Remember the time when Granada was on top of La Liga and we were excited there might be some wind of change blowing in the Iberian Peninsula at last? It took all of four days to revert back to business as usual, which was expected but not necessary what everyone was hoping for. Catching up with their games at hand, Barcelona and Real Madrid once again man the top two spots in La Liga and the challengers already look fed up.
Granada’s leap on top was somewhat of a sparkle in usually more or less boring La Liga. While it was certain they will not keep up the pace with their least valuable team in La Liga, it was a show of competence and proved that Barcelona and Real Madrid can indeed be topped, if only for a while. Neither of the Spanish giants have been dominant this season, but still they’re a lightyear ahead of their competition. They would need a proper melting down in order to lose the fight for the title, especially with Atletico Madrid struggling to win games and all the others just way too inconsistent.
Barcelona is back on track with five straight wins and 22 points in 10 games. Lionel Messi is healthy again and does not show signs of slowing down. Luis Suarez has found his groove again and is scoring with lethal proficiency and Antoine Griezmann is starting to fit in quite nicely. Three clean sheets in the last five games tells a story that the defense is finding their feet as well and the return of Samuel Umtiti offers some options at the center back. Going forward Barcelona is the biggest favorite to win the title, for the third time in a row.
The only viable option to challenge Barcelona this season seems to be Real Madrid and they’ve not looked all that good despite being only one point behind Barca. The Ronaldo-less era has not fit the team well and they’ve had serious issues finding consistency. They lost, for example, to lowly Mallorca without scoring a single goal and have drawn three times, taking the point total to 21. Karim Benzema has scored seven goals and leads the scoring race, but no other player has scored more than twice. It’s something unheard of from the Galacticos and in order to challenge Barcelona they need to step up their game. Looking at you, Eden Hazard.
Levante vs Barcelona (1×2): 8.30 – 5.20 – 1.34
Real Madrid 3.40
Atletico Madrid 21.00