thumbnail Hello,'s KS Leong runs through the prospects of each contender in the Spanish top flight in 2010-11.

Coach: Pep Guardiola since summer 2008
Star men: Lionel Messi, Xavi
Last season: 1st
Season objective: Champions
Ins: David Villa, Adriano
Outs: Dmytro Chygrynskiy, Thierry Henry, Rafael Marquez, Yaya Toure, Alberto Botia, Keirrison (Loan), Henrique (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: The Ten Tenors - Ten men out on the field working in pitch-perfect harmony. Magic.

Much has been made of Barcelona’s lack of squad depth and whether there’s enough on the bench for the team to challenge for another treble to add to their recent Supercopa triumph. Defending their Primera Division crown and regaining the Champions League throne, however, will be the priority for Pep Guardiola.

Coach: Jose Mourinho since summer 2010
Star men: Cristiano Ronaldo, Iker Casillas
Last season: 2nd
Season objective: Champions
Ins: Sergio Canales, Angel Di Maria, Pedro Leon, Sami Khedira, Ricardo Carvalho, Mesut Oezil
Outs: Christoph Metzelder, Guti, Raul, Miguel Palanca
If they were a pop act, they'd be: The Beatles - The club with all the rich history and accolades that everyone wants to beat to number one.

Only a modest €74 million was spent over the summer by Madrid, but it has gotten to a point where anything but a trophy will do for the ‘White House’ bosses. A fascinating season is in store for Madridistas as they look to Canales, Pedro Leon and Oezil to inject some youthful excitement into the team.

Coach: Unai Emery since summer 2008
Star men: Juan Mata, Joaquin
Last season: 3rd
Season objective: Automatic Champions League qualification
Ins: Roberto Soldado, Mehmet Topal, Sofiane Feghouli, Ricardo Costa, Alberto Costa, Aritz Aduriz
Outs: David Villa, Nikola Zigic, David Silva, Carlos Marchena, Michel (Loan), Renan Brito (Loan), Asier del Horno (Loan), Ignacio Gonzalez (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Susan Boyle - Brilliant when they hit all the right notes, but can’t sort out their own finances.

Los Che have lost the two Davids, and it’s now up to the likes of Mata, Joaquin and Pablo Hernandez to lead the side and help the new arrivals such as Soldado, Aduriz and the promising Feghouli settle into the team. Despite losing their prized assets, a top-four finish is still the minimum target.

Coach: Antonio Alvarez since March 2010
Star men: Jesus Navas, Luis Fabiano
Last season: 4th
Season objective: Automatic Champions League qualification
Ins: Alexis Ruano, Mouhamadou Dabo, Tiberio Guarente, Luca Cigarini (Loan)
Outs: Adriano, Sebastien Squillaci, Jose Crespo, David Prieto, Javier Chevanton, Marc Valiente, Tom De Mul (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Lady Gaga – Wildly ambitious with dreams of world domination, but you never quite know what to expect.

The Andalucians will be fighting for first place in the ‘best of the rest’ category, but the club has not invested as much as their fans would’ve liked over the summer, making just three low-key acquisitions. They have a wonderful crop of youngsters, but could struggle for experience when competing on multiple fronts.

Michael Laudrup since summer 2010
Star men: Chori Castro, Dudu Aouate
Last season: 5th
Season objective: Survival
Ins: Jonathan De Guzman
Outs: Mario Suarez, Julio Alvarez, Juanmi Callejon, Fernando Varela, Aritz Aduriz, Oscar Diaz, Oscar Trejo (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Lily Allen – Small timers who hit it big overnight but forced to re-evaluate their future.

Despite losing numerous key figures from last term, Mallorca have had a decent pre-season and they could yet make the most of the new campaign. Being expelled from European competition could be a blessing in disguise for new coach Michael Laudrup as it will allow him and his wafer-thin squad to focus on La Liga.

Star men: Dani Parejo, Javier Arizmendi
Last season: 6th
Season objective: European qualification
Ins: Adrian Colunga, Javier Arizmendi, Borja Fernandez, Pedro Mosquera, Ivan Marcano (Loan)
Outs: Roberto Soldado, Pedro Leon, Joffre Guerron, David Cortes, David Belenguer, Kepa Blanco, Adrian Gonzalez
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Marc Anthony – Will always be overshadowed in their own domain but always hungry to succeed

Last term’s sixth-place finish was Getafe’s best ever season in La Liga and they deservedly earned themselves a second shot at European football. But two of their best players, Soldado and Pedro Leon, have since left and even though they have made significant additions, it’s hard to see them reproduce their performance.

Juan Carlos Garrido since February 2010
Star men: Giuseppe Rossi, Santi Cazorla
Last season: 7th
Season objective: European qualification
Ins: Carlos Marchena, Borja Valero
Outs: Robert Pires, Ariel Ibagaza, Joseba Llorente, Sebastian Eguren, Diego Godin, Damian Escudero, Ivan Marcano (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Gnarls Barkley – Will always be trying to replicate that one big season they had

2009/10 was a disappointing campaign for the Yellow Submarine as they lingered in the wrong half of the table for long periods. Avoiding another poor start to the campaign will be paramount for Juan Carlos Garrido’s side, but they have not strengthen their squad enough after losing a number of key players.

