Since 2004, Barcelona or Real Madrid have won all but one of the 13 La Liga seasons, with Diego Simeone majestically guiding Atletico Madrid to the title win in 2014. As it has been, La Liga will be a two-horse race between Barcelona and Real Madrid next season as well.
This season, Real Madrid scraped to a win by just three points over Barcelona. Los Blancos also managed to win the Champions League, but Barça still managed to claim some silverware; winning the Copa del Rey and Spanish Supercup.
The league has become almost impossible to call, so much so that the two are the dead-even favourites in La Liga betting at 10/11 to win the league this season. So, we turn to the world’s best football simulation game to help shed light on how next season is going to play out in La Liga.
Football Manager to Show Us the Way
Football Manager 17 is hailed for hosting “the most comprehensive collection of data relating to professional football in the world”, which is why Sky Sports News use it to aid their pundits and viewers.
To set up this prediction, we ran La Liga season simulations until both Barcelona and Real Madrid won the same trophies that they did last season, as well as the likes of Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Juventus all winning their domestic leagues.
Once this occurred, it was time to simulate the 2017/18 season, during which some major events transpired.
How the 2017/18 La Liga Season Happened
As one would expect from a money powerhouse like those at the top of La Liga, there were some major transfers completed before the 2017/18 season began.
For a whopping £90 million, Real Madrid brought in Chelsea’s star player, Eden Hazard, to join their already very well stacked attacking group. With the Belgian winger saying, in real life, “Of course, I would consider it if Madrid made an offer,” the simulated transfer may become a reality this summer.
Also, Antoine Griezmann ended up moving away from Atletico, transferring to Manchester City for £61 million. Reportedly, Griezmann wants to stay with the club this season due to their transfer ban, despite interest from Manchester United; but money talks, so he could very well move to the big-spending City.
When the season came to an end, Lionel Messi was nowhere to be seen on the scoring charts, because he suffered a couple of injuries that held him out for much of the season. Cristiano Ronaldo won the scoring title with 28 goals; Luis Suarez was close behind on 26. Marc-Andre ter Stegen finished with the least goals against and the most clean sheets, by a whisker.
In the end, the race for the title turned out to be much wider than it was this season. Barcelona came back with a vengeance, rampaging their way to becoming La Liga champions by eight points over Real Madrid. During the season, however, Madrid won both of the league games against Barcelona, 3-1 at Camp Nou and 4-0 at the Bernabeu.
Given the strength of both teams and the resurgence of Real Madrid this season, La Liga will likely be a closer affair than this simulation suggests. Barcelona’s new manager, Ernesto Valverde, will have a tough task in overcoming Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid.
(Editor’s Note: This is a paid article from an advertiser.)