La Liga’s big clubs will gain most from hiatus: Steve McManaman
McManaman says his ex-club Real, Barca, Atletico, Sevilla have bigger squads and will come to the fore
All La Liga teams may have sat through the same three-month disruption to fixtures, but Steve McManaman believes it will be Spain's big guns who will benefit most from the stoppage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Spanish top flight is set to be the second of Europe's big five leagues to resume, with the Seville Derby between Sevilla and Real Betis scheduled for next Friday morning (Singapore time) behind closed doors.
The German Bundesliga was the first of Europe's major leagues to resume on May 16.
La Liga, which last hosted a match on March 11, will return with games played every day until the season ends on July 19.
Leaders Barcelona take on Mallorca on June 14 morning, while second-placed Real Madrid - who are two points adrift with 11 matches to play - take on Eibar a day later.
McManaman, who won two league titles and Champions League crowns with Real, said the return of midfielders Eden Hazard from an ankle problem and Marco Asensio from an anterior cruciate ligament injury could be key for his former club.
Asensio has not played all season while 100 million euro (S$157m) signing Hazard has played just 15 times, scoring once.
Speaking at a virtual press conference with fellow La Liga ambassadors, ex-Liverpool and England midfielder McManaman said: "The games are going to come quick and fast... the teams with the best quality and biggest squads will probably rise to the fore.
"The likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Atletico and Sevilla have got the better teams... People will get injured because of the tight schedule and it's probably the teams who can... bring the same quality of players in (who will benefit)...
"It's interesting to see Eden Hazard back fit, Asensio will be back fit. So hopefully that will give them an extra push to... (make up) the two points on Barcelona... Likewise, the bigger teams will get an advantage all across Europe."
However, former Villarreal, Atletico Madrid and Manchester United forward Diego Forlan believes all teams are resuming on a level playing field.
Said La Liga's two-time top scorer: "At the beginning, it's going to be difficult, there's going to be some sore legs. Hopefully there won't be many injuries but it is going to be tough for everybody.
"But at least everybody is in the same position and everybody is going to start at the same point."
Ex-Atletico, Barcelona and Liverpool winger Luis Garcia, however, cautioned fans to expect a difference in the style of play, adding that fitness could prove key.
He said: "I think it's going to be a bit of a change because of the crowds not being there, teams not being (match) fit.
"The style of game is going to have to change and playing home and playing away is going to be a lot different... The one who can stay fit during games is probably going to get the three points."