Coach: Joaquin Caparros since summer 2007
Star men: Javi Martinez, Fernando Llorente
Last season: 8th
Season objective: European qualification
Ins: Mikel San Jose, Igor Martinez, Ibai Gomez
Outs: Fran Yeste, Xabier Etxeita, Inaki Munoz, Inigo Diaz de Cero (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Carlos Santana – One of the pioneers who always stick to tradition, but not doing much these days.

The Basque outfit finally finished in the top 10 for the first time in five years last season and they fought long and hard to qualify for Europe but eventually just missed out. Fran Yeste has left and Joseba Etxeberria has retired, but they have retained their core group and there’s every chance they can improve on last term.

Quique Sanchez Flores since October 2009
Star men: Diego Forlan, Sergio Aguero
Last season: 9th
Season objective: Champions League qualification
Ins: Diego Godin, Filipe Luis, Fran Merida, Mario Suarez, Tiago (Loan)
Outs: Pablo Ibanez, Roberto Jimenez, Leandro Cabrera (Loan), Eduardo Salvio (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Enrique Iglesias – Trying desperately to emulate the glory days of the previous generation, but without much success.

Atleti had a roller-coaster campaign last term, labouring away in the relegation zone for the first half of the season but finished on a high by winning the Europa League and making it into the Copa del Rey final. Their key “signings” this summer has been the successful retention of Forlan and Aguero.

Miguel Angel Lotina since summer 2007
Star men: Andres Guardado, Juan Carlos Valeron
Last season: 10th
Season objective: Mid-table fight
Ins: Felipe Ramos, Stopira, Saul Fernandez, Yves Desmarets, Claudio Morel, Jonathan Urretavizcaya (Loan), Ruben Perez (Loan), Michel (Loan)
Outs: Filipe Luis, Sergio Gonzalez, Ruben Castro, Mista, Rodolfo Bodipo (Loan), Alex Bergantinos (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Ricky Martin – A massive success in the late-90’s/early 2000’s but nowhere to be seen at present.

The Galicians are not in any financial strife, but they are simply struggling to roll in the cash to fund an exciting squad rebuilding project to relive their SuperDepor days. Their summer arrivals have been very inconspicuous and it’s difficult to see them improve on last season’s 10th place finish.

Mauricio Pochettino since January 2009
Star men: Ivan de la Pena, Luis Garcia
Last season: 11th
Season objective: Top 10 finish
Ins: Sergio Garcia, Felipe Mattioni, Jesus Datolo (Loan)
Outs: Raul Tamudo, Nico Pareja, Valdo, Gregory Beranger, Fernando Marques, Roman Martinez (Loan), Milan Smiljanic (Loan), Ben Sahar (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Janet Jackson – Will forever live in the shadow of their more illustrious, successful big brother

Espanyol have been improving steadily under Mauricio Pochettino. For the last four seasons in a row, they have finished between 10th and 12th spot in the table, and breaking into the top 10 and perhaps mounting a surprise challenge for European places is surely the next step for the Blanc-i-Blau.

Jose Antonio Camacho since October 2008
Star men: Juanfran, Nacho Monreal
Last season: 12th
Season objective: Top 10 finish
Ins: Fernando Soriano, Asier Riesgo, Dejan Lukic, Damia Abella
Outs: Cesar Azpilicueta, Dady, Roberto Fernandez, Andres Fernandez (Loan), Jokin Esparza (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Eminem – Fiery, no-nonsense, tough as nails and always driven to get a result

The Navarrans have lost one of their shining young stars in Azpilicueta, but they still have a tight-knit group who have been playing together regularly over the past few years. Last season’s 12th place finish was their third best result in the new millennium and coach Jose Antonio Camacho will be looking to build on that.

Juan Manuel Lillo since December 2009
Star men: Pablo Piatti, Diego Alves
Last season: 13th
Season objective: Mid-table fight
Ins: Marcelo Silva, Miguel Angel Luque, Michael Jakobsen, Stanley Okoro, Leonardo Ulloa, Diego Valeri (Loan)
Outs: Fernando Soriano, Domingo Cisma, Alex Quillo, Chico, Natalio Lorenzo, Guilherme (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Maroon 5 – Can’t quite make a splash, won’t quite go away; always seem to be lingering somewhere in the middle.

The unfashionable Andalucians have surprised many by confirming their top flight status for a fourth year. Not once have they struggled with relegation in the last three seasons – their first three seasons ever – in La Liga. Another comfortable mid-table finish again perhaps this term?

Jose Aurelio Gay since December 2009
Star men: Ander Herrera, Leo Franco
Last season: 14th
Season objective: Mid-table fight
Ins: Matteo Contini, Toni Doblas, Leo Franco, Nicolas Bertolo (Loan), Marco Perez (Loan)
Outs: Javier Arizmendi, Ruben Pulido, Pablo Amo, Pablo De Barros (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Depeche Mode – Had some success in the 80’s and 90’s but always had their ups and downs

The Aragons made a few masterstroke signings during the winter last season and that effectively saved their season. One of their best acquisitions was Humberto Suazo on loan, but the club have failed to secure his services on a permanent basis. Will that come back to haunt them?

