Which players would make the best La Liga XI so far this season? We’ve used the Sky Sports Power Rankings to work it out…
Barcelona have won 11 of their 12 league fixtures this season, only dropping points during a 1-1 draw at Atletico Madrid in October.
However, reigning domestic and European champions Real Madrid are languishing 10 points adrift in third spot, and it’s Valencia piling pressure on Barca in the runners-up spot.
But would any of Real’s under-performing Galacticos make the best La Liga XI so far this season? We used the stats-based Sky Sports Power Rankings to find out…
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen topped the Power Rankings this week and claims his place between the sticks with eight clean sheets and 34 saves – conceding only four goals.
The Germany international is joined by team-mate Samuel Umtiti at centre-back, who has completed 732 successful passes, made 913 touches, 23 tackles and 19 interceptions, won eight blocks and 54 duels – stats that surpass any other Barcelona defender this term.
Villarreal centre-back Victor Ruiz makes the XI after an impressive start to the campaign, helping his side reach their current sixth-place standing with only 12 goals conceded – contributing with 24 aerials, 22 interceptions and 62 clearances.
Barcelona’s Jordi Alba and Valencia’s Martin Montoya provide attacking impetus in the full-back positions. Alba has registered four assists and created 13 chances this term, while former Barca right-back Montoya has two assists this term.
Real Madrid’s Isco starts in the centre of the pitch alongside lesser-known Leganes midfielder Gabriel Pires.
Isco has been Madrid’s standout player this term, currently occupying No 5 spot in the Power Rankings, boosted from four goals, three assists, 953 touches and 32 dribbles – more than any other player at the club.
Gabriel, who signed from Juventus for just £1m in July last year, provides aerial presence and mettle in midfield, having won a club-high 58 headers and 144 duels this term – in addition to offering an attacking threat with two goals this term.
Marco Asensio starts on the left flank after a blistering start to the campaign, netting two spectacular goals for Real Madrid during a 2-2 draw with Valencia and is Real’s joint-top scorer with Isco on four goals.
Despite sitting 13th in La Liga, only three clubs have scored more goals than Celta Vigo’s 23 this term and winger Pione Sisto has been involved in almost half of those with three goals and eight assists to claim his place in the XI.
Unsurprisingly, Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is the first player on the team sheet, having collected a staggering 40,829 Power Ranking points to date – 14,000 points more than runner-up and team-mate Ter Stegen.
Messi tops La Liga goalscoring chart with 12 goals and has completed 70 dribbles – twice as many than any other player in the league.
There’s no place for Real Madrid ace Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored only one league goal during his 720 minutes this season – having missed the first four fixtures through suspension.
Instead, Valencia striker Simone Zaza partners Messi up front after the former West Ham flop found goalscoring form during his second season in Spain with nine goals to date.
Jan Oblak (Atletico Madrid), Rodrigo (Valencia), Mikel Oyarzabal (Real Sociedad), Saul (Atletico Madrid), Goncalo Guedes (Valencia) and Mario Gaspar (Villarreal)