La Liga Preview: Rest of 2007-08

September 5, 2007


Promoted Teams: Real Murcia, Real Valladolid and UD Almeria

Our preview ends with a look at the three promoted sides to La Liga this season. While many critics have already written off their chances of survivial, there may still be surprises in store before the end of the season.

Real Murcia also looks more than a match for the teams in the top flight having strengthened the side considerably with smart purchases. From Real Madrid comes the duo of Pablo Garcia and Álvaro Mejía both of whom are immediate upgrades in defence and midfield; from Valencia comes Curro Torres and Mario Regueiro – who are strong attacking forces down the flanks while Fernando Baiano brings his goalscoring instincts to Murica from Celta Vigo. If mainstays like Enrique de Lucas and Abel can integrate with the newcomers, then Murcia fans can look forward to an exciting time at the La Nueva Condomina.

Valladolid bounced back into the top flight with an impressive campaign last year and looks to be the strongest of the three promoted sides. The names to watch out for include forward Joseba Llorente who makes up for a lack of speed with guile and persistence, Cameroonian Daniel Kome and Borja Fernandez. New signings like Fabián Estoyanoff and Ángel Vivar Dorado also provides the necessary experience and guidance from the middle of the park. Look for Valladolid to ride their passionate support to a successful first season back in the top division.

UD Almeria is by far the weakest of the three promoted teams and it is going to be a huge struggle for them this season. A decision to rely mostly on the players who got the club promoted may be admirable but it also highlights the lack of financial and playing resources that are crucial to any club’s survival.

Veterans like Aitor López Rekarte and Jose Ortiz will be counted on to rally the team together if things go wrong and much will have to depend on Albert Crusat and new Chilean signing Mathias Vidangossy to provide the imagination to open defences up and create chances for the team. Unfortunately that may not prove to be enough.


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