Coach: Manolo Preciado since summer 2006
Star men: Miguel de las Cuevas, Mate Bilic
Last season: 15th
Season objective: Avoiding relegation
Ins: Sebastian Eguren, Alberto Botia, Nacho Novo, Ayoze Garcia, Gaston Sangoy
Outs: Kike Mateo, Jose Maldonado, Gerard Autet
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Pussycat Dolls – A solid unit when everyone in the team pulls together, but you won’t find any one individual superstar here

The team with the most atrocious defensive record two seasons ago had a surprisingly commendable campaign last term. They’ve made three important signings this summer, one in each department: Botia in defence, Eguren in midfield, and Novo in attack.

Miguel Angel Portugal since November 2009
Star men: Pedro Munitis, Luis Garcia
Last season: 16th
Season objective: Avoiding relegation
Ins: Adrian Gonzalez, Domingo Cisma, Ariel Nahuelpan, Kennedy Bakirciouglu, Alexandros Tziolis (Loan), Henrique (Loan)
Outs: Sergio Canales, Toni Moral, Jose Moraton, Juando Esposito (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Green Day – Always on the rise when you think they’re heading down and vice versa. And yes, the green plays a part in the analogy

Last season was a disappointment for Los Verdiblancos after three excellent campaigns prior. Losing young sensation Canales for just €5 million is a big loss for the Cantabrians but they have done well to add numbers to bolster their squad.

Jesualdo Ferreira since summer 2010
Star men: Duda, Jesus Gamez
Last season: 17th
Season objective: Avoiding relegation
Ins: Eliseu, Quincy Owusu-Abeye, Rodrigo Galatto, Sebastian Fernandez, Salomon Rondon, Sandro Silva, Javier Malagueno
Outs: Gustavo Munua, Miguel Angel Lozano, Pere Marti, Javi Lopez (Loan), Xavi Torres (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: James Blunt – Not the most exciting, but tend to hold their own against the top dogs

After a sublime eighth-place finish in 2009, Malaga had to battle all the way to the final day in 2010 to ensure their top flight survival. They have added quantity to their squad for the new campaign, but not necessarily quality. They did, however, pull off a major coup by recruiting coach Jesualdo Ferreira from Porto.

Martin Lasarte since summer 2010
Star men: Raul Tamudo, Claudio Bravo
Last season: 1st, Segunda Division
Season objective: Mid-table fight
Ins: Raul Tamudo, Diego Ifran, Joseba Llorente, Jeffrey Sarpong, Francisco Sutil
Outs: Asier Riesgo, Inigo Sarasola (Loan), Iosu Esnaola (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Los del Rio – Had one massive hit season recently before disappearing into oblivion. Hey Macarena!

After three miserable seasons in the Segunda, Real are finally back in the big time. The arrival of strikers Raul Tamudo and Joseba Llorente will give the team the firepower they need to compete in the top flight after scoring a measly 53 goals in 42 league matches last season, the lowest of any of the top eight teams in the division.

Esteban Vigo since summer 2009
Star men: Javier Portillo, Nelson Valdez
Last season: 2nd, Segunda Division
Season objective: Avoiding relegation
Ins: Nelson Valdez, Olivier Thomert, David Cortes, Abel Aguilar, Mohamed Sarr, Cristian Pulhac (Loan), Matias Fritzler (Loan)
Outs: Edu Moya, Rodri, Jorge Alonso, Ionel Danciulescu, Gerardo Noriega, Andrija Delibasic, Sergio Diaz
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Yanni – You know the name, but you’ve probably never seen them in action.

Back in La Liga after a 14-year absence, the Alicante outfit have made a remarkable return considering they were playing out of the Spanish third tier just five years ago. Their acquisitions over the summer suggest they are not here simply to make up the numbers, but will there be enough quality in their ranks?

Luis Garcia Plaza since summer 2008
Star men: Gustavo Munua, Sergio Gonzalez
Last season: 3rd, Segunda Division
Season objective: Avoiding relegation
Ins: Javi Venta, Gustavo Munua, Sergio Gonzalez, Valdo, Nano, Xavi Torres (Loan), Miguel Pallardo (Loan), Christian Stuani (Loan), Asier del Horno (Loan), Ignacio Gonzalez (Loan)
Outs: Albert Sera, Manu Herrera, Jorge Pina, Alvaro del Moral, Angel Sanchez, Samuel Banos, Marc Mateu (Loan)
If they were a pop act, they'd be: Creed – Looked as though they would slowly disband, but have since made a stunning comeback.

Los Granotes surprised many by returning to the top flight after they were on the verge of a disappearing from the football map in Spain just two seasons ago due to financial woes. They have made some impressive additions to the squad and they could be the surprise packages, but surviving the plunge remains their main objective.

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