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 La Liga 2011-12
Merengue
Posted: Aug 15 2011, 09:30 PM


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If the threatened players strike does not go ahead, league play will begin this weekend. Here is AP's look at each club in La Liga with their player arrivals and departures:

La Liga Clubs At A Glance

There very much is a tiered system in Spain, atop of course are Barcelona and Real Madrid with Barcelona looking to win their 4th straight league title while Real Madrid look to be getting ever closer to Barcelona's level.

The 2nd tier is led by Valencia but also includes Villarreal, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, Athletic Bilbao and now after their big investment Malaga. These are the clubs fighting for the last two Champions League spots and the remaining European spots.

The next tier are the likely mid table clubs Espanyol, Getafe, Mallorca and Real Sociedad.

And the last tier are the clubs for whom their goal is simply survival, Levante, Osasuna, Racing, Sporting, Zaragoza and the three promoted clubs Betis, Granada and Rayo Vallecano.

We will compare our season predictions at the end of the season to see how accurate our prognostications are:

Champions: Real Madrid
Champions League: Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga
Relegated; Rayo Vallecano, Granada, Racing
Pichichi: Lionel Messi (Benzema's development will mean fewer goals for Ronaldo)


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robdog
  Posted: Aug 15 2011, 09:47 PM


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Well lucky for Hector, there is a strike for this weekend. We know that Betis would have thumped scumbag sevilla wink.gif


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gaviota
Posted: Aug 15 2011, 10:33 PM


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This is Spain, a strike can still be avoided. There frequently are last minute agreements reached to avoid them.

Real Madrid look better than they were last season and Benzema in particular looks like a new player but Barcelona are improved too with the additions of Cesc and Alexis Sanchez plus the development of Thiago. But this will be Real Madrid's season I think as Barcelona's string of titles will come to an end. It will be a great two way fight but Madrid's overall depth will prove to be a difference.

If Valencia keep Juan Mata they will comfortably finish 3rd and Malaga will make their spending count and edge out Atletico Madrid, Villarreal and Sevilla for the final Champions League position.

My picks,
ChampionsL Real Madrid
Champions League: Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga
Relegation: Rayo, Granada, Zaragoza
Pichichi: Cristiano Ronaldo


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¡España, Campeones del Mundo!
¡Real Madrid, Campeones de España!
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ursus arctos
Posted: Aug 16 2011, 08:14 AM


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Champions: FC Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Valencia, Malaga
Relegation: Rayo Vallecano, Zaragoza, Levante
Pichichi: Cristiano Ronaldo

One of the (many) great things about this board is that many of our posters are native Spanish speakers who write beautifully in English. Are any of you familiar with Proyecto Panenka. Even though my Spanish is quite limited, I am seriously considering buying a copy of their magazine, which looks to be in the tradition of When Saturday Comes, 11 Freunde, Offside, So Foot, etc.

The ridiculous partisanship of the Madrid and Barcelona sports media (which is getting worse by the day) means that serious commentary, and in particular, a focus on life outside the big two, is increasingly hard to find.
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Sporting
Posted: Aug 16 2011, 08:26 AM


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Tim Stannard's opinion (on La Liga Loca website) on why the players would be right to strike:

http://fourfourtwo.com/blogs/laligaloca/ar...-to-strike.aspx
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Pepe
Posted: Aug 16 2011, 03:02 PM


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Thanks for the tip on the Proyecto Panenka website. An impressive group of writers there, that looks like a website I will visit again and one day I may even buy their magazine.

In my mind the players have every right to strike too because of the unpaid wages to some of their group. I like the solidarity they are showing now, at least on paper, for their lower paid colleagues. Hopefully when it gets down to decision time the first division stars do not back down.

My season picks;

Champion: Real Madrid
Champions League: Barcelona, Valencia, Atletico Madrid
Relegation: Levante, Rayo and Granada
Pichichi: Karim Benzema
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Dr. Z
Posted: Aug 16 2011, 04:04 PM


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I liked the Proyecto Panenka link too.

I do think the situation will be resolved without a strike as the league will offer to put up more money available in the fund to cover any unpaid salaries.

As for the league title race, yeah another year under Mourinho should make Real Madrid better but Barcelona are hardly sitting still either as the acquisitions of Sanchez, Cesc and the promotion to the first team of Thiago each show. Madrid are getting better but barcelona know how to win the close games.

