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Sevilla and Villarreal Take Aim at Atletico Madrid as La Liga’s Third Force

Ivan Eakitic at Sevilla (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Atletico Madrid, Sevilla and Villarreal will probably contest for the third-spot in La Liga, after the likes of Barcelona and Real Madrid.

  • Reuters
  • Last Updated: September 11, 2020, 7:33 PM IST


Atletico Madrid have been sitting comfortably as Spain’s third energy for the perfect a part of a decade however that standing is underneath menace forward of the brand new La Liga marketing campaign by a Sevilla facet on the rise and an formidable Villarreal.

Atletico started final season as title contenders after an excellent pre-season and making some eye-catching signings. However, that early promise quickly light as the brand new arrivals struggled to mattress in and so they needed to pull collectively a powerful late cost to complete within the prime 4.

Hopes for this marketing campaign have been tempered following their Champions League defeat by unfancied RB Leipzig and little prospect of recent signings as a result of monetary impression of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With few arrivals on the horizon, there shall be elevated stress on final yr’s recruits, notably 126-million-euro ($149.47 million) ahead Joao Felix, who confirmed solely flashes of brilliance in a marketing campaign during which he scored 9 targets in all competitions.

“We had a lot of new players and the first year is never easy,” mentioned midfielder Saul Niguez.

“But I feel this yr we’ll see these gamers settling in additional and understanding extra what the boss needs from them.

“I sincerely assume this yr we’ll be taught from our errors and be a extra constant crew and we’ll attempt to obtain nice issues regardless of it being a wierd season.”

Atleti will definitely must be constant as they are going to be feeling the warmth from Sevilla, who got here fourth however completed degree on factors with them final season earlier than crowning their marketing campaign by successful a sixth Europa League title.

Sevilla are one of many few groups that would really profit from the monetary disaster attributable to the pandemic, because the lowered spending energy of their European counterparts signifies that, for as soon as, their squad will largely keep collectively.

The membership might have parted with long-serving playmaker Ever Banega however they’ve introduced again former captain Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona and added Spain worldwide Oscar Rodriguez.

“This is one of, if not the best, Sevilla sides ever but we want more, our ambition knows no limits,” mentioned president Pepe Castro.

“Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico have enormous power but I’m certain Sevilla are ready to take their place if one of the three slip up.”

Another facet with ambition to gatecrash Spanish soccer’s elite is Villarreal, who narrowly missed out on a top-four end final time period.

They have made three sensible strikes in midfield by signing Dani Parejo, Francis Coquelin and Takefusa Kubo in addition to appointing the extremely skilled Unai Emery as coach.

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