The Spanish La Liga 22/23 season will kick off on August 12 as champions Real Madrid look to defend their title. Los Blancos finished the season 13 points ahead of rivals Barcelona after the agonizing final-day disappointment of the 20/21 season.
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Real Valladolid, Almeria and Girona will make a return to the Spanish top-flight after securing promotion from Segunda Division last season.
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What? The Spanish La Liga 22/23 season
This will be the 92nd season of La Liga.
Teams will play one home game and one away game against each other across 20 stadiums in Spain.
When? August 12, 2022, to June 4, 2023
The La Liga season will break during the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar from November 9th to December 31st.
Teams involved: 20 teams, including Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletico Madrid, Sevilla, Real Betis and Villareal, will play each twice across the season for a total of 38 games per team.
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The Spanish La Liga 22/23 season
Champions Real Madrid will face tough opposition from a new-look Barcelona side and the always-resilient Atletico Madrid over the 22/23 Spanish La Liga season.
Last season saw Real Madrid push ahead of the pack and seal the championship with four games to spare. A new generation of Galacticos also brought home European glory after defeating Liverpool 1-0 in the Champions League final.
Several marquee signings will make their La Liga debut this season, including Polish goal-machine Robert Lewandowski at Barcelona and £72 million French midfielder Aurelien Tchouameni.
This season’s relegation battle could be the fiercest yet as half a dozen teams compete to avoid the drop, including newcomers Girona, Real Valladolid and Almeria joining Elche, Cadiz, RCD Mallorca and Rayo Vallecano.
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Key Teams at The Top
Barcelona (2.13) and Real Madrid (2.14) are neck-and-neck in the betting market to reclaim the title. This season could be the most competitive championship race in years as both Spanish giants undergo critical periods of transition.
While the bookies predict a two-horse race, Atletico Madrid are a good outside bet at 7.15. Don’t forget that Atleti claimed championship glory less than 18 months ago and have retained most of their squad.
Dark horses to mount a shock challenge include Sevilla (21.40), who came just 9 points off the top over the 20/21 season, and Villareal (41.80) who reached the Champions League semi-finals last year.
Barcelona: (2.13 betting odds - favorite)
Barcelona edge out Real Madrid by a whisker to start the season as the betting favorites. The Catalans had an underwhelming season last year as they struggled to move on from talisman Lionel Messi’s departure in August 2021.
As questions remain over Barcelona’s financial state, the club have been surprisingly active in the transfer market with the addition of Robert Lewandowski, Raphinha and Jules Kounde alongside free transfers Andreas Christensen and Franck Kessie.
With former midfield maestro Xavi settling in well and stamping his philosophy onto the team, Barcelona will likely be challenging for major European honors this season.
Lewandowski’s signing could prove the difference-maker, providing Barca with a frontline lynchpin they have lacked since the days of Luis Suarez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
However, there is no doubt the squad has undergone massive changes over a short space of time, potentially disrupting cohesion and consistency.
Real Madrid: (2.14 betting odds – second favorite)
It would be hard to bet against champions Real Madrid following a glorious double-winning 21/22 season. With returning boss Carlo Ancelotti delivering results almost instantly, Madrid shot ahead in the league and eventually finished 13 points ahead of Barcelona.
Real has seen a few notable departures this summer, including long-serving legend Marcelo joining Isco, Gareth Bale and Luka Jovic heading out the door.
However, the club secured shrewd replacements in the form of German centre-back Antonio Rudiger and rising French star Aurelien Tchouameni.
Although centre-forward Karim Benzema and creative widemen Vinicius Jr. are likely to continue their red-hot form, Ancelotti will need to work on a leaky defence which shipped more goals than it should have last season.
Atletico Madrid: (7.15 betting odds – third favorite)
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid are always dangerous and have the consistency and drive to mount a credible championship run.
Combining relentless energy with technical incisiveness, Atleti surged to their first title win in seven years after triumphing on the final day of the 20/21 season.
One area of concern would be the underwhelming transfer activity this summer. Atletico have yet to make a marquee signing, although they have welcomed back loanees’ Saul Niguez and Alvaro Morata to the squad.
The key players
Karim Benzema – Real Madrid
The Real Madrid captain appears to be getting better with age following a sensational campaign at the age of 34. Benzema earned his first ‘Pichichi’ top-scorer award in La Liga last season after netting a career-best 27 times in 32 league appearances.
With fast and tricky forwards around him, Benzema has also been a leading creative force in the Real frontline, ending the season at the top of the assists chart with 12.
Robert Lewandowki – Barcelona
Making his debut in Spanish football, powerhouse forward Robert Lewandowski has arguably been the best number 9 in European football since joining Bayern Munich in 2014.
If his return of 238 goals in 253 league appearances at Bayern is anything to go by, Lewandowski could be the man to fire Barcelona to their first league title in four years.
It’s no surprise to see Robert Lewandowski start the season as the favorite to claim the top scorer award.
Antoine Griezmann - Atletico Madrid
Antoine Griezmann rejoined former club Atletico Madrid following an underwhelming spell at Barcelona.
While the goals didn’t flow easily last season, the Frenchman showed flashes of why he is still considered one of world football’s finest forwards.
He will need to fill the gap left by Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez, who exited the club this summer after a haul of 32 league goals in two seasons.
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Talking Points This Season
The Top Four Race - Sevilla, Villareal and Real Sociedad
With Real Madrid (1.07) and Barcelona (1.10) looking odds on to finish somewhere in the Top 4, the rest of the pack will fight for the remaining two Champions League spots.
Atletico Madrid (1.34) are the favorites to join Madrid and Barcelona, followed by Sevilla (2.22) who took the final place last season.
However, Villareal (3.54) are coming off a excellent European campaign last season after reaching the Champions League semi finals, although their 7th-place league finish was more than a disappointment.
Domestic cup winners Real Betis are in with an outside shout at 5.50 along with 6th-place Real Sociedad (4.86), who have grown into a formidable outfit under boss Imanol Alguacil.
Who Will Beat the Drop - Girona, Real Valladolid, Elche, Cadiz
It’s anyone’s guess how this season’s relegation battle pans out, with half a dozen teams in danger of going down.
Newboys Real Valladolid, Almeria and Girona are understandably in the mix, joined by Elche, Cadiz, RCD Mallorca, Rayo Vallecano, Getafe, Espanyol and Osasuna.
The favorites for the drop will be Girona (2.25), who finished third in Segunda Division and won promotion through a 3-1 playoff victory over Tenerife. This will be just the third top-flight season in Girona’s history following a brief spell between 2017 and 2019.
Talented Youngsters to Watch
Gavi - Barcelona
17-year-old midfield sensation Gavi may be involved in a contract dispute with Barcelona, but there is no doubting his importance to the future of the club.
Blessed with the poise and nous of his manager Xavi in his heyday, Gavi has already displayed the ability to dictate the center of the park despite his age.
Yeremy Pino - Villareal
Villareal winger Yeremy Pino has attracted the attention of big European clubs following two excellent seasons in La Liga.
The Spaniard has also earned four caps for the national team and played a pivotal role in Villareal’s semi-final Champions League run.
Eduardo Camavinga - Real Madrid
Real Madrid’s latest hot prospect is Eduardo Camavinga, who made 13 La Liga appearance for Real last season.
At 19 years old, The Frenchman will likely see more game time this season. With his dynamic frame complemented by exceptional technique, many have drawn comparisons to French World Cup winner Paul Pogba.
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