The 21/22 season of La Liga starts on the 13th of August. The first matches already have fans at the edges of their seats, with top four contenders coming in strongly with promising fixtures.
Since it’s too early for moneylines here are the top four, coupled with the newbies joining the top-flight for the new season.
Expect this season to be all about Barcelona. The Catalonians have made all the right moves on the transfer market. Despite being plagued with salary issues, they managed to fix things thanks to Messi sacrificing his salary to stay at the club for a few more years. Alongside the brilliant Argentinian wizard, Barcelona also snatched Sergio Aguero from Manchester City. Now that they have two prolific goal scorers and chance-creators leading the charge, only the sky will be the limit for them. And we haven’t even started talking about Memphis Depay. Even though the Dutch’s EURO 2020 campaign came to a surprising stop early on, Memphis Depay still stands as one of the world’s most gifted attackers. The 27-year-old center-forward left Lyon with hopes of getting enough playtime on Camp Nou.
Diego Simeone’s men played some of their best football yet. They managed to clinch the title thanks to Luis Suarez’s goalscoring excellence in the final matchdays. The Uruguayan striker scored 21 goals last season, marking a very successful debut season for Atletico Madrid. This season, however, their task will be much more difficult. And it’s not because of the fact they might lose much-needed midfielders in Saul and Koke, but because Barcelona and Real Madrid will spend a ton of money to redeem themselves for last season’s title drought. Barcelona seems like the more capable team right now, though there’s still plenty of time left in the transfer window, meaning Real Madrid isn’t out of the equation just yet.
Real Madrid are in the middle of a massive Perez drama. But, the political happenings around the team shouldn’t pose as too big of an issue for the players. However, their activity on the transfer market has been pretty quiet thus far. Real Madrid did reach an agreement with David Alaba. There’s still plenty of time in the summer transfer window for Real Madrid to kick things up a notch. We know they have the finances; the only question is if they’re going to land one of the two most sought-after players out there. Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe are both connected to Real Madrid, though there isn’t any concrete rumours at the moment. If they snatch at least one of them, then Real Madrid will be a tough contender for second place, perhaps even the title.
Sevilla is going to have a proper fight on their hands this season! Last year, they won Europa League following a dramatic penalty shootout against Manchester United. Domestically, they had a wonderful campaign in LaLiga. They finished fourth but were just two points away from Barcelona in third place. Rakitić’s arrival perhaps didn’t result in great statistical contribution, but the experienced Croat has brought forth a lot of stability in midfield. Just like Luka Modrić, Rakitić’s ability to control every game he plays is of pinnacle importance for his team. However, the likes of Real Sociedad, Real Betis, and Villareal will be tough contenders all year long. Sevilla’s mixture of experience and youth talents should be just enough to squeeze through.
Espanyol were the first club to secure promotion to the top flight for the 2021/22 season after winning the Segunda division title. Espanyol are returning back to LaLiga after just a single season absence. They got relegated in the 2019/20 season after 26 consecutive years in the top flight. Their fiercest rivals are fellow Catalan club, FC Barcelona. Espanyol have won the Copa del Rey four times, the Segunda division twice and have reached the final of the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) twice, 1988 and 2007.
Mallorca return to La Liga after a year absence and got promoted automatically after finishing 2nd in the second division. Mallorca suffered a decline in 2010s, as they got relegated from La Liga in 2013 and worst still, to the 3rd division in 2017. It bounced back to the top flight by securing consecutive promotions; first to the Segunda division in 2017/18 and to La Liga in 2018/19. But couldn’t keep its place in the top flight as it got relegated immediately. Mallorca also bounced back again by securing an immediate return to the top flight for the 2021/22 season.
Rayo was the last club to secure promotion to La Liga for the 2021/22 season after winning the promotion Playoffs against Girona on the 20th of June 2021. Rayo return to the top flight after a 2-year absence. Rayo are one of those clubs who regularly move between the top flight and the second division. Their highest finish in La Liga is 9th position in the 1999/00 season which earned them a place in the 2000/01 UEFA Cup (Europa League) in which they impressively reached the quarterfinals. The club finished in 6th place in the Segunda division in 2020/21, which earned them a place in the promotion Playoffs. They managed to reach the playoff final, where they defeated Girona 3-2 on aggregate.