La Liga 2019/20: Predicting the top six
38-year-old Aritz Aduriz stunned reigning champions Barcelona as they lost 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames on the opening night of LaLiga 2019/20. It was a dismal Barca performance which was certainly not expected on the opening day of their title defense.
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale -- on the verge of being sold in the summer -- was the star man for Real Madrid. The Los Blancos decimated Celta Vigo in their opening game at the Bernabeu, even without their new signings making any impact.
A few miles away, Joao Felix, the new kid in town, lit up the Wanda Metropolitano as Atletico Madrid started their season with a win as well, beating a resilient Getafe who had finished fifth last season. Sevilla also came up with three points on Matchday one, while Valencia and Villareal could only manage to draw.
It was an expectedly intense opening day at the office, with players from Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Valencia, Betis and Getafe all seeing red cards. The long race for the league title and for European football is already on. So, here's an early prediction of the top six in La Liga this season.
#6 Real Betis
Betis found a new identity in La Liga under their previous manager Quique Setien, who was even rumoured to be on Barcelona's wish-list. None of the teams in Spain enjoy playing against Real Betis, who beat Atletico Madrid at the Benito Villamarin, Real Madrid at the Bernabeu and Barcelona at the Nou Camp, last season.
Under Setien, Betis played bold, attacking, possession-based football regardless of who they were up against. Their possession and passing was the highest in the league after Real Madrid and Barcelona. The pick of the new signings this season is Nabil Fekir from Lyon, a massive addition to their attack.
After a campaign marked by scintillating performances, Betis under their new manager Rubi, will want to build from last season and aim for European football. From a team battling relegation to one of the teams to watch out for, Real Betis will have their part to play and will look to cause many more upsets in their 2019/20 campaign.