the top half of La Liga but last season was not so. A 16th place finish shocked their fans and those familiar with the team. I believe that last year was just a random outlier and that consistency will win out. Athletic did not sign many players this window but only lost one major player. That would be 23 year old goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga who was sold for $93 million to Chelsea. $93 million. That is an astronomical fee which will have Bilbao sitting pretty for seasons to come. I expect them to invest that money wisely as time passes as well as have a solid finish this year.
7th Place- Villarreal CF
After a 5th place finish last season, Villarreal knew they were in a dangerous position. Normally top 5 finishes are a very good thing and in reality it was painful for them. Finishing so high up the table alerted teams across Europe to the quality of their players. The Yellow Submarine watched two of their top players leave for a combined total of roughly $63 million. Naturally Villarreal went out and spent that money aggressively looking to improve their side. As is usually the case with big team changes, expect a slow start from this side that will result in a small slide down the table.
Thanks for reading so far! Let me know what you think and make sure to subscribe for notifications to hear when 6-1 are revealed!