Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Team of the week 34: Super Tono, Super Lafita!

A belated look at the top performers from last week's La Liga in fantasy terms. Zaragoza's shock defeat of Real Madrid at the Bernabeau yielded the outstanding outfield performance of the round with midfielder Angel Lafita scoring a brace and the match winner to collect 24.5 pts. Seems like the lad has the habit against Los Blancos - the only vid I could find of Lafita is of the young spaniard having another excellent game against Real for Deportivo in 2009. At a value of just 8.8, Lafita is certainly an unlikely hero of the round.

The chance of Zaragoza scoring 3 goals was given at just 1% by Speigelhalter's model and an away win was given 3% compared to Real's 87%.

szólj hozzá: Real Madrid vs Zaragoza 2-3

Racing Santander's Tono was the golden man of the round though. The goalkeeper had an astonishingly good game, racking up 8 saves, a penalty save and a clean sheet to earn a whopping 34 points as Kennedy Bakiricoglu's Racing secured a vital 2-0 win over Mallorca. All from a value of 6.5 too having scored minus points the previous two weeks.

The win moves Racing 3 pts clear of the relegation zone. A 1-0 win was predicted the most likely result by Speigelhalter's model so Tono was quite an easy pick and I rue missing out on his haul. I shyed away based on Mallorca's excellent recent form but Racing were given a 48% chance of victory compared to Mallorca's 28%. 1-0 and 1-1 were the most likely results in the Poisson distribution with 2-0 and  2-1 joint second.

The next highest scorers come from the front line. Peppe Rossi was on hand to get the match winning goal for Villarreal against Getafe and Osvaldo continued his excellent form doing likewise for Espanyol against Bilbao. Julio Baptista got a brace as Malaga scored an emphatic 3-1 win at home to Hercules - more on him in a moment.

Susaeta scored a rare goal for Bilbao in their loss to Espanyol. Cejudo and Camunas both put in excellent displays as Osasuna made sure Spiegelhalters predictions came true and beat Valencia 1-0. These guys are great for points but I never know when to pick them.

Osasuna 1 Valencia 0 by jordixana

In defence, Sevilla's defenders Fazio and Julien Escude benefitted from a straight forward 1-0 away win at Almeria while Sergio Ramos scored a rare goal to be king of the defenders for this week. And there we have it; team of the week - and not a Messi or Ronaldo or any Barcelona player in sight (although, it is absolutely necessary to mention these key words for cynical SEO purposes).

Julio Baptista has obviously been reading this blog and put in a timely display as a former EPL player making good in La Liga. "La Bestia" who had an exceedingly poor season at Arsenal during his season loan from Real Madrid in 2006/07, has been in excellent form for the struggling Malaga since arriving from Roma in the last winter transfer window. The Andalucians were recently bottom of La Liga but former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini and his motley crew have done a fantastic job of stearing clear of the relegation zone in some style.

Baptista was brought to the south coast along with the new money and a wave of forgotten misfits of European football - (see Martin Demichelis and Enzo Maresca) and the former Sevilla forward had a good start at his new club. Injured after 5 games and not featuring since week 23, he has now scored four goals in three games since returning from injury against Mallorca in week 32. Overall he has a very tidy 7 in 8 games. So, hats off to "La Bestia" - it is great to see him recapture the sort of form which saw Real Madrid fork out 20million euros for the Brazilian's services 6 years ago.

Liga BBVA. Jornada 34. Todos los goles by acosart

The best starting XI would have been:

Rossi, Villarreal, 22
Baptista, Malaga, 21.5
Osvaldo, Espanyol, 21.5

Lafita, Zaragoza, 24.5
Susaeta, Bilbao, 18
Cejudo, Osasuna, 18
Camunas, Osasuna, 15

Ramos, R.Mad, 12.5
Escude, Sevilla, 10.5
Fazio, Sevilla, 10

Tono, Santander, 34 pts*

Spiegelhalter versus the world

Spiegelhater got 6 correct results and 3 exact scores. Actual results in brackets where different.

Real Madrid 2-0 Real Zaragoza (2-3)
Real Sociedad 0-2 FC Barcelona (2-1)
Deportivo La Coruña 1-1 Atlético Madrid (0-1)
Levante UD 1-0 Sporting Gijón (0-0)
Málaga CF 1-0 Hércules CF (3-1)
Racing Santander 1- 0 RCD Mallorca (2-0)
UD Almería 0-1 Sevilla FC
Villarreal CF 2-0 Getafe CF (2-1)
Osasuna 1-0 Valencia CF
RCD Espanyol 2-1 Athletic Bilbao

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