Which La Liga team should you support?
Based on Premier League comparisons of teams from the present day and seasons gone by, we show you who to plump for ahead of the restart.
Premier League comparison: Manchester City (1995/96)
Based in the country’s second-largest city (in terms of area), and overshadowed by neighbours who constitute footballing royalty.
After a long period of mediocrity, they look certain to be relegated. It’s City before they got rich Espanyol.
Premier League comparison: Fulham (2013/14)
Leganes are one of a number of teams based in the capital, and they also play in a small stadium – the capacity of the Butarque is just 11,454.
A famous cup run of a few seasons ago is now a distant memory and they look to be on the way back to the second tier. Get your La Liga fill here, Fulham fans.
Premier League comparison: Blackpool (2010/11)
Here for a good time, not a long time. Mallorca have only been in La Liga for one season, but a leaky defence – the second-worst in the division – will probably mean they go straight back down.
Fortunately for the neutral, it means that their games are rarely boring.
With the club based on the island that’s home to party hot spot Magaluf, you’re also never far from a fun time – much like Blackpool.
Now, where’s Ian Holloway when you need him?
Premier League comparison: Leeds (2003/04)
Celta Vigo have never won La Liga, just as Leeds have never lifted the Premier League trophy, despite both sides being regulars in Europe once upon a time.
Both used to challenge at the right end of the table, but are now dangerously close to the drop.
Despite this, both are still recognised as big clubs in their respective countries.
Premier League comparison: Bournemouth (2015 – present day)
Based on attendances, history and reputation, neither Eibar nor Bournemouth have any business being anywhere near their domestic top flight.
Eibar average 6,000 fans per game in a stadium that holds 8,164 – for perspective, their gates are smaller than 15 clubs in League One.
They are comfortably the smallest team in La Liga but have belied their size to stay in La Liga for six straights seasons.
Premier League comparison: West Brom (2011/12)
Spanish clubs don’t get much more yo-yoey than Valladolid.
They have swapped between La Liga and the Segunda on five separate occasions in the last 16 years and haven’t spent longer than four years in either at any one time.
Now in their second consecutive season in the top flight and four points clear of the relegation zone, there is hope that they might have found a little stability – just as West Brom did after their most recent promotion.
Premier League comparison: Sunderland (2014/15)
The north east of England is set apart from the rest of the country and sometimes seen as out of the way when it comes to football.
Similarly, the Basque Country in the north east of Spain – where Alaves are based – is an autonomous region in its own right.
Neither Sunderland nor Alaves are the biggest clubs in their respective areas, while it is a long time since either have won anything.
Both have enjoyed recent cup runs, though – the Spanish side reached the Copa del Rey quarter-finals in 2017/18, while the Black Cats were beaten EFL Cup finalists in 2013/14.
Premier League comparison: Stoke (2013 – 2017)
Levante are unremarkable, stay in the middle of the pack and, prior to their promotion in 2003/04, were an established second-tier side.
They have been in La Liga for nine of the last 10 seasons and, during that time, their 26,000-capacity Ciutat de Valencia stadium has gained a reputation as a difficult place to go.
Both club’s mascots also score highly on comedy value. Where Stoke have Pottermus the hippo, Levante have brightly-coloured frogs Blau and Grana.
Premier League comparison: Aston Villa (1999 – 2010)
Real Betis are a regular fixture in La Liga, although it’s rare to see them finish any higher than sixth.
They will occasionally qualify for the Europa League but, again, are unlikely to trouble the latter stages of the tournament.
Like Aston Villa, they are also one of the best-supported teams in the country and share a city with bitter rival.
Premier League comparison: Crystal Palace (present day)
Osasuna are one of four fan-owned clubs in La Liga and operate with a democratic model that maintains a link between supporters and community.
After spending four of the last six years in the second tier, success for them would simply constitute staying up.
It’s difficult to find a Premier League comparison with such a focus on democracy, but Crystal Palace are probably the closest.
The Eagles are known for their fan-led schemes to generate atmosphere at their games, while they also spent time in the Championship in the not-too-distant past.
