Betting Special: Real Madrid's stuttering start hands Barcelona an early advantage in La Liga

After just three matches of the season there is already a significant gap between the big two and Ernesto Valverde's men are now title favourites

Following their 5-1 aggregate win over Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup last month, the odds on Real Madrid successfully defending their La Liga title fell further with the holders priced at just 8/15 (1.53) to retain their domestic title.

The European champions looked at their rampant best, while Barca were still reeling from the sale of Neymar with an institutional crisis brewing in the boardroom and it was no shock to see the Catalan club drift in the outright market as the new campaign approached.

However, the respect starts to the La Liga season of the two leading contenders have been markedly contrasting, with Barcelona racking up three successive wins while Madrid have drawn two of their three matches.

Toni Kroos Real Madrid Levante LaLiga

That those two draws came at the Bernabeu against Valencia and Levante when Real Madrid had an enormous amount of possession and chances has brought to the surface some concerns surrounding Zinedine Zidane's side.

With Cristiano Ronaldo suspended for the first four league matches of the season Los Blancos have struggled badly in front of goal, and the manager will be aware of the fact that the side seem a little reliant on their Portuguese star.

Without Ronaldo, Madrid have already dropped four points and the gap to Barcelona who have won all three of their matches is one that cannot be allowed to grow.


Barca's three wins so far have come with nine goals scored and none conceded, with Lionel Messi in eye-catching form. The Argentine has netted five times already and has been the unquestionable leader of the side in the opening matches of the league campaign.

With the Catalans facing a trip to newly promoted Getafe next weekend, while Madrid visit Real Sociedad's always intimidating Anoeta Stadium, Messi will be hoping to put further distance between the Blaugrana and Los Blancos. 

dabblebet price Barcelona at 17/20 (1.85) to be crowned champions, with Los Blancos now outsiders of the leading pair, although only marginally bigger in the betting at 10/11 (1.91) while Atletico Madrid the only other side with realistic title aspirations are offered at 22/1 (23.00).


Los Rojiblancos have played their first three matches away from home as they wait for their new stadium to be ready, and Diego Simeone's men will inauguarte the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium next weekend having picked up a win and two draws so far.

Elsewhere Sevilla have made a strong start with seven points from a possible nine and they are offered at 125/1 (126.00)

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