“La Liga is boring.” “La Liga is dull and predictable.” “La Liga is only tussled by two clubs.” “La Liga is just an annual Barca vs Real Madrid two-way fight for the title.” “La Liga=El Clasico.”
These are just some the claims and proclamations trumpeted by La Liga critics over the years. They are claims and assertions that have hurt the league and its viewership; tags that they’ve long sought to distance themselves from and fight off. Despite the repetitiveness of these labels, to those who have followed the league observantly: La Liga is much more than just Barca and Real Madrid.
La Liga clubs have dominated the continental scene for around a decade, brushing aside clubs from rival leagues with consummate panache and style. Two of these sides, Sevilla and Real Madrid, will butt heads this Saturday at the Santiago Bernabeu in a match that has ruffled La Liga betting odds.
Both sides are enduring identical campaigns thus far. Both teams are on 33 points, with goal difference separating the two sides in the table. Sevilla have both the better offensive defensive records and suffered the lesser amount of defeats, while Real Madrid have won more and have recovered from a rough start to their season.
This is a must-win for either team to keep their tabs on runaway leaders, Barcelona, and to fend off the advances of top-four rivals Alaves, who are just a point away from both sides.
To do that, their big players need to be step up and make their presence count. Real Madrid, without Gareth Bale, are going to rely on the quality of Luka Modric and Karim Benzema. Both players have endured mixed campaigns so far, which they can’t afford to prolong against a well-oiled Sevilla side. On the other hand, Sevilla will rely on their quality forward pairing of Andre Silva and Wissam Ben Yedder.
Both teams are blessed with top talent, both teams need their top talent to deliver. Whoever does will sure accrue three valuable, valuable points.