With the 2019/20 La Liga campaign nearly upon us, we take a look at the chances of all 20 sides ahead of the forthcoming season and predict how we think the Spanish top flight is going to shape up, as well as throwing in a few of our favourite La Liga betting tips for the season.
If you missed it, make sure to check out Part 1 of our La Liga 2019/20 Team Guide here.
Last season – 15th
Predicted finish – 11th
After returning to La Liga with a 15th place finish in 2017/18, Levante looked set for better things during the first half of last season and rode as high as 6th four months into the campaign. Nonetheless, Granotas soon lost their form and a miserable run of just two wins from 19 matches saw them fall perilously close to relegation.
Paco Lopez’ men managed to finish the season strongly and gained ten points from their final five outings to wind up sixth bottom once more, and there is potential for slightly better this term following the summer additions of Ruben Vezo and Sergio Leon.
Last season – 5th (Segunda Division, promoted via Play-offs)
Predicted finish – 19th
Real Mallorca are finally back in the big time after a six season absence, and they returned to La Liga the hard way after toughing out a 3-2 aggregate Play-off victory against Deportivo La Coruna. Los Bermellones will have their sights set on rebuilding themselves as an established top flight club; however we anticipate a long struggle ahead this term considering they collected just 69 points from 42 second tier games in 2017/18.
Mainly reliant on free transfers over the summer to bolster their squad, the Balearic islanders are favourites to bite the dust and manager Vicente Moreno has a mightily tough job on his hands.
Last season – Champions (Segunda Division)
Predicted finish – 16th
After romping their way to the Segunda title by eight points last term, Osasuna are clearly the side most likely to hold their own this season out of the three promoted teams, and we certainly think that Los Rojillos have enough quality to make their mark in the top flight. They went unbeaten at home en route to glory in 2018/19 and El Sadar should prove to be an extremely difficult venue for a lot of clubs in the coming months.
They have an intelligent manager in the shape of Jagoba Arrasate and with playing reinforcements in over the summer to complement their promotion winning squad, we fancy Osasuna to stay up a shade cosily.
Last season – 10th
Predicted finish – 9th
It was a really mixed season for Betis in 2018/19 – Los Verdiblancos enjoyed a tremendous run to the semi-finals of the Copa Del Rey however they only managed to finish 10th in the league after qualifying for Europe in the previous campaign. On the continental front, Betis failed to make a serious impact as Rennes dumped them out of the Europa League at the Last 32 stage.
Consequently, it was no great surprise that the club parted ways with Quique Setien and the Andalusians will have the benefit of Rubi on the touchline this term after snaring the 49 year-old from Espanyol. Betis fans will be hoping he can repeat what he achieved with Periquitos last season, however we think another mid-table finish is on the cards after star man Giovani Lo Celso joined Spurs during the summer.
Last season – 3rd
Predicted finish – 2nd
2018/19 has to go down as one of Real’s worst campaigns in living memory. Los Merengues finished 3rd and 19 points behind El Clasico rivals Barcelona after losing 12 of their 38 league games, whilst they were knocked out of the Champions League at the Last 16 stage by Ajax. The Copa Del Rey also brought little relief either as they suffered a humiliating 0-3 home defeat to Barca in the semi-finals.
The club clearly made the wrong appointment in taking Julian Lopetegui last summer, and whilst Santiago Solari did his best to steady the ship, Real are surely back in better hands now after Zinedine Zidane’s return to the hotseat. Zizu has been backed in the transfer market over the summer with the likes of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Eder and Ferland Mendy flying into the Bernabeu and this could be the start of another exciting and successful era for the Spanish giants.
We think Real will be a great watch this term and they should give Barca plenty more to worry about than they did in 2018/19; however it will take Zidane time to fully turn things around and we foresee Los Merengues being edged out by their main adversaries over course ad distance.
