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Discussion Starter #1
Considering that the gap between Barça and Real Madrid with the rest, let's take them out of the discussion. I'll start showing the current situation:

3 Betis 41
4 Sevilla 41

5 Villarreal 40
6 Valencia 38

7 Espanyol 38
8 Athletic 35
9 Atlético 33
10 Deportivo 32

Who do you predict that is going to be in the CL and who in UEFA Cup?

- Real Betis

Strengths: Currently they're in a big form. Probably one of the best attacks in La Liga with Joaquín, Oliveira (why didn't Valencia want him?) and Edu. Add them Denilson, recently recovered from his long injury. They also have Assunçao, a free kick for Betis, it's like a penalty... in the last 2 months, he has scored more than 5 free kicks.

Weaknesses: Their defensive line is not very reliable. They've receive more goals than any of their direct rivals.

- Sevilla FC

Strengths: Mainly the team itself. They're good in every line on the pitch. High level defenders, good midfielders and good strikers. Their Brazilian spine (Alves, Renato, Baptista) is top class. Very reliable team, especially at home, where they only have lost one match.

Weaknesses: Sometimes they have problems to score. It seems that they have Baptista-dependance. Besides they can get distracted by the UEFA Cup. Maybe they have too many young guys who could feel the pressure in the last weeks of La Liga.

- Villarreal CF

Strengths: Riquelme. He's the key player of the team, everything goes around him. If he's fit, they seems unstopable... and lately he's always fit. Besides, they have strikers who read quite well Riquelme's game, mainly Forlán, but also Guayre and Jose Mari. They also have experience with people who has succeed in the top level, as Sorin or Arruabarrena, combined with good kids like Hector Font, Reina or G. Rodriguez.

Weaknesses: Probably the dependance on Riquelme. It didn't happen much, but I think that their game relies in the Argentinian. If someone is able to disconnect Riquelme, the team might suffer. Also the lack of tradition on top.

- Valencia CF

Stregths: A squad with a lot of experience. They're all champions and they won't feel the pressure at the end, as much as their rivals. They receive less goals than their direct rivals.

Weaknesses: Lack of confidence. It seems that they don't trust much in their chances. Also a bad management of the team. Ranieri didn't find the way to make them play, as they should. The fans are in really bad mood and it could affect the team at home.

- RCD Espanyol

Strengths: The team work and the fantasy of De la Peña combined with the efficiency of Serrano, Tamudo and Maxi. They don't have much to lose, the pressure in on rivals with higher budgets and expectations.

Weaknesses: Lack of quality in some players. Individually, this team doesn't have much talent and it could be definitive in the last weeks. Besides, they lack experience in this kind of situations.

- Athletic Club

Strengths: Probably, the team with best form in 2005. A great attack, scary. Fran Yeste is the Spanish player of the season, Urzaiz is 33, but he still scores as if he were 25. Ezquerro is doing his best season. Iraola grows every day. Gurpegi and Orbaiz give security to the midfield and Del Horno is a full back, who owns the whole wing. When Athletic is on fire, they're unstoppable as a tsunami. They never give up, ask Osasuna or Betis.

Weaknesses: Their defensive line. They conceed too many goals. As they are all attacking, sometimes they're easily caught in counter attacks. Besides, their defenses doesn't seem to have the same level of the forwards. Another weakness, they lost too many points at the begining of the season and they may pay it.

- Atlético Madrid

Strengths: Probably they best couple of CDs of La Liga. Perea and Pablo are reliable as few defenders in La Liga. Not only them, the whole defensive system is quite good. Of course, the goals of Torres and the better form of Ibagaza.

Weaknesses: Torres-dependance. If "El Niño" doesn't score, they turn off the lights. Salva can't replace him and no one else scores easily. The lack of quality in the midifield. Sosa and Colsa are far from the level expected of a team that wants to play in Europe. Luccin doesn't seem the same player who played in Celta. Problems in the wings, partially solved by Gronkjaer.

- RC Deportivo

Strengths: Experience and quality. They have players already proven in limit situations. Their quality is not under question, since they already won titles and did well in Europe.

Weaknesses: Lack of motivation, tiredness, bad relationships between squad and coach and a general feeling that says that an era is over.
 

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Hopefully Villarreal will make it to the CL. I would be very sad if they could not make it. It is only one point going and coming between the three teams, lets just hope sevilla and betis drop more points than the submarines.
 

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Very good analysis. I think it's too early to make predictions, the gap between the teams involved in the fight for European places is small, but anyways, I'd say:

Sevilla and Valencia to CL
Betis and Villarreal to UEFA Cup
 

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Super analysis Koeman :star:

The quality of teams in Spain is just amazing, its hard to predict whose going to go to the cl and uefa since everything is just so tight and the teams are so good but i think Valencia is just too good not to get that 4tc CL spot, or even the 3rd because the other teams in there are good but just not as experienced as Valencia.

As for the other CL spot, its really hard to say. Betis, Villareal and Athletic are just amazing attacking teams but Sevilla is also very solid overall and its real hard to beat them but in the end ill go with Betis because i just enjoy the way they play.

UEFA Cup- Athletic and Villareal
 

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Sevilla and Athletic for CL

Villareal and Valencia for UEFA Cup
 

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I think Espanyol, Betis and Villarreal will go down in the table with the pass of the games, as every season. Still, I have to admit they´re playing very well.

I think Atlético doesn´t have team to qualify for Europe and I think Athletic will let the league out of priority if we keep on passing rounds in the Cup and UEFA. We have a lot of hunger of title here after so many years so it wouldn´t be such a surprise to see us leaving the league aside, still I think we have team to fight in the 3 competitions, at least for a UEFA spot in the league, if we wouldn´t be in the other 2 comps we´d be much higher in the league that´s for sure.

So the favourites for me are Sevilla and Valencia, and I don´t consider Depor dead although it´s true things don´t smell too well in A Coruña. From the 3 I mentioned in the beginning probably one and maybe 2 will give the surprise and stay there until the end. If Athletic gets eliminated in one of the KO comps we would inmediately become challengers for the CL places, but playing 2 games per week with 14-15 players is very difficult, hope not but we could pay it at the end of the season.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Txupa said:
I think Espanyol, Betis and Villarreal will go down in the table with the pass of the games, as every season. Still, I have to admit they´re playing very well.

I think Atlético doesn´t have team to qualify for Europe and I think Athletic will let the league out of priority if we keep on passing rounds in the Cup and UEFA. We have a lot of hunger of title here after so many years so it wouldn´t be such a surprise to see us leaving the league aside, still I think we have team to fight in the 3 competitions, at least for a UEFA spot in the league, if we wouldn´t be in the other 2 comps we´d be much higher in the league that´s for sure.

So the favourites for me are Sevilla and Valencia, and I don´t consider Depor dead although it´s true things don´t smell too well in A Coruña. From the 3 I mentioned in the beginning probably one and maybe 2 will give the surprise and stay there until the end. If Athletic gets eliminated in one of the KO comps we would inmediately become challengers for the CL places, but playing 2 games per week with 14-15 players is very difficult, hope not but we could pay it at the end of the season.
Leave the Copa out, since they're just 2 matches in the middle of April that should not bother that much. It's true that Athletic may focus their attention in the UEFA Cup, but also Sevilla, Valencia and Villarreal are in the same situation. I don't know how "hungry" they're, but I don't see them wasting the UEFA Cup. This competition may be the last chance for Valencia to do something good this season. Sevilla is in its centenary and I'm sure that they'll give the 100% to achieve something great. Villarreal already reached the semis one year ago and they're powerful enough to do something big, they have quality for sure.

The situation in the top positions is very similar for several teams.
 

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This the part of the season where Betis usually faulter and throw away all of their good work. I think our lack of experience can become a problem in big pressure games,(especially in defence where we are very liable to set pieces) with Jaunito being our most experienced defender.

