Barcelona will no doubt be the team to beat in the upcoming La Liga season. The Catalan giants retained their Spanish league crown last season and added the Champions League to their name. Barcelona's attacking football drew them plaudits from across Europe with Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson claiming his side had to the 'best side in the world' after May's Wembley final.

Barcelona have added Alexis Sanchez to their ranks from Udinese and will hope to have Cesc Fabregas in their starting line up by the time they kick of their La Liga title defence against Malaga on 27 August 2011.

Lionel Messi will no doubt be the player to watch this season with many pundits believing Messi to be the best player in the world. Messi will be looking to keep up his high standards and will no doubt be the favourite to land the golden boot by May 2012.

Real Madrid no doubt be Barcelona's main challengers this season with Barcelona's Spanish star Pedro claiming that Barcelona believe Real Madrid to be a better team than last season and have every respect for their abilities. Jose Mourinho has invested in his squad, bringing in young talented individuals alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka. Mourinho has invested heavily in Fabio Cointreau and Nuri Sahin and Jose Mourinho will hope a greater squad depth will allow them to challenge their Catalan rivals.

Malaga could be the surprise package of the season after heaving investment this summer. The new cash rich la Liga side has invested this summer acquiring Jeremy Toulalan, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Joaquin and Jaris Mathijsen. Former Real Madrid manager Manuel Pellegrini has been given the task of delivering success to the club and will be under pressure from the off to make sure his Malaga side are challenging the big boys of Spanish football. Malaga will be under the spotlight from the off as they start their campaign off against La Liga and European Champions Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid are expected to struggle this season after their debts got the better of them this summer. The Madrid side has had to sell two of their top names to England. David de Gea signed for Manchester United and Sergio Aguero joined Manchester City. It is expected that Diego Forlan could also leave the club before the end of the transfer window.

La Liga will no doubt be one of the strongest leagues in Europe once again but the title is expected to be fought between Barcelona and Real Madrid. Jose Mourinho will be looking to end the Barcelona dominance both domestically and in Europe this season; consistency being the key to success in Spain.