La Liga Lowdown
Norwegians in Málaga: Spain preview and LaLiga latest podcast
Season 6, Ep. 66
To preview Luis de la Fuente’s first international break as Spain coach, Sam Leveridge (@samleveridge) is joined by Paco Polit (@PacoPolitENG) to break down all to expect from this new-look Spain squad. By delving into the squad choice, captain selection and possible line-up to take on Norway for De la Fuente’s first match in charge in Málaga on Saturday evening, we look at how the new coach can put his stamp on the squad. We also look at Spain’s opponents, with Ruairidh Barlow (@RuriBarlow) joining us to share his insights on his home nation, Scotland, while we discuss some familiar faces to LaLiga fans that feature in the Norway squad. Finally, we wrap up by looking at the managerial merrygoround in LaLiga with an old friend returning as José Luis Mendilibar took charge of Sevilla and a complete novice starting out with Sebastián Beccacece appointed Elche coach.Stay tuned for more across our Substack in the coming days and on Twitter at @LaLigaLowdown.
LaLiga Matchday 26 and El Clasico recap: One líder with mucha Liga below them
Season 6, Ep. 65
Hay poca liga. Barcelona win El Clásico and move themselves 12 points clear, as the relegation battle gets increasingly hot and sticky. Join hosts Ruairidh Barlow (@RuriBarlow) and Thom Harris (@ThomHarris_) as they break down a crucial Jornada ahead of the international break.Part 1 begins and stays with the big one for the most part as we break down the anatomy of the match itself, the consequences for the two teams going forward, and the Copa del Rey semi-final coming up between the two. We round off the first section with the other two teams charging onwards currently; Atlético de Madrid and Celta de Vigo.Part 2 sees us plunge into the hot mess that is the relegation battle. With a single win Getafe can breathe and sleep a lot easier outside the relegation zone. They were the only side to win in the bottom nine, and it the pressure is starting mount on the men in charge. In more temperate climes, the European race is threatening to get a little messy too. Finally, we end on one of the most bizarre penalties seen for many years on Spain.Follow us on Twitter @LaLigaLowdown to keep across our Spanish football coverage, and subscribe to lllonline.substack.com for all of our written content.
Dearth, defeat & disappointment: European review & Clásico preview
Season 6, Ep. 64
La Liga Lowdown is back with another podcast with plenty on the agenda.Hosts Matt Clark (@MattClark_08) and Paco Polit (@pacopolitENG) begin by reflecting on a disappointing night in Europe for the Spanish sides.After three defeats and not a single goal scored across Thursday's Europa and Conference League matches, only Sevilla progressed, suffering and holding on in Istanbul.It opens up questions about the state of LaLiga and we ask to what extent these negative results serve as a diagnosis on the health of Spanish football?At least Real Madrid made it through in the Champions League, with an air of serenity not seen in their momentous campaign last season. Their comfortable and controlled performance against Liverpool is also touched upon.Surely the Clásico on Sunday will be more taxing for them, as they seek to cut the gap to Barça at the top.In the second half of the show we preview that game in full, including the importance of Pedri's potential return, what Real Madrid should do with Eduardo Camavinga and more.Then there is a segment on questions from listeners and followers. Paco does his best to dive into the Clásico culture and whet your appetites for the big game.Stay across our coverage on Twitter @LaLigaLowdown and subscribe to our Substack for fresh daily content at lllonline.substack.com.
Xavi Simeone and the wrath of relegation: LaLiga Matchday 25 recap
Season 6, Ep. 63
On Oscars weekend there was no shortage of drama in LaLiga. From blockbuster encounters to thrilling epics, heroes and villains, Matchday 25 wouldn't look out of place on the red carpet. Hosts Matt Clark (@MattClark_08) and Román De Arquer (@Aeroslavee) pore over the action and leave their reviews. As it went, Barça maintained their nine-point advantage at the summit ahead of El Clásico next weekend, but they had to dig in deep in Bilbao. Another 1-0 win to add to the catalogue, this new-look resilience reminds Román of a different club and manager of recent LaLiga times. Elsewhere there were humongous victories for two of the giants struggling at the bottom as Sevilla and Valencia both put themselves above the water line for another week at least. In the race for Europe, it was a lap of consolation for the pretenders, as Real Sociedad, Villarreal and Betis all drew, keeping the contest intriguing. The big weekend winners were Celta, and we salute them, Iago Aspas and Carlos Carvalhal, who has quietly transformed their outlook this season. Ahead of another important week of European action, follow us @LaLigaLowdown on Twitter and subscribe to our Substack for more analysis: lllonline.substack.com.
