- Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao kick off La Liga on August 16
- Mallorca favorites to get relegated
- Massive summer turnover at Osasuna
La Liga kicks off at the end of the week when Barcelona travel to Athletic Bilbao on August 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm EST. All eyes will be on the Catalans and Real Madrid in what looks certain to be another two-way fight for the title.
At the other end of the table, things are far less clear-cut with at least eight teams in the frame for the three relegation spots.
La Liga 2019/20 – Odds to Be Relegated
|Celta de Vigo
Odds taken 8/12/19.
Mallorca are clear favorites to be relegated at -140 and are closely followed by Granada and Valladolid but there is a ‘chasing pack’ that includes some big names who are in for a potentially nerve-shredding season.
We’ll take a look at which three teams we think will be relegated and who is the best bet overall for the drop.
The Mallorcans were promoted from the Segunda División at the end of last season via the playoffs. After finishing fifth in the regular season they beat fourth-placed Albacete 2-1 over two legs to qualify for a two-legged final against Deportivo La Coruna.
In a thrilling playoff final, Mallorca came back from a 2-0 first-leg defeat to win the tie 3-2 and earn their place in this season’s La Liga.
— Luis Melville (@LuisMelville) June 23, 2019
As effectively the lowest-ranked side in the top division, their chances of avoiding relegation are already being dismissed but this is a club that two seasons ago was in the third tier of Spanish football. They will not give up their La Liga place without a fight.
A relatively quiet summer in the transfer market has seen Mallorca bring in a couple of new faces from Italy’s Serie B, who they will need to settle quickly.
Promoted as runners-up of the Segunda División, Granada too find themselves as one of the favorites for relegation and, like Mallorca have spent modestly over the summer, although the signing of winger Darwin Machise from Udinese in Serie A is an interesting one.
El criollo Darwin Machís fue titular y anotó gol en la victoria del Granada CF 2-0 ante UD Las Palmas pic.twitter.com/xz1BpgdU0W
— Alejandro José Betancourt Maji (@alejo_bmaji) August 6, 2019
It’s a club that has spent six of the last eight seasons in La Liga, so is well versed in what it takes to stay in the top division but, like all promoted sides, they will need new signings to hit the ground and get points on the board early on,
After finishing 16th in last season’s La Liga, Valladolid will be looking to repeat the feat, maybe even looking to reach the safety of mid-table, but a tough season lies ahead.
Real Valladolid have made winger Pablo Hervias’s loan from Eibar permanent for €1m. pic.twitter.com/0IDg1zP1Ns
— TACTICAL PLANET (@tactical_planet) May 15, 2019
While constrained by financial limitations, they have been creative over the summer and have brought in six new faces on loan to go with the permanent signing of winger Pablo Hervias from Eibar. The loan players will need to settle and quickly.
Last season’s runaway winner of the Segunda División have had a busy summer, with no fewer than ten new faces arriving at El Sadar for an outlay of around 14 million euros.
The risk here is they lose the unity and team spirit that led them to the title win in the first place, but if they can quickly incorporate the new players into the squad and educate them in their way of playing, then it could yet be an interesting season. A tight defense will be key to their survival chances.
An 11th place La Liga finish last time out suggests to us that Alaves will be okay this season too, especially if they can stay as solid defensively this season as they were last. To have conceded just 50 goals in 38 league games in a league that contains Real Madrid and Barcelona is impressive in anyone’s book.
PRE-SEASON WATCH ?:
Deportivo Alaves ?⚪ had quite the transitional summer. With numerous exits, they also welcomed new faces, including Joselu and Lucas Perez.
— La Liga Lowdown ???⚽️ (@LaLigaLowdown) August 12, 2019
Their chances have been further enhanced by some shrewd summer business, which has seen two new strikers arrive from the English Premier League in the form of Lucas Perez (West Ham) and Joselu (Newcastle). We think Alaves will be fine.
Having finished just three places above last season’s relegation zone, Levante will be hoping for a mid-table finish this campaign and will be looking to progress rather than just consolidate. But they will need to improve defensively after conceding 66 goals last season and have tried to address this with the 5 million euro signing of Valencia centre-back Ruben Vezo.
If they can fix their defensive issues, a mid-table finish awaits.
Levante sign Rúben Vezo for €5M on a permanent deal after being there for a year on loan. pic.twitter.com/pCO8zrQojw
— Seleção Portuguesa (@PortugalTalks) July 1, 2019
As one of La Liga’s minnows, Leganes’ 13th place finish last season was some achievement, but this upcoming season will be their fourth consecutive La Liga campaign. So this is a minnow that is punching well above its weight and who are not about to slide back into the shadows.
Some typically modest work in the summer transfer window has seen them strengthen in key areas, and there’s nothing to suggest they are on the verge of a relegation battle.
Our picks: 18th – Mallorca, 19th – Real Valladolid, 20th – Osasuna