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Our man in Spain, Phil Kitromilides, runs through some of the special bets available for the forthcoming La Liga 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 of 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, Lionel 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 Liga season, but closely behind him in terms of status - not to mention expenditure - is James Rodriguez.

The Colombian joined Real Madrid for €80 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 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).

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid

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