7M: The unknown "African Team" in La Liga

Posted Friday, December 23, 2016 by 7M Sport

In Spain, there is an island located off the north-western coast of Africa. This island is much closer to Africa than mainland Spain. And it is called the Canary Islands. Due to its location, people from mainland Spain have dubbed the islanders "African". Some may ask what all this has to do with the "African Team".

In fact, there is a La Liga club from this island. That's Las Palmas.

How well do you know this club?

7M: The unknown

Las Palmas' home kit is yellow. And yellow symbolizes confidence and courage. On Week 5, the Yellows were trashed 4-1 by Real Sociedad. However, carried with confidence,  Las Palmas drew Real Madrid just three days later.

And today, it is all about this unknown "African" La Liga club.

La Liga campaign

Las Palmas have stayed away from the top flight for 13 years, during which they relegated to SEGUNDA Division B and suffered a late defeat in a promotion play-off.

However, they returned to Spain's first division last summer after beating Real Zaragoza in the promotion play-off which once ruined their promotion hope.

The Yellows soon suffered setbacks in 2015-16 season, failing to pick up a win in the opening 8 games.

Quique Setien arrived

Due to such a dreadful start, manager Paco Herrera was finally sacked following a 4-0 loss to Getafe. Quique Setien then filled the vacancy.

7M: The unknown

The 58-year-old had a career similar to what Las Palmas had undergone from 2014 to 2015. Before this charge, he was coaching CD Lugo from the second division.

During the spell of CD Lugo, the Spaniard keeps faith with attacking football.

Even at his early charge of Las Palmas, Setien still used his 4-2-3-1 system. However, it didn't help them get out of the bottom three.

It was not until 2016 that he changed to 4-1-4-1. And since then, they took off to a safe zone.

In 2016-17 season, Setien resumed his familiar 4-2-3-1 at the beginning. What's worth mentioning is that they play more beautiful attacking football this time.

The Squad

Roque Mesa Quevedo is the key piece of the yellow gear. Rumours of Sevilla's interest in bringing the Spanish midfielder to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan refuse to die down.

In front of him are Jonathan Viera Ramos and Tana. This trio provide the attacking impetus in Setien's tactics.

The arrival of Kevin Prince Boateng this summer even offered an addition to attacking solutions.

Willian Jose da Silva left for Real Sociedad, though. The Yellows brought in Marko Livaja to fill the void. The Croatian fit the role of "goal-poacher".

And considering the defensive line, Las Palmas have talents like David Simon, captain David Garcia, Momo and so on.

Mauricio Lemos even refused Barcelona due to concerns over lack of playing time. The Uruguayan does provide necessary balance to the Yellows.


Actually, some may argue that Las Palmas are dynamic in attack, but fragile in defence. With formation changed to 4-2-3-1, Las Palmas exposed their weakest point: the defensive line.

The Yellows have only kept 3 clean sheets so far. An averaged record of 1.5 goals conceded is not a good one for a team aiming for the higher part at the standing.

What's more, they have weaknesses in defending set pieces and aerial duels.

Nevertheless, staying at the middle of the table, Las Palmas are better than expected.

If they continue this good form, focus on their strengths and minimize their weaknesses, and of course if they are lucky enough, this "African Club" may finish higher than last season.

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