Betting Special: Ronaldo favourite to outscore Messi in La Liga this season

Our man in Spain, Phil Kitromilides, runs through some of the special bets available for the new Primera Division campaign and highlights some potential winners for punters
For fans of La Liga the waiting is nearly over as the most technically gifted league in Europe kicks off a new season this weekend.

Naturally all eyes will be on the big two - Real Madrid and Barcelona - with both giants having reinforced their already talented squads significantly over the summer, yet last season Atletico Madrid upset the duopoly by claimining their first title in nearly two decades.

Madrid, however, are the favorites with Paddy Power to lift the title priced at 5/6 (1.83), with Barca offered at 6/5 (2.20) and Atleti the outsiders at 14/1 (15.00).

Yet more interesting than the outright market are some of the numerous and varied specials offered by Paddy Power on what might happen in the forthcoming campaign in the Primera Division.

As mentioned, there have been plenty of big signings by the top clubs, the biggest of which saw Luis Suarez join the Blaugrana from Liverpool.

Their attacking trident of Suarez, Messi and Neymar looks formidable as it is offered at 4/5 (1.80) to outscore Madrid's front three of Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo - who, for their part, are offered at 10/11 (1.91) to net more goals.

Suarez may be the biggest transfer of the summer and he is available at 5/6 (1.83) to score over 20.5 goals in his debut Spanish season but closely behind him in terms of status, not to mention expenditure, is James Rodriguez.

The Colombian joined Real Madrid for £63 million after top-scoring at the World Cup and can be backed at 5/6 (1.83) to net over 9.5 goals for Los Blancos.

Elsewhere in the market there is the eternal battle between Ronaldo and Messi, the men who have dominated this league and, indeed, world football for the last five years.

Ronaldo outshone and outscored his Argentine opponent last season, finishing as La Liga's top scorer, and he is priced at 8/11 (1.73) to score more league goals than Messi.

The Barcelona forward, meanwhile, is offered at even money (2.00) to outscore Ronaldo, something that he has done in three of the last five seasons.

The battle between Messi and Ronaldo is, of course, a subplot in the narrative of the greatest fixture on the planet, El Clasico, and Paddy Power offer a market on who will win the two league encounters on aggregate (away goals do not count).

Madrid are the marginal favorites at 5/4 (2.2) while Barca, who came out on top last season in this fixture, are offered at 6/4 (2.50) and a draw is priced at 7/2 (4.50).

Sign up with Paddy Power for up to £250 in free bets

Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid