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Betting: All change in La Liga title race as Real Madrid slip to second consecutive defeat

Betting: All change in La Liga title race as Real Madrid slip to second consecutive defeat

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A shock 2-1 loss to Sevilla on Wednesday has seen Los Blancos pushed out to 5/2 for the Spanish title, having been odds-on before Sunday saw Barcelona win the Clasico

It has been a week of big changes at the top of La Liga and Barcelona are now just 8/11 (1.73) with bet365 to successfully defend their domestic crown, having been 9/2 (5.50) before Sunday's victory over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.

That dramatic shift in odds is a reaction to Wednesday evening's fixture, which saw Barcelona canter to a 3-0 win over Celta Vigo, and, although the Catalan giants look to have lost the services of goalkeeper Victor Valdes for the rest of the campaign, it was Sevilla's shock 2-1 win over Madrid that has seen Barca catapulted into favouritism for the title once again.

Despite going 1-0 up early through Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlo Ancelotti's side were pegged back before half-time and struggled to convert their dominance into a winning goal before Carlos Bacca fired in his second of the game to condemn Los Blancos to back-to-back league defeats for the first time this season.

That means that, in the space of a week, Madrid have gone from odds-on favourites to 5/2 (3.50) second favourites, while the team at the top of the division - Atletico Madrid - remain the outsiders of the three challengers, priced at 7/2 (4.50) by bet365, although that price is one that has already seen some midweek interest after they secured a 1-0 win over Granada.

Given that Diego Simeone's side have a superior head-to-head record over their City rivals and they currently sit a point above Barcelona at the top of La Liga, a case could be made for them at 7/2 (4.50).

Doubts still seem to remain over thier ability to maintain their high-intensity style throughout the crucial final weeks, though, especially as they have a two-legged Champions League quarter-final to come and Simeone's charges also face a potential title-deciding game against Barcelona in the final round of Primera Division games.

This weekend's games see Atletico face a potentially tricky trip to the Basque country to face Athletic Bilbao, where they are 7/5 (2.40) to claim another three points while Barcelona (1.36) have a somewhat less intimidating clash against Espanyol and Madrid are just 1/25 (1.04) to see off the challenge of Rayo Vallecano.

It certainly promises to be an intruiging end to the Spanish season, especially with Atletico making it a geniune three-horse race, and there could be plenty of twists and turns to come.

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