European review from Old Trafford and the Mafia
Season 6, Ep. 62
It was a topsy, but mostly turvy week for Spanish sides in Europe, but no less interesting to unpack. Hosts Ruairidh Barlow (@RuriBarlow) and Román de Arquer (@Aeroslavee) do so in your midweek podcast, before turning their attention to some of the other major storylines.In part one, Matt Clark (MattClark_08) calls in from the snowy, blustery and generally torrid weather outside Old Trafford - he wasn't much more of a fan of Real Betis' second half in their defeat to Manchester United. Manuel Pellegrini has an uphill task in the second leg of their Europa League tie, as is true for Real Sociedad. Villarreal got a better result in the Europa Conference League, but here's the fun part - they are all battling it out for the top four at the same time. We break down the key weaknesses that might hamper both European and domestic aspirations.In the second half of the show, we turn to Sevilla. Imagine a world where Sevilla win the Europa League but get relegated? One seems more likely than the other, but will Jorge Sampaoli even see the season through? More questions than answers in Seville - a problem that is very much the case in Barcelona too. Román gives his view from Catalonia on El Caso Negreira.Follow us on Twitter @LaLigaLowdown, and subscribe to our substack at lllonline.substack.com for all of our written content.
LaLiga's gone all sixes and nines: LaLiga matchday 24 recap
Season 6, Ep. 61
In our match day 24 recap podcast, host Sam Leveridge (@samleveridge) is joined by Paco Polit (@pacopolitENG) to delve into a crazy weekend of LaLiga action where we may have seen the death of a title race. First we head to the red and white part of Madrid, where a special celebration for Diego Simeone was marked in style as he took charge of his 613th game with the club in a seven-goal thriller. We then move on to Camp Nou, where Barcelona won with very little style, and the Benito Villamarín, where Real Madrid had just as little style but lacked Barça’s cutting edge, as Hasan Karim (@TheHasanKarim) tells us.In part two, we look at the relegation battle, where Getafe secured a crucial and nail-biting win over Girona, while Elche clung onto a faint tinge of hope until the very end against Mallorca in two of the weekend’s most eye-catching results. Stay tuned across lllonline.substack.com and @LaLigaLowdown on Twitter for all the latest in another action-packed week of Spanish football.
El Clasico preview, Galicia's worst kept secret and the best value signings in La Liga
Season 6, Ep. 60
La Liga Lowdown get down to the nitty gritty of El Clásico on its 5th birthday! Join hosts Ruairidh Barlow (@RuriBarlow) and Román de Arquer (@Aeroslavee) as they break down the big Copa del Rey semi-final.It's likely to be a game defined by injuries with both sides missing players, although the Barcelona limp is a little more obvious at this point. We discuss how both sides might line up, where the weaknesses lie, and how it could leave the La Liga race after the first leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.The second half of the show sees us travel around Spain to discuss some of the most interesting statistics and stories from around Spain. Once again Román demands more time for Quique Setién at Villarreal, we break down one of the most exciting and talented youngsters cutting his teeth at Celta Vigo, and make the case for the two best value signings of the season.Follow us @LaLigaLowdown on Twitter, and tune into our Substack too - firstname.lastname@example.org - where we have daily content and will work our way through the El Clásico reaction.
Madre mía, Almería: La Liga Matchday 23 Recap
Season 6, Ep. 59
Comebacks, shocks, goalfests, upsets and twists. That was Matchday 23 in LaLiga, as the form table almost turned upside down and we witnessed another twist in the title race. Hosts Matt Clark (@MattClark_08) and Thom Harris (@ThomHarris_) are here to break it all down, in a weekend bookended by 3-2 thrillers involving Seville sides.We begin with probably the surprise of the season so far. Following their defensive horror show last weekend, Almería went into their game against the league leaders with little more than blind faith. However, they caught a Barcelona still in hangover mode from their latest European exit, and the Andaluz side took full advantage, scoring early and defending well. As a result, Xavi's side missed a golden opportunity to open up a double-digit gap on Real Madrid.The defending champions could not win either, even against the ten men of Atlético Madrid in El Derbi de Madrid. Teenger Álvaro Rodríguez saved a point for Los Blancos with his first senior goal but most observers felt it was an insufficient point. Little did we all know that Madrid would actually cut the gap at the top this weekend.Elsewhere, Rubén Baraja got his first win as Valencia suffered and earned a much-needed three points while Espanyol and Cádiz registered important home wins too.In the European race it was a fantastic weekend for Real Betis, who battled back from 2-0 down at Elche to get a crucial victory.At the end of the show we take stock of the tightening races for Europe and to avoid relegation, as well as looking ahead to the first legs of the Copa del Rey semi-finals.Follow us @LaLigaLowdown on Twitter and subscribe to our Substack at lllonline.substack.com.