My season prognostications:

Champion: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla
Relegation; Granada, Rayo, Levante
Pichichi: Lionel Messi


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Poniendo el pecho a las balas!
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Don Balon
Posted: Aug 17 2011, 02:59 AM


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The Panenka Project is a good idea and i will do my best to support it. They have assembled a good set of writers and that by itself makes it worthwhile.

Still no agreement between the players and league so as of now the strike is still on. Time is running out if they are to play league matches this weekend. The popular support is with the players as everyone agrees they need guarantees that their contracts will be fulfilled.

I think Real Madrid will turn their attention to Europe next spring which is why I think Barcelona will retain their league crown. Malaga will be much improved and along with Athltic Bilbao they will fight it out for the final Champions League place along with Atletico Madrid who look like they are about to make some significant changes. I see Sevlla and Villarreal slipping a bit this season. My league picks:

Champions: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Valencia, Atletico Madrid
Relegation: Rayo, Granada, Levante
Pichichi: Lionel Messi
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Penya
Posted: Aug 17 2011, 05:18 PM


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My season predictions:

Champions: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Valencia, Sevilla
Relegation: Racing, Granada, Rayo
Pichichi: Lionel Messi

Proyecto Panenka does look interesting, I will save that link and make return visits.

About the strike threat, the less powerful players need protection as many have gone months without pay. I am glad to see the players union supporting the less fortunate among their ranks and hopefully this strike threat and the resulting problems it will cause in the calendar if it goes ahead, will be enough to force the league and the clubs to reach an agreement which will be acceptable to the players and provide them with what they are owed. Who among us would not be upset if they went months without pay?
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Mr. Pither
Posted: Aug 18 2011, 09:30 AM


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Sid Lowe of the Guardian with his season preview

My predictions for the coming season:

Champions: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Villarreal, Valencia
Relegated: Rayo, Betis, Granada (when in doubt go with the newly promoted clubs)
Pichichi: Cristiano Ronaldo


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P-I-T-H-E-R ...as in Brotherhood, but with PI instead of the BRO and no HOOD
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blue for you
Posted: Aug 18 2011, 11:19 AM


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Champions - Real Madrid
Champions league - Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga
Relegated - Levante,Granada,Rayo
Pichichi - Ronaldo again
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raconteur
Posted: Aug 19 2011, 07:45 AM


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The strike seems to be going ahead.

Spanish season delayed after strike goes ahead

QUOTE
Spain’s bankruptcy law is also a problem as it allows insolvent clubs to re-negotiate or delay paying player salaries—just like other outstanding debts — while under bankruptcy protection. Spanish legislation expected to pass through parliament next month would relegate any insolvent club into the third division, although that wouldn’t go into effect until the end of this season.

There are six topflight clubs and a number of second-division clubs in bankruptcy protection.


The threat of automatic relegation to the 3rd division should act as a deterent for clubs to get their financial house in order. Unlike other leagues, as the law currently stands in Spain, going into financial administration (bankruptcy) does not carry any real consequences for a club.

If/when the league does start, these are my season predictions,

Champions: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Valencia, Malaga
Relegation: Levante, Rayo, Granada
Pichichi: Lionel Messi
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Mr. Pither
Posted: Aug 19 2011, 11:44 AM


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You have to love the off beat sense of humour in this ad by Getafe:

Spanish football club Getafe has released a video urging fans to become sperm donors in order to breed more season ticket holders.

I think I have a new club I will be supporting in Spain! laugh.gif


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P-I-T-H-E-R ...as in Brotherhood, but with PI instead of the BRO and no HOOD
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xeneize
Posted: Aug 20 2011, 02:04 PM


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That ad is great, thanks for pointing it out to us Mr. P. You have to like a club which takes such a humorous approach to attracting new fans.

I will take this opportunity to make my season predictions :

Champions: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Sevilla, Atletico Madrid
Relegated: Racing, Rayo, Levante
Pichichi: Lionel Messi
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valenciano
Posted: Aug 21 2011, 07:41 PM


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My season picks for when the league actually begins play:

Champions: Barcelona
Champions League: Real Madrid, Valencia, Atletico Madrid
Relegation: Granada, Racing, Rayo
Pichichi: Cristiano Ronaldo
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