Top 3 teams affected by the pandemic break
After such an unprecedented break for the football industry, you naturally expect all the players to be anxious to restart and get their boots dirty again. Yet there are some teams that have become bitter and bitter after each game they played since the football resumed its action.
Join us on a short trip to Spain and Portugal, but bear in mind, the last station is King Power Stadium, in our dearest Premier League.
1. Real Sociedad
Back in March, when football was suspended, Sociedad was fourth in La Liga. They trailed Sevilla by a single point and were sitting on a Champions League spot.
Their form was astonishing: seven wins in the last eight games, including here the 4-3 triumph against Real Madrid at Bernabeu, knocking Los Blancos out of the Copa del Rey quarter-finals.
What happened since then with Odegaard and his mates? A single game won in six after the restart (against the 20th-placed Espanyol) and four losses!
They have dropped from four to seven in the table, with only mathematical chances to reclaim a Champions League spot.
If La Liga had been concluded a couple of months ago by applying the weighted points per game solution the Basques would have finished 4th, just above Getafe, securing them a presence in the Champions League groups next year.
Safe to say, Sociedad would’ve been far better without the restart, from a form and points perspective.
Usually, the race for the Primeira Liga title in Portugal has only two contenders. This season is no different. Before the break, a single point was separating Benfica and FC Porto, with the latter in advantage.
Ten games remained to be played, so you would imagine anything can happen. However, in only five games after the restart, the title is pretty much decided.
Benfica only managed to win once and lost ten points along the way. Their only success resulted from a trip to Rio Ave, against a team that had two players sent off.
In the same time, their main rival FC Porto took ten out of the last twelve points available and is now six points adrift.
Already knocked-out of the Europa League and showing unusual tired legs in the championship, Benfica’s only hope now is to win Taça de Portugal’s final, where they will play against – yes, you guessed – FC Porto.
3. Leicester City
We promised you we’ll drop you off in the Premier League again, so here we are, at the King Power Stadium. The initial route also included a stop at the Bramall Lane in Sheffield, but we got thrown off by the Blades’ win against Spurs on Thursday night.
Leicester featured in the last Premier League game before the break, when they thrashed Aston Villa, 4-0 at home. Since then, things have gone downhill for them.
It’s true, Leicester did not drop their position in the table and are still out there, in the race for the Champions League. However, while all the other contestants have improved, the Foxes have gone from bad to worse in terms of results.
Rodgers’ side only got a point from the trip to a Watford team that looks like they don’t even want to avoid relegation. In the next fixture, Leicester was only lucky enough to avoid a defeat at home, against Brighton, with Schmeichel as the hero of the day.
Vardy and Maddison are nowhere near to the form displayed in the first part of the season and before the break. The defeat at Goodison could have cost Leicester their seat on the podium, but luckily for them, things (or Hammers) got in the way for Chelsea.
To compound, add in the loss in the FA Cup quarter-final and we can easily conclude that the break didn’t do much help for Brendan Rodgers’ team. It is only a matter of time before they will lose their place in the top four as well.
I hope you enjoyed the ride. Join us again next week, as we delve into the Championship battle for promotion!