La Primera Tips
Spain's top flight is considered one of the best in the world due to the presence of some of the planet's best players. Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xavi Hernandez and Andrés Iniesta all ply their trade in the Primera Liga and they are the reason that Spain rivals England as boasting the strongest league around.
One of the main strengths of the league is also the principal source of its criticisms. Barcelona and Real Madrid's duopoly has financially strengthened their position to the extent that they are capable of signing whoever they wish, but with only one championship of the last ten going to a club outside these two giants, it makes it a very predictable division, with often very one-sided games.
If anything the gap is widening, with last season's third-placed team Valencia finishing a whopping 30 points behind runners-up Barcelona, and the thrashings being handed out were such that only seven teams ended the season with a positive goal difference.
La Liga Champions
The league consists of 20 teams and has seen nine different champions. Fiftynine clubs have competed in La Liga, with the most successful team being Real Madrid who have claimed 32 titles with Barcelona in 2nd with 21. Other champions have been Athletico Madrid, Athletic Bilbao, Valenica, Real Sociedad, Deportivo, Real Betis and Sevilla.
Clubs in La Liga compete not only for the title itself, but also for the highly valued prize of qualification for either the Champions League or the Europa League. The top 4 clubs at the end of the season earn a place in the following season's Champions League, with the top 3 gaining automatic entry to the group stage.
The clubs finishing in 5th and 6th earn entry to the Europa League.
Relegation and Promotion
The clubs finishing in the bottom three positions on the table at the conclusion of the 38 match season, are relegated back to the 2nd tier of Spanish football, the Segunda Division. At the same time, the top two clubs from the Segunda are granted automatic promotion to La Liga while a third wins promotion via a playoff series between clubs positioned third to sixth.
Spanish La Liga Stats
Over the last 5 La Liga seasons:
- Home clubs have won 49.8% of games, with away clubs winning 27.1% and matches resulting in a draw the remaining 23.1%.
- Matches have ended over 2.5 goals 52.0% of the time.
- Home teams score first 55.8% of the time, with away clubs scoring first 37.1% and the match ending without a score 7.1%.
- Both teams scored 51.3% of the time with home clubs held scoreless 20.9% of the time and away clubs held scoreless 35.0%.
- When the home team led at halftime, they won 83.2% of matches while when the home team led at halftime they won 68.9%.
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BettingExpert's Best La Liga Tipsters
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