Premier League comparison: Everton (2008/09)
Athletic Bilbao are one of the founding members of La Liga and have never been relegated, while Everton are one of just six clubs to have been in the Premier League since its inception in 1992.
Merseyside is often seen as anti-establishment and left-wing, which is something embodied by Everton’s nickname – The People’s Club.
Bilbao’s main rivals, meanwhile, are Real Sociedad and Real Madrid – both clubs with royal patronage.
Athletic are known to promote homegrown players, having held a policy of selecting exclusively Basque players since they were founded in 1912.
Having had academy graduates Tony Hibbert, Leighton Baines, Leon Osman, Jack Rodwell, Victor Anichebe and James Vaughan among others in their first-team squad at this stage, Everton feel like a decent comparison.
Premier League comparison: Ipswich (2000/01)
Based in Andalusia – an area of natural beauty – the city of Granada has many sources of pride, but its football team has rarely been one until now.
They led La Liga for a period earlier this season and even now are in with slim chance of qualifying for the Europa League.
Similarly, Ipswich were rank outsiders for a UEFA Cup spot in 2000/01 despite only having been promoted the previous season.
Premier League comparison: Blackburn (2002 – 2006)
Like Blackburn, Villarreal are a brilliant example of what the power of football can do for a town.
Vila-real is a working-class town that has its roots in the production of ceramics, with a population of just 50,000.
In other words, there is little reason anyone outside the local area would be familiar with it.
But with investment on the pitch, the Yellow Submarine have occasionally challenged at the top of the table.
Premier League comparison: Arsenal (present day)
Like Arsenal, Valencia are still considered among the elite sides in their division despite a marked decline over the last 15 years.
Both sides last won the title in the 2003/04 season and, while they have won a handful of domestic cup competitions since, they are not what they used to be.
While both are still regulars in Europe, a top-four spot is no longer a guarantee for either of them.
Premier League comparison: Chelsea (Jose Mourinho’s first spell)
Atletico Madrid are the ultimate shithouses and, as a result, it is quite difficult to like them.
A combination of new money and a manager that wound people up, meanwhile, meant that Chelsea were almost universally disliked during Mourinho’s first spell in charge.
Just as early Mourinho was known for his touchline histrionics, so is Diego Simeone. Both managers also built the success of their respective sides on a watertight defence.
Premier League comparison: Tottenham (2009/10)
After milling around in mid-table for what seemed like an eternity, Getafe have finally managed to shake off their nondescript reputation to challenge at the top.
There is a feeling that they can build on their fifth-placed finish from last season and, as with Tottenham in 2009/10, there is an opportunity to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in their history.
Premier League comparison: Leicester (present day)
OK, so Real Sociedad haven’t had quite the same level of success that Leicester have in recent years, but a top-four finish would warrant a similar level of praise this season.
Neither side has a long history of major honours – prior to winning the Premier League title in 2015/16, Leicester had won three League Cups.
Sociedad won La Liga in back-to-back years in the 1980s and have lifted the Copa del Rey twice.
Neither are an established force but both have an opportunity to upset the natural order this season.
Premier League comparison: Newcastle (2001/02)
Much like Newcastle at the turn of the millennium, Sevilla have been on the periphery of breaking into the Champions League spots for some time.
Both clubs are destinations for world-class players and have made it into the top four on occasion, but have difficulty sustaining themselves there.
Premier League comparison: Manchester City (2015/16)
Real Madrid are a club that have a seemingly endless pot of gold and can attract almost any player in world football.
Despite this, it’s been three years since they last won the league title and they have been through a handful of managers to help rediscover their touch.
Sounds a bit like pre-Pep Guardiola Manchester City.
Premier League comparison: Manchester United (2012/13)
Manchester United were the best team in England during Sir Alex Ferguson’s final year but, in much the same way as this version of Barcelona, they used to be so much better.
Formerly one of the most feared teams in world football, the Blaugrana were untouchable in the days of Pep Guardiola.
While they are still likeliest to win the title this time around, humbling defeats in back-to-back Champions League campaigns underline the fact that their powers are on the wane.
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