La Liga 2010-2011 Preview: The Lowdown On All 20 Teams

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La Liga 2010-2011 Preview: The Lowdown On All 20 Teams
Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Fernando Llorente of Athletic Bilbao scored the first goal of the 2010-11 La Liga championship last night to hand his side a 1-0 victory at Estadio Jose Rico Perez, the stadium of newly-promoted C.F. Hercules, a club playing in the highest echelons of Spanish football for the first time in 13 years.

Later on, Sevilla and Valencia made it three away wins out of three with 4-1 and 3-1 wins over R.C. Deportivo and Malaga.

No opening day upsets. No surprise.

There are still those in the footballing world - fans, managers, players, pundits - who insist that Spain's premier footballing competition is unrivalled the world over for the quality of players, the level of football on display and the drama and suspense of the action.

The same people who conveniently overlook the fact that only five different clubs have won the title in the past 20 seasons and that Barcelona and Real Madrid have enjoyed a duopoly for the vast majority of that period.

It might be said that a similar order has been established in the English Premier League, with only FOUR clubs having enjoyed the jubilation of lifting the prestigious trophy and with Manchester United and Chelsea sharing the honours exclusively over the past six seasons.

Nevertheless, the Premier League is at least unpredictable on a weekly basis, even if you can be fairly of which teams will finish in the top six places and qualify for Europe. 

For example: Wigan Athletic 0-4 Blackpool; Wigan Athletic 0-6 Chelsea; Tottenham Hotspur 0-1 Wigan Athletic. Anyone who knows anything about English football will tell you that the Latics' first three results of the 2010-11 Premier League season make no sense. The accumulated odds of these results would be exorbitant.

In this slideshow, I will put aside my bias for the English game - at least, that is what Spanish fans reading this article may accuse me of  - to study each club's strengths and weaknesses and predict where they might finish in the league. This should not be rocket science! 

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