What a season we have in store in La Liga, with Barcelona looking to make it three consecutive titles in a row. This season could really be one of the closest there’s been for years and the odds definitely reflect that. The one thing I’m liking about La Liga from last season was how close the battle for the top four and top six were and I expect it to be fairly similar this year. With new boys Osasuna, Granada and Mallorca making returns to the top flight, I’ve also had a good look into the relegation odds for the season.
First up, I’m going to delve into the details surrounding the La Liga title, with a couple of teams vying for silverware. Apart from the big two in Spain (Barcelona & Real Madrid), the only other team I’ll be reviewing is Atletico Madrid, as the next team in the betting odds is Valencia @ a massive 100/1.
The back to back La Liga champions will be vying to making it three in a row. With some very impressive signings over the summer will only bolster their chances of claiming the title yet again. Their team has been growing season upon season, with not much talent going back out the other way, acquiring long time target Antoine Griezmann and holding onto Brazilian playmaker Phillipe Coutinho could prove to be amazing pieces of business by the Catalan club.
You’d be foolish to forget the ease they walked to the title with last season and with their mercurial number 10 still pulling the strings, Lionel Messi’s Barcelona look a good price @ 1.61 to win La Liga yet again. The only worry I have is their recent failures in Champions League campaigns may twist their arm into resting players at crucial points in the season to better their chances of European glory.
I may have gone on and on about Barcelona’s dominance, but they’ll definitely be challenged by a reinvigorated Real Madrid side as Zinedine Zidane has returned. Coupling that up with their mass spending spree including the likes of Luka Jovic, Eden Hazard and Ferland Mendy, they’ll definitely be more than competitive.
It’s still tough to think that Real Madrid don’t have their ex-talismanic star Cristiano Ronaldo, but those shoes are more than expected to be filled by the creative Belgian Eden Hazard. With so much of their outgoing focus being on Gareth Bale and his prospective movements, as it stands, he is still a Real player and will be looking to impress from the outset this year.
It’s fairly easy to forget that Real Madrid have won 3 of the last 5 Champions League titles and thus shown their pedigree. If Zidane puts more focus into the league than Europe, his side could really benefit and conquer their bitter rivals. You can get them to win La Liga @ 2.37, this also seems like a fairly good price considering their mass spending. However, a lot depends on whether or not Zidane manages to make the team gel from the outset.
Now onto Atletico Madrid, this leads me perfectly into the Top 4 Finish market. In my eyes, Atletico could very well challenge for the title and especially @ 13.00, they look a big price considering they finished runners up last year. The reason I wanted to move onto these is due to the fact, the Top 4 Finish price @ 1.44 seems like great value to me. Their team is more than capable of challenging for the title, but I’d like to get behind them @ 1.44 to finish in the Top 4.
They may have lost two of their star players in French star Antoine Griezmann and amazing young Spanish prospect Rodri, with the former heading to rivals Barca and the latter moving to join fellow Spaniard Pep Guardiola at Man City. They’ve recruited very well though and their mega cash signing of Joao Felix, really is a bold statement from the club and their ambition.
With some very solid signings coming in through the door including Jasper Cillessen & Maxi Gomez, you’d expect Valencia to be in amongst the Top 4 and you can get them @ 2.37 for this feat. They failed to impress until late on last season as a complicated Europa League run seemingly got in the way of their domestic campaign. Head Coach Marcelino will be looking to build on their fourth-place finish by challenging Atletico Madrid for third.
What a summer the fans of the Seville based club have had from a transfer perspective. They’ve really delved in and brought in some great talents including Mounes Dabbur, Lucas Ocampo and Oliver Torres which will only further their chances of taking that elusive fourth spot. With Julen Lopetegui at the helm following a turbulent last 18 months, he’ll be looking to really bounce back and guide Sevilla to glory.
From a relegation perspective, you’ve got to be looking at the three teams which have come up from the La Liga 2. The gulf between the divisions is definitely noticeable and you can get Mallorca @ 1.72, Granada @ 2.37 & Osasuna @ 2.87. The first two obviously as the odds indicate look the most likely as Osasuna have a lot more recent pedigree in the top division. When I was scanning through the prices on the relegated market, I really couldn’t believe some of the prices on teams like Levante @ 4.00 & Alaves @ 3.00, both of whom have been stalwarts in La Liga for a few season’s now. Not to mention their scalps over the big boys of the league.
It’s difficult to look past Lionel Messi @ 1.72, but if you wanted some value in this market, I’d definitely be getting behind Luka Jovic @ 9.00 & Eden Hazard @ 11.00. Both of whom will need to be firing on all cylinders if Real are going to challenge for the title this season, so I’d recommend an each-way bet on either of those. For a bit of outside value, previously mentioned Portuguese wonderkid Joao Felix is priced up @ 34.00, a lot of weight will be put on his shoulders at Atletico and I for one, really hope he stands up and produces the goods.