The 2019/2020 La Liga season looks set to be one of the most absorbing in recent history. In the last decade, it has basically been a procession for defending champions, FC Barcelona. The Catalan giants have won seven of the last 10 league titles while the Madrid giants; Atletico and Real Madrid have shared just three between them.
This looks to be challenged this season given the work done by teams in the transfer window. After a disappointing 2018/2019 season, Los Merengues have gone into the transfer market with a vengeance. Eden Hazard, Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, and Eder Militao are amongst the new faces joining the club in a €303m spree.
City rivals Atletico have also gone down the same road, shelling out €243.5m on new talent with #PuroTalento Joao Felix being the biggest buy at €126m.
Sevilla CF have also been very active in the transfer market, spending €124m on 11 new players so far. Even Barca have been active with Antoine Griezmann finally making his much-awaited €120m move to the Camp Nou.
In all, La Liga teams have been the biggest spenders so far with over €1.62b on new deals. This could increase before the window shuts in September.
Here is a look at five things to look forward to in the new season.
#5 The promoted teams have a big fight on their hands
The new boys; CA Osasuna, Granada CF and RCD Mallorca know that they have a fight on their hands to retain their La Liga status come the end of the 2019/2020 season.
All three teams came up by focusing on hard work and the collective over individual flair. This would be expected to continue in the new season Given the struggles of teams like Villarreal and Celta Vigo last season, no one will take it for granted that they are guaranteed a place in the league.
With this in mind, the promoted teams are expected to slog it out with the likes of Rayo Valladolid (who surprisingly escaped relegation), CD Leganes and Levante to avoid relegation.
Osasuna had comfortably won Liga 123 last season, amassing 87 points from 42 matches. Manager, Jagoba Arrasate’s attacking style, with Robert Torres and Juan Villar as its main men, worked wonders. The team scored 59 goals in the league. That style will need to be tempered with practicality in the more rarefied air of La Liga.
Los Rojillos (The Reds) have yo-yoed between La Liga and Liga 123 over the last 6 seasons and will hope to make a more lasting impression this time around.
Granada finished in second-place behind Osasuna and will be eager to avoid the relegation quicksand this time around. The team from Andalucía took a chance on Diego Martínez after he left Osasuna and were rewarded with a surprise run which ended in automatic promotion.
This was achieved ahead of more fancied teams like Malaga and Albacete. The veteran striker, Roberto Soldado is the eye-catching addition so far to a team that prioritizes teamwork and graft.
RCD Mallorca surprised a lot of people in the Liga 123 playoffs. The Pamplona-side had been La Liga staples in the late 90s and early 2000s before falling off into relegation and financial troubles in the 2012/2013 season. They shocked Deportivo in the playoffs and will need to do more of the same if they are to survive.