Girona is the leader of La Liga: will they repeat the success of Leicester?

They say that the Spanish La Liga is much inferior to the Premier League in predictability: Real or Barcelona become the champion, occasionally their hegemony is diluted by Atletico, and the last winner not from this trio was Valencia back in 2004. But this season so far demonstrates a fairy tale similar to the one that worked out for Leicester in England - a modest provincial team that never grabbed stars from the sky imposed a serious fight on the giants for the championship. And even though the club is owned by the City Football Group, it's still a miracle that Girona, which is only spending its fifth season in La Liga in its almost hundred-year history, is so spectacular without cosmic injections!

Since the parallels suggest themselves, let's try to predict the future of Girona by comparing it with that champion Leicester. And if you want to increase the excitement of watching Catalan matches and place a bet, go to

Leicester looked heavier

The pre-season position of the two teams is approximately the same: Leicester finished the previous season before the championship in 14th place, and Girona rounded out the top ten. Before the start of the championship, bookmakers did not believe in both clubs, but there is a difference: the triumph of the “Foxes” was estimated at 1 in 5001, and the “white and red” - more optimistically, at 1 in 1001. After 15 rounds, the bookmakers gave odds of about 1 for the sensational Englishmen to 11, and for the Catalans they now give about 1 to 15.

But Girona is actually going the distance even more confidently than champion Leicester! After 15 matches, both teams had one defeat (the Catalans lost only to Real Madrid), but the “white-red” had 2 draws and 12 wins, while the “Foxes” had 5 draws and 9 triumphs. Some advantage of the natives of Catalonia is also noticeable in the goal difference - 34:18 for them versus 32:21 for the mock opponent.

Until the end of the first round, Girona has four matches, but what a match! Barcelona and Atlético are recognizable brands that don't need separate introductions, Betis is right now rushing into the European Cup zone, and Alaves, although mediocre, has far from the worst defense. In the championship season, Leicester also had a very hard time at the end of the first round, but the Foxes fought like lions - they crushed Chelsea and Everton, drew with Man City, and only lost to Liverpool.

Will it be difficult further?

Leicester had two powerful runs in the championship season: from October to December there were 8 wins in 10 matches, and the Foxes triumphed 10 more times during a period of 13 matches from mid-January to mid-April. Three rounds before the finish, the team already had a sufficient handicap to compete in draws, and yet there were the same opponents as at the fiery end of the first round.

Girona would also do well to break away from their pursuers over the same period, but this season they have 12 matches, including confrontations with all the teams in the current top 7 of La Liga, except Barca. But even before mid-January, the same Barcelona, Atlético and Betis - teams from the leading seven - are waiting for the Girona team. In other words, the guys, of course, are great, but the most serious tests lie ahead.

Leicester's strength lay in its excellent attitude towards the tournament favorites - in matches with six Premier League giants, the Foxes lost only three times (including twice to Arsenal), and they drew another five matches. Let only four be won, but let's not forget what the level of the opponents is! Girona has not yet shown itself at this level - it drew with Sociedad, and lost to Real Madrid, and devastatingly. That's why the odds for its championship are lower – there is a good chance that the top opponents will make the Catalans' fairy tale more modest, limiting it to the team's first entry into the European Cup.

Pros and cons of Girona's championship

Actually, the arguments against the historical triumph of the white-red Catalans have already been sorted out - there is more than half the distance ahead, and two personal meetings with most of the most toothy opponents. Girona's first place is indisputable, but has not yet been fully supported by arguments.

If we talk about optimistic arguments in favor of Girona, we highlight the following:

  1. based on the results of the first 15 rounds, the Catalans have the best attack in the championship - the guys score on average more than two goals per game, which means no one will be bored with them;
  2. Girona is well prepared physically - the team does not sit down after the break, on the contrary, out of 15 second halves the guys won 11;
  3. the team does not switch off from the fight before the whistle, it seems to wait until the opponent sits down, and only then stings - almost half of the goals were scored by the Girona team in the last third of each half.

It's always a pleasure for a neutral fan to root for an upstart who comes out of nowhere. Even if Girona does not maintain the championship pace, it will still be interesting to watch, because it is a very likely participant in the European Cup next season. And who knows - we have already seen examples of miracles.

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