LaLiga with sport
Barcelona lie third in the LaLiga Santander table for the number of times possession is regained in advantageous positions. This means that Xavi’s men are one of the top teams in terms of the number of players in attacking positions after they regain possession.
In Barcelona’s case, this owes to the team’s high press and recoveries made when the opposition seek to play the ball out from the back. The Azulgranas press the opposition hard as a means to win the ball back high up the pitch.
The importance of winning the ball back for your team cannot be understated, but the decision made once possession has been regained is perhaps of even greater significance. The first pass that is played is vital to a side’s success in launching a counter-attack or it might be a case of playing a safe pass towards your own goal before building up a more intricate move.
Real Madrid are the league’s standout performer in the recovery stakes. However, Casemiro brings far more to the Real Madrid side than purely breaking up the opposition’s play. The Brazilian lies third in the league charts for the number of forward passes played after winning the ball back, a tactic that is central to success of the Blancos’ counter-attacking play.
It’s increasingly common in the modern game for teams to be adept at combining in tight spaces as they seek to open up opposition defences. That said, there are also game scenarios in which players take a more direct approach and are able to call on their power and accuracy to overcome opposition lines with an individual run. One team that excels in this particular department are Real Madrid, who lie top of the LaLiga Santander standings for carries that break the opposition’s midfield line, as illustrated by Fede Valverde in this example, in which the Uruguayan showcases his ability in this area.
When a team relinquishes possession, it’s a case of moving quickly in an effort to snuff out the threat the opposition may pose. In this particular department, it’s worth highlighting the efforts of RCD Mallorca, whose mental and physical exertions after losing the ball make them one of the division’s top five teams in the pressing after losing the ball stakes as the islanders display fierce commitment in the transition between attack and defence.
If we had to pick out just one aspect of high-flying CA Osasuna’s game in the early weeks of the season it would have to be their mightily impressive counter-press. The Navarran outfit, who have proved to be one of the surprise packages so far this term, are a
well-oiled machine when it comes to counter-pressing as they completely suffocate their opposition. With this in mind, it comes as little surprise that the Rojillos lie top of the division’s distance covered after losing the ball charts.
Estadio de la Cerámica
Estadio ABANCA Balaídos
RCD Espanyol de Barcelona
Estadio ABANCA Balaídos
These two sides will be keen to register a win here after both having suffered defeats last time out. The Galicians are one of the top five sides in the division when it comes to distance covered at high intensity, both at 21km/h and 24km/h. They’re also a side that seek to dominate possession and are performing well in this department as they lie fourth in the LaLiga Santander possession standings. However, Los Celestes come up against a Sevilla side who occupy second spot in the possession charts. That said, if there’s one aspect of Celta’s game that’s worth highlighting it’s their ability to win the ball back. Indeed, the Balaidos outfit lie top of the LaLiga Santander recovery standings.
As for the Sevillians, they’re one of the top three teams in the division in terms of their build-up ratio, whilst they also claim a place on the podium for the number of shots taken. However, Julen Lopetegui’s men really excel in positional terms, with the Andalusians occupying the widest area in the competition.
Eduardo Coudet’s charges occupy third spot in terms of the possession duration. This statistic is closely linked to their desire to win the ball back at the earliest opportunity, with the Galicians claiming third place in terms of distance covered to regain possession in the first five seconds after losing the ball. One of the keys to the Vigo outfit’s fine start to the season has been the form of Matias Dituro between the sticks. The Argentine custodian comes top of the class for the number of big chance saves made in the league. For their part, Sevilla have posted some impressive stats in terms of the width of their convex hull when in possession and rank as one of the division’s top three sides in this department. Meanwhile, much like Celta, Lopetegui’s recruits respond well to losing possession and are amongst the leading three sides in the division in terms of ground covered after relinquishing possession. What’s more, the Seville-based side occupy one of the top five berths in the division’s dangerous possession standings.
Santi Mina has most certainly stepped up to the plate this term as he’s taken on the role as one of the leading lights in Celta’s attack. A starter in every game in which he’s featured, the Galician sharpshooter lies level with Iago Aspas as the team’s leading marksman. However, there’s much more to the hitman’s game than finding the target. Indeed, he lies fourth in the competition’s assist charts after having laid on three goals. He is also the player to have contested the most aerial duals in LaLiga Santander and occupies fourth spot in terms of distance covered at high intensity, i.e. over 21km/h.