The FourFourTwo Season Preview 2015/16: La Liga
Youngsters to spy on
Zakaria Bakkali has arrived at Valencia, and while the young Belgian carries a little excess attitude baggage after letting his contract run down at PSV, the young Belgian's ability isn’t in doubt. He boasts searing pace, close control and masses of individual brilliance – so don’t expect a dull moment when he's around. Marco Asensio and Dani Ceballos, the latest gifted technicians in Spain, helped the Under-19s to European Championship glory over the summer, so keep an eye on them. Asensio is expected to spend the year on loan at Espanyol from Real Madrid, while Liverpool are keen to tie up a deal for Ceballos which would see him head to Anfield next summer. Elsewhere, Granada's brilliantly named Isaac Success could enjoy... er, success, and find his name on the lips of Europe’s top scouts.
Tussle for the title
Real Madrid and Barcelona will of course lead the way, but who will triumph? Benitez has world-class quality in his squad despite the doubts over his managerial ability, while Luis Enrique's Catalans have that Lionel Messi fellow and confidence running through the squad after their Treble. Noises from Atletico Madrid suggest they could be back in the picture, too. Simeone is delighted with his transfer business and feels his group are leaner, meaner and more exciting than ever. Valencia and Sevilla are there in spirit, but aren't quite equipped for an assault on the top prize. They will push in the big games, though battling on several fronts could hurt them in the end and one competition will have to take precedence. That might well be the Champions League, with both clubs making a return to club football’s elite stage.
Battle at the bottom
The three new boys, while boasting superb home support, will struggle given the lack of depth in their respective squads, while there is also a sizeable lack of experience when it comes to relegation battles in the top flight. Levante and Granada will be down there as usual, while Espanyol could be a surprise package to suffer after losing key figures like Sergio Garcia, Lucas Vazquez and Hector Moreno. Eibar look certs to go down with the weakest squad in the league, while Deportivo La Coruna just seem to never help themselves despite having enjoyed a decent summer transfer window by their standards.