MX23RW : Thursday, June 25 04:44:43| >> :120:19779:19779:

The story of the La Liga season so far

Sports Mole takes a look at the story of the 2019-20 La Liga season so far ahead of the league's restart on Thursday.

The 2019-20 La Liga season will resume with the Seville derby between Sevilla and Real Betis on June 11.

There has not been a fixture in Spain's top flight for more than three months due to the coronavirus outbreak, which halted the majority of football across the globe. La Liga will restart on Thursday evening, though, and all 20 sides will have played by the end of Sunday.

Barcelona have had their problems this season - losing five of their 27 matches - but the reigning champions are currently at the top of the table ahead of the upcoming fixtures.

Real Madrid are far from out of the argument, though, with Zinedine Zidane's side just two points behind in second, having picked up 56 points from their 27 games during the 2019-20 campaign.

Sevilla's Diego Carlos in action during the La Liga clash with Real Madrid on September 22, 2019© Reuters

Los Blancos have actually only lost three times in Spain's top flight this season, while the capital giants also have the best defensive record with just 19 conceded, which is an indication of their credentials as they look to win the trophy for just the second time since 2012.

Lionel Messi has again been Barca's star player despite some injury problems, leading the goalscoring charts in Spain's top flight with 19. Karim Benzema has been Madrid's go-to player in terms of goals, meanwhile, managing 14 in the league to leave him second in the list.

Barca will resume their season with a trip to Mallorca on Saturday night, while Madrid will face Eibar on Sunday evening, and it would be a surprise if both sides did not pick up all three points.

The race for the top four is also fascinating heading into the final straight; Sevilla currently sit third, just one point ahead of Real Sociedad and Getafe in fourth and fifth respectively.

Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa in action with Sevilla's Diego Carlos in La Liga on March 7, 2020© Reuters

Atletico Madrid are actually sixth in the table as things stand, two points off third-placed Sevilla, while Valencia are just three points behind Diego Simeone's side in seventh, which is an indication of how quickly things could change if a team manages to put together a strong run, or indeed cannot get to grips with the new system of behind-closed-doors matches, which Schalke 04 have struggled with in the Bundesliga.

Atletico have actually only won 11 of their 27 league matches this season, while they have only scored 31 goals, which is just the 12th-best record in the league. Simeone's side will still fancy their chances of finishing in the top four, although Sociedad and Getafe have both enjoyed strong campaigns thus far and will be determined to continue where they left off.

Villarreal face a battle to make the top six as they are currently seven points off the final Europa League position, while Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna are hovering around mid-table.

Betis, who open against Sevilla, are 12th, followed by Levante and Deportivo Alaves, who are in fairly strong positions when it comes to avoiding relegation to the second tier for the 2020-21 campaign.

Nabil Fekir pictured in La Liga action for Real Betis on February 9, 2020© Reuters

Arguably the bottom six are all in trouble when it comes to the threat of relegation, with only four points separating 18th-placed Mallorca from 15th-placed Real Valladolid, all on the same number of matches.

Espanyol have not played outside of Spain's top flight since the 1993-94 campaign; the Catalan outfit are facing a huge task to avoid relegation this season, though, as they currently sit bottom of the table, having won just four of their 27 league matches this term, picking up just 20 points in the process.

The White and Blues are six points off 17th-placed Celta Vigo, who also struggled to secure their top-flight status last term. Leganes in 19th are just three points from safety, while Mallorca in 18th are only a point off 17th. The battle to remain in the division should be captivating and even Espanyol will feel that they still have enough time to escape the bottom three, starting with a home game against Alaves on Saturday afternoon.

Messi, as mentioned, is favourite to finish at the top of the scoring charts once again, while Levante's Roger Marti, Villarreal's Gerard Moreno and Alaves's Lucas Perez all have 11 goals at this stage.

Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona on February 22, 2020© Reuters

Luis Suarez has also scored 11 times in the league for Barca this season, and the Uruguay international should be available on Saturday after a lengthy period on the sidelines due to a knee injury.

Lucas Ocampos has also enjoyed a strong season for Sevilla, scoring 10 times in 22 La Liga appearances, and the attacker's form has contributed to Julen Lopetegui's side being on course for their highest finish in Spain's top flight since the 2008-09 campaign, which would be a huge step in the right direction for a club who have only claimed a top-four finish in one of their last nine seasons.

The fight for first, top-four race and relegation battle are all very much open ahead of the league's restart, and it will be fascinating to see what occurs in the coming weeks.

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Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann in action with Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata in La Liga on December 1, 2019
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rhs 2.0
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid31208359213868
2Barcelona31215570313968
3Atletico MadridAtletico311413439221755
4Sevilla311411644321253
5Getafe311310840291149
6Villarreal31146114940948
7Real Sociedad31145124739847
8Valencia30121084143-246
9Granada31127123736143
10Athletic Bilbao31101293327642
11Osasuna31911113646-1038
12Levante31115153744-738
13AlavesAlaves3198143146-1535
14Real Betis30810124048-834
15Real Valladolid31713112636-1034
16Celta Vigo31712122935-633
17EibarEibar3078153147-1629
18Mallorca3175192952-2326
19Leganes31510162344-2125
20Espanyol3059162649-2324

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