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La Liga Predictions:20-16

#20: Gijon

Gijon needed to get much tougher on defense this off-season and to the club’s credit they brought in some young transfers from strong organizations reserve benches.  Alberto Botia and Joni Lopez join the squad.  Botia was on transfer with Barca’s reserve team and Lopez is on transfer from the same club.  But it seems early on that despite these additions the defense will still be problematic this season. Allowing 79 goals last season Sporting Gijon already had one defensive breakdown this season.  At least it was against Barca though.

#19: Tenerife

Tenerife is a club new to La Liga this season and often the new clubs struggle under the tremendous pressure of playing on the top tier.  Tenerife is the weakest new squad on the top level this season despite being one of the best Segunda Division clubs last year.  The club started out their year with a chance against another new club, Real Zaragoza, but Tenerife lost the debut match 1-0.  With not enough key additions Tenerife is against all odds this season to finish respectably.

 #18: Xerez

Xerez is another example of a club that is not quite ready for the tough test of La Liga football.  The club was also among the best squads in the Segunda Division last season, but similar to Tenerife they still have many Segunda Division starters and will likely suffer the result of playing against much more salary driven squads.  The club needs to try and bounce back from a 2-0 defeat in their opening week to Mallorca.

 #17: Racing Santander

Santander is one of the most fascinating squads with where they will end up on the chart.  In 2007/2008 the club finished in sixth place.  The year before that tenth place.  The year before that seventeenth place.  But last season the club took a dip back to twelfth place in the table.  We at the LLTO believe that Santander will continue going in the wrong direction especially after that embarrassing 4-1 home loss to Getafe to start the year.