The first fixtures after the winter break are always tough and it is shown that Real Madrid are the best performers in January, while it is Osasuna who have the lowest win percentage in the first month of the year.
Historically, Real Madrid are able to secure 71 percent of the points on offer in January, while Barcelona are a close second with 68 percent, and they are followed by Atletico Madrid on 57 percent and Villarreal on 55 percent.
On the opposite end of the scale, Leganes – playing their first season in the top flight – debuted with a 2-0 defeat away at Real Betis, but Osasuna are the worst team in January with just 39 percent of their games won; Alaves also have a 39 percent ratio, but they have won 0.41 percent more than Osasuna.
The Barcelona teams of 1999 and 2011 won all five of their January fixtures, a feat that Real Madrid’s teams of 2005 and 2009 also achieved; in 1971, Athletic Club also achieved the same achievement.
Some years have seen just four games played in January, and more teams maintained perfect records on such occasions: Real Sociedad in 1931, 1986 and 2004; Malaga in 1974; Granada in 1974; and Villarreal in 2005.
Meanwhile, the Real Sociedad teams of 1960 and 2005 managed to lose all five of their games in January, something that Las Palmas also achieved in 1960.
Similarly, the four-game Januarys also saw nil-points picked up by Sevilla in 1968; Sporting Gijon in 1954 and 1998; Malaga in 1975 and 2006; Atleti in 1953; Barcelona in 1942; Real Betis in 1968 and 1985; Celta Vigo in 2007; Deportivo La Coruna in 1963; and Espanyol in 1991.
In which month do teams do best?
The best performances usually occur at the beginning or the end of the season, with only three exceptions: Athletic, who have their best month in December (59 percent), and then Malaga (46 percent) and Valencia (61 percent) in February.
Curiously, Valencia have won 154 games in February but their winning percentage drops to 50 percent in March.
Barcelona, Eibar, Leganes, Las Palmas and Alaves all appear to stand out in the month of August, while Real Madrid, Granada, Deportivo, Betis and Osasuna excel in June – but fixtures have not gone into the month of June since 2013.
One of the most fascinating results is Eibar, who were outstanding until January in their debut campaign, but sunk thereafter: 14 percent win percent in February, 12 percent in March, and 19 percent in April.
The effect on the title
The start to the league is very important to the outcome of the championship, with the eventual champions only having lost one of 25 matches and with a win percentage of 79 percent in August and 78 percent in September.
January, however, is one of those months where champions are strong at home: only Valencia (three losses in 11 games) have broken a victorious dynamic of the eventual champions in the first month of the new year.
In the race for the title, it is May that yields the worst average with 69 percent, but February is a month that costs the most points away from home with a win percentage of just 57 percent.