We rely so much on Assuncau as he is clearly our leader and imo our most important player. I always remember last season when he had a long lay off, we were like lost souls. As long as we keep him fit I am quite confident.
If we don't make the CL, it wont we from a lack of ambition. We are really giving it a go this season.
 

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Mutu_20 said:
We rely so much on Assuncau as he is clearly our leader and imo our most important player. I always remember last season when he had a long lay off, we were like lost souls. As long as we keep him fit I am quite confident.
Assunçao can be many things, but for sure he isn't a leader... in lots of games he only appears in the freekicks, but because he's so damn good he only needs that to score and 'save' his game. There is one guy in the Spanish radio that supports Betis that always says it'd be great if they could use him only when there's a freekick :D
 

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Like one of those America football kickers, who get wheeled out for the kick, then told to get lost when the actual game is playing?

Cool. :D

I'd like to see Spains strongest possible line-up in Europe next year.

I can't be sure about the places, but there probably will be at least one CL spot to a team that doesn't often get them. Villareal, probably/hopefully.

Given that table and their current form, I can see both the Seville clubs qualifying for Europe. It all depends on Valencia's run in to see if they both get UEFA or one gets CL. I would predict Athletic to qualify for one, but as previously suggested, they might lessen their league efforts as cup trophies become bigger and bigger possibilities. I think Athletic's league form will just put them out of the Euro spots, but they will make up for it with an all conquering UEFA Cup success. :thmbup:
 

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You've got to go with the "in form" teams to clinch the last two Champions league places.
Villarreal and Betis, have been very good since the new year, and look a good bet for third and fourth.
The UEFA cup could slow down the "Yellow submarines" progress in the league, but they're playing so well, I fancy them to sneak a CL spot.
Athletic Bilbao, have been involved in some amazing games recently, and I was very impressed by them during their great win in Madrid last weekend! :thmbup: :D
However, They are too far back, and have too many points to make up for a CL spot, but can certainly gain a UEFA cup place by finishing 5th.
Indeed, Athletic and Villarreal must both have a good chance of actually winning the UEFA cup this season, such is their great form!
So too, however, must Valencia and Seville.
I fancy these two to fight it out for the sixth place and gain the last UEFA spot.
Valencia seem to have gone right of the boil, and are looking a poor imitation of the great sides they had under Benitez.
Seville, may just pip them for 6th, as their good young team seem the more hungrier to do well.
 

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Setzer said:
Assunçao can be many things, but for sure he isn't a leader... in lots of games he only appears in the freekicks, but because he's so damn good he only needs that to score and 'save' his game. There is one guy in the Spanish radio that supports Betis that always says it'd be great if they could use him only when there's a freekick :D
I think he's a lot more than simply a free kick taker. Admittedly he is very slow, and not very athletic, but he is an accomplished passer of the ball. I'll respect you're opinion however, as it sounds like you're are exposed to a lot more coverage of La Liga than me.
 

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Atlético will win the Copa!

And we still have the chance to reach the 6th place.

IMO

Barca
Real
Valencia
Sevilla
Betis
Villarreal/Athletic
Atlético <--- Copa
 

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Mutu_20 said:
I think he's a lot more than simply a free kick taker. Admittedly he is very slow, and not very athletic, but he is an accomplished passer of the ball. I'll respect you're opinion however, as it sounds like you're are exposed to a lot more coverage of La Liga than me.
Maybe I was a bit harsh, I know he's more than just a freekick taker, I was just saying that he's not a leader, at least not my definition of a football leader. ;)
 

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IMO Villareal and Betis will get a CL spot,Valencia and Sevilla will take part in the Uefa cup.
about copa,Athletic will hopefully win it.;)
 

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Great analysis K4 :thumbsup:

Betis or Sevilla (can't decide) & Valencia for Champions League.

Villarreal in Uefa Cup along with either Betis or Sevilla.
 
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