La Liga Return: Five Players to Watch When Spanish Football Resumes

Martin Odegaard

Once upon a time, Martin Odegaard was the next future star and his move to Real Madrid from unknown Norwegian side, Strømsgodset, looked to be the start of a magical partnership.

However, since moving to Spain at 16, the tricky 21-year-old has made only two senior appearances for Madrid across three seasons and had to settle for loan spells elsewhere. With this said, it now seems that everything is falling into place Odegaard after another fantastic season away from the Bernabeu.

After making his way into the Eredivisie Team of the Year with eight goals for Vitesse last season, the Norwegian superstar has quickly become one of Europe's brightest talents once more. Thus far, Odegaard has netted seven times and bagged eight assists across La Liga and the Copa del Rey and even managed score against Madrid at the Bernabeu.

That goal against Los Blancos was met by muted celebrations, despite how much the winger wanted to show Zinedine Zidane what he is missing. This goal was part of a 4-3 scoreline that seen Odegaard and Sociedad eventually make it to the final of the Copa del Rey. It also means that the Madrid loanee has as many goals against the club than he does La Liga appearances for them.

The Norwegian has been in stellar form all season long and surely he has done enough to warrant a place back with his parent club. Now, with a Copa del Rey final to come, all eyes will be on Odegaard as he looks to win Sociedad their first major trophy in 34 years and keep up their pursuit of Champions League football.

Lucas Ocampos

Lucas Ocampos and Sevilla are experiencing a wonderful season in La Liga this campaign and the hiatus on football will no doubt effect them more than any other side. The club has just earned a great draw away to Atletico Madrid, meaning Sevilla had lost just one of their previous six games on the domestic front.

Large parts of this was down to the brilliant goalscoring record their star man, Ocampos. The Argentine is in his first season with the club and has bagged 10 goals as Sevilla sit third and move closer to Champions League football.

If the Spanish side are to do that, their striker will be key and he is certainly worth looking at in the goalscoring markets for when action resumes.

ICYMI: The Premier League is back. Take a look back on all 20 clubs' best moment of the season so far.

Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema has easily been the key asset to Madrid's title charge this season, as the club picks up the pieces left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo, just as his successor, Eden Hazard continues to struggles.

The Frenchman will no doubt go down as a La Liga legend and his importance for Los Blancos has always been brutally overlooked. Down the years, Benzema has bagged 241 goals for the club, but as this came during a time of a Ronaldo dominance, the striker has had the spotlight turned away from him.

Now, only the great Lionel Messi has managed to surpass him in the goalscoring charts with his 19 so far, compared to Benzema's 14. The Madrid star also has six assists this campaign, and his record of 159 minutes per goal has turned out to be crucial in keeping the pressure on leaders Barcelona.

Only two points separate the El Clasico rivals and if Zidane's men are to reclaim the throne in La Liga, Benzema will be vital and more goals will surely follow. Indeed, Madrid have seemingly got most of the worrying fixtures out the way, with a trip to Sociedad the only notably tough game from now until the end.

At the same time, Barcelona will meet both Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in a much more tense fixture list. So, it goes without saying that Benzema will be one to watch when action resumes.

Antoine Griezmann

Antoine Greizmann hasn't had the most glamorous debut year at Barcelona. The Frenchman has been one of the world's very best over the past decade, a time where he cemented himself as the greatest goalscorer in Atletico's history.

It was more of a matter of when rather than if regarding his move to Barcelona, but now that it has happened, Griezmann is finding himself on edge of the Barcelona starting XI with just eight goals in La Liga so far.

However, a lengthy break was perhaps exactly the forward needed to reignite the flame that burned through every team in Spanish football. Combine this with the fact that veteran goalscorer Luis Suarez is still not 100% fit, means that Griezmann will lead the line alongside Messi once more.

Barcelona are just two clear at the top and will need the former Atletico star firing on all cylinders if they are to keep the distance on Madrid. And, with only eight goals in La Liga compared to his 15 last season, Griezmann must do for the sake of his own name.

Santi Carzola

If you ever watched Santi Carzola during his Arsenal days, it will be no surprise to see the Spaniard performing so well back at Villarreal this season. It may, however, be an almighty to surprise to see him lace his boots up at all and step out onto a professional pitch after years of horrific injury troubles.

Now, in what is his third stint with the Spanish side, Carzola is miraculously enduring his best season yet with Villarreal at the grand age of 35 and 17 years since he made his debut for the club. The creative midfielder has bagged 12 goals this season, including eight in La Liga, whilst registering seven assists along the way.

Villarreal are still quite a distance from European football, sitting seven points from sixth and if they are to make it to the Europa League once more, Carzola will be key.

Ultimately, it's great to just see this wizard back on the pitch in such stellar form.

Nabil Fekir

There was a time where Nabil Fekir was meant to be the next big thing to come out of France. A time where a move to a European heavyweight was more of a case of when rather than if.

However, the Frenchman packed up and moved to Spain last summer after it seemed nailed on that he would join Liverpool. The move, for reasons unknown, failed to materialise, despite pictures flooding social media of Fekir in a Liverpool shirt during an interview for their website.

Now, the 26-year-old is with Real Betis where he has only continued the stellar form he showed at Lyon, scoring seven times and registering six assists - this is just three fewer goal involvements than in his final season with Lyon

Betis are slumped into mid-table and relegation is thankfully eight points away for them. On the other hand, they are 12 points off sixth and a Europa League spot is more than a tough ask. With this said, Fekir has been one of the main reasons Betis are not fighting relegation and the next few weeks will surely be an audience for him making a bigger move across Europe.

No doubt the top Premier League clubs and perhaps La Liga outfits will still be interested, should the attacking midfielder decide to move on. More goal involvements will surely follow and the France international will need another stint of top form to make a name for himself back with the national side.


🙌 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU PLACE A £10 BET 🙌
NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY. FIRST SINGLE & E/W BET ONLY ODDS OF 1/1 OR GREATER. 3 X £10 BET TOKENS. FREE BET STAKES NOT INCLUDED IN RETURNS. FREE BETS ONLY REDEEMABLE ON FOOTBALL. FREE BETS ARE NON WITHDRAWABLE. NO FREE BET EXPIRY. ELIGIBILITY RESTRICTIONS AND FURTHER T&CS APPLY.
Claim Bonus
🟢 Bet £10 & Get £50 in free bets! 🟡
For new customers. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of qualifying bets. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔸 BET £10 AND GET £30 IN FREE BETS! 🔸
New Customer offer. Place a min £10 bet on the Sportsbook on odds of min 1/2 (1.5), get £30 in Free Bets. Rewards valid for 30 days. SMS verification required. Only deposits via cards will qualify. T&Cs apply. Please Gamble Responsibly
Claim Bonus
⚽️ BET £10 & GET £40 IN FREE BETS! (MOBILE ONLY) ⚽️
Sign-up via Mobile using promo code N40 and place a bet of £10/€10 or more and we will give you 4x £10/€10 free bets. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms below.
Claim Bonus
⚽️ UP TO £50 MONEY BACK AS CASH IF ANY OF YOUR FIRST 5X £10 FOOTBALL BETS LOSE ⚽️
Place 5x£10 Sportsbook bets on any market at minimum odds of 2.0 (Evs), and get money back as Cash if it loses. Max refund per qualifying bet is £10 (up to £50 in total). Only deposits made via Cards will be eligible for the promotion (Apple Pay excluded). T&Cs apply
Get Offer
🔷 GET £30 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £10 🔷
Full T&C’s Apply. New customers on mobile only. 7 days to claim and stake £10 minimum bet at odds of 1.5 or greater to qualify. Free, void, cashed out or partially cashed out bets do not qualify. Max 3x £10 free bets credited on bet settlement. Free bets must be used on 4 or more selections with selection odds of 1.3 or greater. Free bets are non-withdrawable and stake not returned with winnings. 7 day expiry. 18+ BeGambleAware.org.
Claim Bonus
🟠 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS! 🟠
*New members. £10 min deposit & bet on sportsbook, placed & settled at 1.5 min odds within 14 days of sign-up. Win part of E/W bets. 2 non-withdrawable £10 Free Bet Tokens: accept in 7 days, valid for 7 days from crediting (ex. E/Ws & Multiples), stakes not returned. Click here for Rules & Exclusions. Bet Responsibly. BeGambleAware.org
CLAIM HERE
🔴 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔴
18+ New UK+IRE Customers only. Certain deposit methods & bet types excl. Min first £/€5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 to get 4x £/€5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
✅ BET £10 & GET £30 IN FREE BETS ✅
New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🔹 GET £30 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU BET £5 🔹
18+ New customers only. Opt in, bet £5 at odds 2.00+ within 7 days of registering, no cashout. Get 2x £10 Free Bets, set events at odds 2.00+. Plus a £10 Slot Bonus, selected games, wager 20x to withdraw max £250. 7 day bonus expiry. Card payments only. T&Cs apply, see below. begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
✅ GET A FREE BET UP TO £35 + 10 FREE SPINS ✅
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £35 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free online casino spins at QuinnCasino. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only | BeGambleAware.org
Claim Bonus
BET £5 & GET £30 IN BONUSES
18+ New Customers opt in, bet £5 & get 2x £10 Free Bets for set events (odds 2.00+) + £10, Slots Bonus, selected games, 35x wagering to withdraw max £250. Bonuses expire in 7 days. Card Payments only. T&Cs Apply, see below. | begambleaware.org | Please gamble responsibly
Claim Bonus
🎉 BET £10 & GET £60 FREE BETS! 🎉
New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+). First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
🟢 UP TO £40 MONEY BACK AS BONUSES + A £10 CASINO BONUS 🟢
18+ begambleaware.org. New customers only. Min deposit £10. Money back as bonus if first sports bet loses. Wagering requirements: sportsbook 3x at min. odds of 1.40 (2/5), casino 50x. Unless forfeited the sportsbook bonus must be wagered before using the casino bonus. Bonus expires 7 days after opt-in. Visit Unibet.co.uk for full T&C's. #Ad
Claim Bonus
🔵 BET £10 & GET £20 IN FREE BETS + ACCA REWARDS OF YOUR CHOICE! 🔵
New UK customers (Excluding NI) only. Mobile exclusive. Min stake £10. Min odds Evs. Free bet applied on 1st settlement of any qualifying bet. 30 days to qualify. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out/Free Bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. 1 Free Bet offer per customer, household & IP Address only. 18+. T&C's Apply **18+. Choose either Boost or Insurance. Available for in-play/pre-match bets on selected sports. You cannot use specials, boosts, any free bet or any other promotion. A minimum of 5 selections and minimum odds of 1/5 per selection/leg to receive Acca Rewards. Minimum stake of £/€0.05. Max free bet refund of £/€20 per Acca for Insurance. Maximum bonus payout is €/£1,000 per Acca for boost. Free bets, cashed out or voided bets will not qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
♥️ GET £40 FREE PLAY PLUS A £10 FREE SPORTS BET! ♥️
1st time depositors only. Min. deposit £10. Use code FAPOKER. Free Play given as cash, Spin & Go tickets, and a Sports Free Bet over 6 days. Tickets expire after 24 hours. Withdrawal restricted during bonus period. Terms apply.
Claim Bonus
🔵 GET £20 IN FREE BETS WHEN YOU BET £5 🔵
18+ New UK & ROI Customers only. Min deposit £5. Min first £5 bet at minimum odds 1/2 to qualify for 1x 20 free bet. Certain deposit methods and bet types excl. Free bet valid for 7 days, stake not returned. Restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Claim Bonus
GET A £30 MATCHED FREE BET IF YOUR FIRST FOOTBALL ACCA LOSES!!!! 🙌🙌🙌
*New UK customers only. Min Deposit: £5. Maximum Free Bet: £30. First bet on a Football multiple with 3+ selections. Overall odds: 3.00 (2/1) or higher. Free Bets available upon settlement of the qualifying bet. Debit card deposits only. This is offer is valid for 7 days from your new account being registered. 18+ BeGambleAware.org Full terms apply.
Claim Bonus