It’s time to wave auf wiedersehen to the Bundesliga and hola to La Liga as the Spanish top flight returns this weekend.
Unlike in Germany, there is a title race to be won in Spain with the usual suspects – Barcelona and Real Madrid – separated by just two points.
And if Zinedine Zidane and his boys want to win their first title since 2017, a lot of their hopes surely lies on the shoulders of their two summer ‘flops,’ Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic.
Barcelona’s domestic dominance has been covered up by Real’s European successes, winning four out of the last six Champions Leagues.
The Catalan side are just in front of Zidane’s boys and with 13 games to go, the French manager has a great chance to dethrone Barca, who have won the last two La Liga trophies.
Real spent big in the summer to try and overtake their bitter rivals but so far the money doesn’t seem too well spent.
Both Jovic at Frankfurt and Hazard at Chelsea enjoyed successful seasons last year and looked to be the ones to fill the Cristiano Ronaldo sized hole at the Real.
Hazard’s season barely got going with the number seven only making eight League appearances and scoring just the one goal before breaking a bone in his foot.
A quiet season for the Belgian but nothing when you take a look at Jovic’s fall from grace.
The Serbian arrived with a great reputation in Germany having scored 27 goals in all competitions, including ten in the Europa League.
But since arriving in Madrid, the forward appears a different player, he even said he watches old YouTube videos of himself and asks what happened to the player he was back in the Bundesliga.
The pressure on the two to start firing after the break is huge, Real have only scored 49 goals in the League, 14 less than the table-toppers and just four more than Real Sociadad.
Barcelona’s front three of Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Luis Suarez have 38 goals in La Liga between them.
Jovic, Gareth Bale, Vinicius Junior, Rodygo and Lucas Vazquez have only ten League goals between them, while Hazard and Isco have a meagre one to their names.
Karim Benzema, who is now 32 years old, has 14 and has carried the Real front line all season with no help coming from the summer arrivals.
You feel for Jovic, as if he doesn’t show signs of improvement over the next 11 games, his days in the Spanish Capital may be numbered.
Hazard has been at the top for eight years and Madrid will pray he comes good over the next month or two.
Zidane’s side have an easier run-in than Barcelona, who still have to play Atletico Madrid and travel to third-placed Sevilla.
Benzema has taken them this far but if Real are to take back the La Liga crown, the two new boys must start to show the form of last season.
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