Saturday’s La Liga slate features the three best teams in Spain. Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Atletico Madrid are all set to play against weak opposition today. As a result, it is essential to lock the right attackers into your lineup.
Lionel Messi (DK: $9,800): The first Must-Have for the slate FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi. There’s not much more to be said about Messi other than the fact that he is arguably the greatest player to ever play “The Beautiful Game.” Messi was hampered by a groin injury early on in the season, but is now fully fit and will be making his third league appearance following his recovery. Barcelona play against a Granada side that is ranked dead last in the league, picking up only 3 points in 9 matches. In addition to this honor, Granada have conceded the most goals in La Liga. Unsurprisingly, Barcelona have scored the most goals in all of La Liga. For these reasons, Barcelona is the heaviest favorite on the slate. Also unsurprising is the fact that our research suggests Messi is the likeliest to find his name on the scoresheet out of all of the players on the slate. To back it up with some numerical research, Lionel Messi has averaged 37.5 points in his 2 games post-injury. It cannot be stressed enough how integral the striker is to his side, and it would be an understatement to say that Messi is heavily involved in the attack. There is all-around upside with Messi’s ability to create assists and score goals, as well as the danger he presents on set pieces. We have locked Lionel Messi in our lineups as the first Must-Have because of these reasons.
Toni Kroos (DK: $7,300): The second Must-Have for the slate is Real Madrid’s German midfielder, Modou Toni Kroos. Similar to Barcelona, Real Madrid are a heavy favorite in the match as they go up against a Deportivo Alaves side who are sitting 13th out of the 20 teams in La Liga. Real Madrid are sitting in first and after a stint in which they drew four consecutive matches (all competitions), they have rebounded by winning four consecutive matches (all competitions). In those matches, Los Blancos have outscored their opponents by 16 goals. Though Madrid did not maintain a clean sheet in any of those matches, that is irrelevant because they posted 20 goals in the process. Toni Kroos has a high floor because of his corner kicks, allowing him to rack up points via crosses. Kroos also leads the squad with 5 assists in La Liga play. This reflects his creativity in creating opportunities for Madrid’s deadly trio of Ronaldo, Bale, and Benzema. Our research suggests Real Madrid will dominate and are pegged to score 3-4 goals. Kroos is in a prime position to exceed value, and for these reasons we have the German midfielder as our second Must-Have.
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