You can find out why we’re not tipping Real Madrid for the title in our La Liga 2019/20 Outright Betting Tips and Predictions.
Last season – 9th
Predicted finish – 10th
It really was a season of two halves for Sociedad in 2018/19. After a four match losing streak left the club languishing 15th in the La Liga table at Christmas, Asier Garitano was given his marching orders at Anoeta allowing Imanol Aguacil to step up from the B team into the hotseat going into the New Year.
Aguacil’s impact was immediate as Sociedad enjoyed an eight match unbeaten run at the start of 2019, and although that level of form dipped subsequently, Txuri-urdinak won three of their last four league fixtures to end the campaign strongly. The arrival of Portu from Girona has been the highlight of a quiet summer for Sociedad on the transfer front, and with Aguacil’s steer we anticipate a more solid and consistent season for the Basque outfit, but nothing more.
Last season – 16th
Predicted finish – 17th
Valladolid boss Sergio must be one of the most sought after managers in the Spanish game right now. After guiding the club to La Liga through the back door in 2017/18 with a late surge of eight wins from 12 following his appointment, he steered Pucela to 16th place and safety last term despite extremely limited resources at his disposal.
It will be a struggle for Valladolid again this time around, particularly after the sale of impressive centre-back Fernando Calero to Espanyol, but we expect Sergio’s nous and tactical ability to count for plenty and his side can just do enough to get over the line once more.
Last season – 6th
Predicted finish – 8th
It’s fair to say that Sevilla have looked rudderless over the last few seasons since the departure of Unai Emery, and 2018/19 was another campaign of underachievement and inconsistency. Los Rojiblancos missed out on a top four spot after losing 13 league games in total, whilst their efforts in the Copa Del Rey and Europa League fell well below expectations with Quarter-Final and Last 16 exits respectively.
Joaquin Caparros held the fort through to the end of last season after Pablo Machin was dismissed in March, but it is former Real Madrid and Spain boss Julien Lopetegui who now steps into the role on a permanent basis. Lopetegui’s appointment is highly questionable based on his recent exploits, and it’s difficult to envisage Sevilla being seriously involved this term following the departures of Pablo Sarabia, Luis Muriel and Quincy Promes, whilst there’s a glut of new bodies through the door at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan who will surely need time to gel.
Last season – 4th
Predicted finish – 3rd
Valencia are clearly a team going places and few would bet against Los Che taking another leap forward this term. Despite being narrowly edged out in the Champions League Group Stage, they thrived overall in 2018/19, securing 4th place in La Liga once more alongside a run to the Europa League Semi Finals.
However, their standout achievement was lifting the Copa Del Rey for the eighth time in their history, beating Barcelona 2-1 in May’s final at Benito Villamarin. That performance and result proved that Valencia are back amongst the Spanish elite and they are a team to be feared this term.
Boss Marcelino has done an outstanding job at the club, and with a couple of strong additions over the summer in the shape of Maxi Gomez and Jasper Cillessen, we fully believe that Los Che can break up the top three stronghold this season and make their mark on the Champions League.
Last season – 14th
Predicted finish – 12th
After five consecutive seasons in the top six following their promotion in 2012/13, Villarreal fell off a cliff last term and were seriously in danger of relegation until the final few weeks of the campaign when new boss Javier Calleja began to turn things around. El Submarino Amarillo eventually hauled themselves up to 14th and they at least enjoyed a spirited run to the Quarter-Finals of the Europa League – albeit they were comfortably beaten 5-1 on aggregate by main rivals Valencia at in the last eight.
Solidifying the defence has been the main aim over the summer for Calleja with the likes of Ruben Pena, Raul Albiol and Alberto Moreno signing up, and we can certainly expect a Villarreal outfit that is much tougher to beat this time around – particularly at their compact Estadio de la Ceramica home ground. They do look light in attack though after star man Pablo Fornals’ move to West Ham, so a mid-table finish is probably the best they can hope for.
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