Your 2018 La Liga Preview

The games start today (in roughly 15 minutes, I believe), so what better time than the present to give you what you’ve all been waiting for?

Contrary to what Litre_cola might have said in his preview, I don’t believe in too much fútbol.  Hell, the rest of the world doesn’t either. I know Hippo can’t wait to gamble on Salvadorean league tilts (hint:  Pick Alianza).

Anyhoo, a lot of things have happened since Barcelona won the league title, Real Madrid won the Champions League, and Atlético Madrid won the Europa League.

You know how the Pac 12 calls itself the “Conference of Champions”?

Yeah, it’s like that without the aging hippies

***

The Teams

As you undoubtedly know, every league outside the US and Australia has new teams joining and old teams leaving.  Here are the teams that will compete to finish fourth behind Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atlético Madrid be in the league this year:

# TEAM City Region Stadium Capacity
1 Alavés Vitoria-Gasteiz Basque Country Mendizorrotza 19,840
2 Athletic Bilbao Bilbao Basque Country San Mamés 53,000
3 Atlético Madrid Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Wanda Metropolitano 68,000
4 Barcelona Barcelona Catalunya Camp Nou 99,354
5 Celta Vigo Celta Galicia Abanca-Balaídos 29,000
6 Eibar Eibar Basque Country Ipurua 7,083
7 Espanyol Barcelona Catalunya RCDE Stadium 40,000
8 Getafe Getafe Comunidad de Madrid Coliseo Alfonso Pérez 17,000
9 Girona Girona Catalunya Montilivi 9,200
10 Huesca Huesca Aragón El Alcoraz 5,500
11 Leganés Leganés Comunidad de Madrid Butarque 11,454
12 Levante Valencia Comunidad Valenciana Ciutat de Valencia 26,354
13 Rayo Vallecano Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Vallecas 14,708
14 Real Betis Sevilla Andalucía Benito Villamarín 60,721
15 Real Madrid Madrid Comunidad de Madrid Santiago Bernabéu 81,044
16 Real Sociedad Donostia/San Sebastián Basque Country Anoeta 32,000
17 Sevilla Sevilla Andalucía Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán 42,714
18 Valencia Valencia Comunidad Valenciana Mestalla 49,500
19 Valladolid Valladolid Castilla y Leon José Zorrilla 26,512
20 Villarreal Villarreal Comunidad Valenciana Estadio de la Cerámica 23,500

Here is a handy dandy map so you can identify the places the teams are from:

You may have noticed that there are five teams in La Comunidad de Madrid.  Actually, Getafe and Leganés are suburbs of Madrid on the south side of the city.  Vallecas is a neighborhood within the Madrid metropolitan area on the south side of the city.  Atlético and Real are really the teams of the city of Madrid proper.

***

The New

Cristiano Ronaldo is no longer with Real Madrid and is now evading taxes in Italy.

Huesca, Rayo Vallecano, and Valladolid are the newly-promoted teams from the lower division. Huesca is in the top division for the first time EVER!

Zinedine Zidane is no longer the coach of Real Madrid and is now head-butting Italians on holiday until Manchester United fire Jose Mourinho.

La Liga will be using VAR!  Just as in the World Cup!

Julen Lopetegui is now the coach of Real Madrid after getting fired from the Spanish National Team two days before the start of the World Cup because he dumped his girlfriend on his way to prom because Becky the hot blonde with the nice ass invited him to her prom at her school in two weeks.

Can’t say I blame him…

***

The “Nothing Changes on New Year’s Day”

Every team plays every other team twice; once at home and once on the road.

Three points for a win, one point for a tie, and no points for a loss.

The top four finishers in La Liga go straight into next year’s Champions’ League Group Stage.

The team in fifth place goes straight into next year’s Europa League Group Stage.

The team in sixth place goes into next year’s Europa League second qualifying round.

The bottom three teams are relegated to be replaced by three teams from the lower division.

Barcelona,

Real Madrid,

and Atlético Madrid

are once again your favourites to take the league crown.

***

The Cool

Look at these awesome stadiums!

Ipurua, Eibar
El Alcoraz, Huesca
Montilivi, Girona

You are talking about playing top-flight professional fútbol in stadiums in the middle of the mountains!  If you don’t think that’s cool, I don’t know you.

***

Here is the Week One schedule:

***

I’ll be providing occasional updates when it’s my turn to entertain you with our Soccer Saturday Open Threads.  And yes,  you will get the patented Balls Graph!

See you on Sábados!

ballsofsteelandfury

ballsofsteelandfury

International Member of the Geelong Cats and recovering Steelers fan. Likes Butts. And Balls. And Boobs. Pretty much anything that starts with the letter B. Preferably together.
ballsofsteelandfury

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Don T

¡Rayo Vallecano! Uuuy, la plebe del fútbol madrileño. I’m gonna watch ‘em.
Related:

Wakezilla

iVamos hijos de Batman! Vamos Valencia!

Buddy Cole's Halftime Show!
Buddy Cole's Halftime Show!

Fuckin’ Rivaldo, man.

King Hippo
Sharkbait
Sharkbait

Help us Robert Muller, you’re our only hope.

King Hippo

jury #1 is worrying Hippo

Sharkbait
Sharkbait

Glad it’s not just me. Hoping it’s because there’s 18 damn charges they need to sort out…

King Hippo

or just one holdout dingbat

Sharkbait
Sharkbait

I’m trying to hope it’s not a single asshat railroading this whole thing

King Hippo

I seen Valladolid level at the half and put $73 on ’em. Hey, looks like I will win my first half Reims (home to Lyon) bet, so why the fuck not ($100 at +227, get my $100 back if level).

Mr. Ayo
Mr. Ayo

Like a sucker I read all the way down until the first picture. Shame on me.

SonOfSpam

I hear Real Betis is actually from Detroit.

King Hippo

this is sommet never discussed, oddly

Sharkbait
Sharkbait

I have to go with Sevilla in La Liga.

I’m making a terrible choice aren’t I?

King Hippo

I am excite. Have bet on Valladolid or howevs you spell/says it, so I will likely continue to do so in La Liga and lose mah backup thumbs.

litre_cola

I had high hopes Zaragoza would come up but alas they lost in the playoff.

Tharagotha, say it like a Spaniard!