Tuesday, 19 August 2014

2014-15 Season Predictions

Primera La Liga 2014-15 Predictions
Primera - La Liga 2014-15 Predictions
After an exciting last season in La Liga it will be hard to repeat such drama and excitement that was given by trio Atletico-Barcelona-Real Madrid. Primera 2013-14 was one of the most interesting seasons of the last few years. Atletico Madrid manage to remove dominance of Real Madrid and Barcelona and won the title after 18 years. Simeone's team showed how to fight with the Spanish giants, managed to qualify in the Champions League final and were close to another celebration but Real managed to equalize in the last minute and completely outplayed Atletico in extra time. This will be an interesting season as well, Real Madrid is looking for a new title, Barcelona will try to outperform the Madrid clubs and recapture crown, and Atletico will try to defend title. So let's start with our predictions for Primera - La Liga 2014-15

Real Madrid ran out of fuel in the final of last season and ended in third place behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona, although they had the same points as the Catalans. The bitter taste is washed out by winning the tenth title of the Champions League and thus confirm the fact that they are the most successful European club. After the recently ended World Cup, they threw themselves into buying and brought top World Cup scorer Colombian James Rodriguez (AS Monaco), a member of the world champions German Kroos (Bayern Munich) and one of the best goalkeeper in World Cup Navas (Levante), which is also the best goalkeeper of last season in La liga. They did not lose quality with departure of Morata (Juventus) and Diego Lopez (AC Milan), but they are still speculating where Di Maria will continue his career. I think that Ancelotti will succeed to optimize team and incorporate new signings, primarily Kroos and James. The team is already balanced and with new reinforcements Real is first candidate to win new title. We predict La Liga title will stay in Madrid but will be moved into the hands of the Royal club. 

Barcelona played a mediocre last season in which, however, they were up to the last round in fight for title. However, team led with former coach Martino, did not believe in success and ended season with three points less than champions Atletico. With appointment of Luis Enrique for a coach, another legend of Barcelona, Catalans hope to restore lost faith and return title at Camp Nou. Summer transfers were specific, defenders Vermaelen and Mathieu are in so Barcelona defense gets height because third of conceded goals came of opponents corner kicks, they brought Rakitic who was best player in Seville last season as a replacement for Xavi, to feed attackers with precise balls, goalkeeper Ter Stegen as replacement for Valdes and the largest reinforcement of Primera Luis Suarez with whom Barcelona have more amps in forward line. Team changes are expected, especially when Suarez returns after execution of the suspension. Messi will continue to be a key player for Barcelona but like Neymar on the second wing, will play more from another plan and assist Suarez. We expect that Barcelona will be again at the top but in the end will not be able to compete with Real Madrid and will repeat lasts year's success to win second place

Atletico Madrid is going to try defend the title which they won after 18 years in a thrilling finale, left Barcelona and Real behind and play the Champions League final which they lost unhappy and awkward. Defense is the best part of Simeone’s team, they conceded the least number of goals last season in La Liga - 26, and on that defense Argentinian builds its success. While it was expected exodus of top players Atletico more or less stayed together. They lost top scorer Diego Costa, then defender Filipe Luis and goalkeaper Cuortois (all Chelsea) and another striker David Villa. Other key players such as midfielder Gabi, Koke, Tiago, Godin, Miranda, Juanfran are at club and reinforced with striker Mandzukic (Bayern Munich), Griezman (Sociedad), defender Siqueira (Granada) and young Slovenian goalkeeper Oblak (Benfica). Although Atletico will be a difficult opponent for all clubs, including duo Real/Barcelona, I do not see them defending their title. Atletico has remained very good club but mentioned duo have slightly advantage which will eventually show. We predict 3rd place for last year champions. 

Other clubs in fight for euro competition are led by Basque Bilbao who last season finished behind the leading trio. The team has stayed together, except Herrera who has achieved a transfer to Manchester United, and we expect them to repeat last year's success. Seville has achieved great success by winning a third Europa League title as well as fifth place in La liga. They are without their best last season player Rakitic who has achieved a transfer to Barcelona, then Mbie, Moreno but we believe they are capable to fight for Euro competition place. Valencia experienced significant changes, lost Mathieu (Barcelona) but will certainly be in fight for Euro place. Villarreal surprised last season after they finished sixth in the comeback season, team is unchanged and we expect fight to preserve last year's placements. Real Sociedad finished in seventh place, played a solid season but have lost Griezman (Atletico) and C.Bravo (Barcelona), we predict they will fight for 5-8th place. 

In the mid table we expect Malaga, which is struggling with financial difficulties, then Levante who lost Navas and coach Schuster. Granada, Espanyol and Celta have new coaches, but together with Getafe we predict solid season and place in the mid table. 

We predict direct relegation for Almeria who last season almost escaped relegation, and Cordoba who returned to La liga after 42 years. Other candidates are Eibar which is debuting in La liga, Deportivo, Rayo Vallecano and Elche.

No comments: