The domestic season may be over for now, but heading into this summer and the European Championships there are still battles to be won in regards to club affiliation. In regards to Spain, many of the players who have battled long and hard for Real Madrid and Barcelona will be looking to build on their seasons at the tournament.
The battle this time is in regards to goals.
Madrid, champions of La Liga, will have 11 players across 4 countries at the Euro 2012. Three of them have led the attacking charge this season; Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema. The latter two, have weighed in with a heavy proportion across the course of the season – Ozil meanwhile has assisted with aplomb and his forays throughout the attacking third have often ended superbly. Benzema will be leading the line for France, and with the likes the of Franck Ribery and co working behind him, it’s quite feasible he’ll be handed plenty of chances on a plate. Ronaldo meanwhile, is the main man for Portugal and with the system built around him he’ll often be the man in the right place at the right time. The Portuguese has his own individual desires too, and will want to banish the critics who have accused of him of not delivering for his national side – he’ll be on penalty duties too of course.
Elsewhere Madrid has mainly defensive minded players but the likes of Sergio Ramos and Pepe could provide danger at set-pieces with their aerial prowess. Xabi Alonso might be looking to strike a few long range efforts too. With that in mind, for Madrid to be the club with most goals scored (in total) by its players, you can back them at 5.00.
Barca too is well represented though not as much as they would’ve liked – 8 players across 2 nations. Carles Puyol and David Villa will both be absent from the tournament, the former can conjure up an important goal while the latter has an impeccable scoring rate at international level. However, the Catalans still send plenty of talent to Poland and Ukraine. Andrés Iniesta is the main one, and when Spain becomes stifled by opponents it’s generally on the shoulders of Iniesta to pick the lock. His forays from deep or wide areas are difficult to track, and in the blink of an eye he can beat you or slip in a teammate with a disguised pass. Elsewhere in the Spain team Cesc Fábregas and Xavi are other options in the Spanish midfield capable of grabbing goals – especially the former Arsenal man; it could be that we see him make an impact late in games as the opposing team tires allowing Fábregas to make those darting runs he enjoys so much. Sergio Busquets and Gerard Piqué are others at the tournament, but a goal from either looks unlikely.
Moving away from Spain, the now fully-fit Ibrahim Afellay is looking to get back to his dangerous best again. Injury slammed the door on his season with Barca, but it’s time for Netherlands to benefit from the attacking midfield magician. His ability to combine pace, intelligence and technique help him slice defences open and evade opponents – something Barca will be hoping he can do next season. Barca are way out at 6.50 to have the most goals scored by its players.
To summarise there is a good chance that La Liga will come out on top in Poland and Ukraine. The number of quality players spread across the top nations makes this the case. Odds of 2.35 for Spain’s Primera Division to be the league that has most goals scored (in total) by its players look very decent.