Ten challenges that will determine LaLiga Santander

The countdown to the restart of LaLiga Santander is on.

We already know the kick-off times for the first two matchdays and, after that, there will be nine remaining until this season comes to a close.

Now, we're looking at 10 challenges that will determine the table's final outcome.

FC Barcelona

Starting with the leaders, Barcelona will be aiming to secure the title ahead of rivals Real Madrid, with Quique Setien, Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong looking for their first piece of silverware at the Camp Nou.

Lionel Messi will be able to play alongside his great friend Luis Suarez again, with the Uruguayan now having recovered from his knee surgery.

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard has played just 140 minutes since suffering his first ankle injury of the season against Paris Saint-Germain on November 26.

Now, after being operated in Dallas in March, the Belgian is fit and raring to go as Real Madrid go in pursuit of the LaLiga Santander title.

Marco Asensio will also be available once the action returns as Zinedine Zidane looks to add goals to a rather blunt attack.

Julen Lopetegui

Sevilla currently sit in third in LaLiga Santander and are well on course for a Champions League place.

Julen Lopetegui will be eager for a bit of success after his forgettable experiences with the Spanish national team and Real Madrid in recent years.

Real Sociedad

Imanol Alguacil's side have been one of the revelations of the season in LaLiga Santander and occupy fourth place in the table.

We can enjoy a bit more of Martin Odegaard, Alexander Isak and Mikel Merino as they fight for a Champions League spot.


Having been on the verge of a top-four place last season, Jose Bordalas' men will be looking to go one better this time around.

They've had the taste of big European nights with Ajax in the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League would be an historic achievement for the team from the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

Diego Pablo Simeone

With their Champions League quarter-final not until August, Atletico Madrid's focus can be on qualifying for next season's competition.

Diego Simeone's side are lagging behind in sixth and, while they won't have fans at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, they'll have their cheerleader coach.

UEFA Europa League

With no Copa del Rey final for a while yet, the seventh-place team will qualify for next season's Europa League.

Valencia currently occupy that position, but they'll want to push towards a Champions League place.

Also in contention are Villarreal in eighth, Granada in ninth, Athletic Club in 10th and even Osasuna in 11th.

Iago Aspas

Celta de Vigo's survival hopes rest on the shoulders of their talisman, Iago Aspas.

The Spaniard scored 10 goals in his last nine games last season to save the Galician club, so he's the man for the job.

Alongside him are other talented players such as Denis Suarez, Rafinha Alcantara and Santi Mina.

Relegation zone

While Celta remain in 17th place, Real Mallorca and Leganes are on their tail.

Eibar and Real Valladolid could be dragged into the relegation scrap if they're not careful, too.

Raúl de Tomás

Espanyol's incredibly slow start may have cost them a place in the top flight ahead of next season.

However, with Abelardo in the dugout and Raul de Tomas scoring goals up front, the bottom club are still in with a shout of survival.

Source: Marca / Hugo Cerezo - Billy Munday

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