Real Madrid’s 2022-23 La Liga season officially begins on Sunday when they head to Almeira to begin their title defense. It’s yet another campaign with massive expectations for Los Blancos after their somewhat surprising run to Champions League glory last campaign. They are favorites in La Liga, as they seem set to once again battle it out with Barcelona at the top of the table, while trying to contend in the Champions League at the same time. But before the season gets underway, here are five predictions for this campaign will go:
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1. Benzema will continue to be the world’s best
He may be 34 years of age, but there is no slowing down for French superstar Karim Benzema. After spending much if the prime of his career in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo for years, he’s gotten better with age once assuming the role as the leader in attack. He’s scored over 30 goals in three of his last four seasons, and the one he didn’t, he still managed to score 27, a number any top-tier striker would love to hit. Last season, he grabbed a career-high 44 goals in 46 games and put together a run in the Champions League that was legendary, including back-to-back hat tricks as he led his side to the trophy
He’s the focal point of the attack with talented wingers like Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo on either side, and he’ll undoubtedly show that he is still the top No. 9 in the world by scoring over 35 goals this campaign.
2. David Alaba plays more at fullback
With the acquisition of Antonio Rudiger on a free transfer for the summer, Real Madrid are loaded at center back. He didn’t join Real Madrid to not play. As a result, I think we see Eder Militao and Antonio Rudiger start the majority of the games during the key parts of the season, with David Alaba splitting time there and at fullback. Ferland Mendy is a fine player and left back who can contribute plenty, but Alaba’s experience and free kick ability will see him replace Mendy at left back spot in the biggest matches of the season, and he’ll deliver.
3. Madrid don’t make it further than the UCL semifinals
They looked out against PSG. They looked out against Chelsea. Manchester City had them where they wanted them. Yet, Los Blancos managed to come out as the champions of Europe for the 14th time. This season, as usual, they’ll make a deep run, but they’ll fall in the semifinals to either Man City or Liverpool. It’s so hard to make it to the final, and while they had some good fortune last season, it’s not wise to bet on that good fortune repeating itself. We all know that they were often outplayed in the knockout stages yet were able to find a way. They seem to always find a way, but come the end of this campaign, a more effective team across two legs will bounce them within inches of a spot in the final.
4. Los Blancos win La Liga again
Here’s a bold prediction, not only do I think they will win the league again, edging Barcelona by around five points but that they’ll do it in style. From top to bottom, they are far and away the best squad in the league, they’ll build a double-digit lead by Christmas and have no problem holding on. They’ll only lose three games the entire season, win close to about 27, and they’ll once again prove they are the kings of Spain. After conceding 31 goals last league campaign, they’ll be even better this season, conceding less than 30 en route to the title.
5. They sign a star from the 2022 World Cup in Januart
It’s what Real Madrid do. They sign the best players from the World Cup time and time again. From back in the day with Gheorghe Hagi and Fernando Redondo to Ronaldo, Fabio Cannavaro and Mesut Ozil, they don’t shy from spending money to get the guys they want from the latest global showcase. Now, it’s different this time around with a midseason World Cup, but I predict Real Madrid will spend big in the winter transfer window to land a player who exploded at the World Cup.
Who will it be? My money’s on England’s Jude Bellingham.