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La Liga round 2 preview: Real Madrid look to challenge champions Barcelona from the off

15:50 BST 24/08/2018
Gareth Bale Karim Benzema Real Madrid
A poor start to the previous campaign cost Real dear in the title race and will look for three points against Girona

Real Madrid may well have made history by winning three Champions League titles in a row, but their domestic form last term was a major disappointment. A slow start in La Liga allowed Barcelona to build up an insurmountable lead, and Real, who play Girona this Sunday (26 August) are looking to match Barça from the off this time around.

Getting the ball rolling

First things first, head on over to the Oddsshark website, procure your favourite betting agency and sort out your account with a username and password. As a new customer and with the La Liga season already underway, there should be a wide range of promotions and offers for you to enjoy.

Where should I be investing my money?

Girona and Real Madrid will play out one of the more interesting La Liga ties of the weekend. Los Blancos lost to the relative minnows last season as they slumped to third place in the league and will be keen to take three points this time around as well as exerting their authority.

Last time out, Real recorded a comfortable 2-0 win over Getafe with Gareth Bale, the man charged with replacing Cristiano Ronaldo as the spearhead of the attack, getting on the score sheet. Girona, meanwhile, could only muster a goalless draw with relegation candidates Real Valladolid, and things are unlikely to get any easier against the European champions.

Despite upsetting the odds last season, it is difficult seeing the same happening here. Real come into the game as clear favourites to make it two league wins from two, and are priced accordingly at 1.33, according to Oddsshark.

Girona, by way of comparison, are out t 8.50 to record another victory over their illustrious opponents. A 2-0 win for Real – as they managed against Getafe last time out, is priced at 7.50, meaning that a US$ bet would lead to a US$37.50 pay out.

Barcelona also looking for dominant display

After a 3-0 win over Alaves last time out, Barcelona travel to take on Real Valladolid on the hunt for three more points in their quest to successfully retain the La Liga title. Having already secured the Spanish Super Cup this season, the Catalan club are the favourites to win the domestic crown again at a price of 1.66.

And Valladolid, only promoted from the second tier in May, should not cause them too many problems. Barça are at just 1.16 to pick up their second successive league win, with the home side all the way out at 17.00 to do likewise.

A 3-0 win, as Barcelona managed against Alaves, is priced t 7.00, while you can back over 2.5 goals in the game at just 1.40. If you are looking for more specific bets, Barça are at 1.83 to win to nil (without Valladolid scoring a goal), and you can double your money by backing them to win both halves at 2.00.

Atletico still searching for first league win

One side who did not make a winning start to the new season was Atletico Madrid. The side managed by Diego Simeone let the lead slip against Valencia at the Mestalla and had to ultimately settle for a 1-1 draw.

This Saturday they host newly promoted Ray Vallecano looking to chalk up those first three points of the new season. And Rayo are not a team coming into the game brimming with confidence, having been thumped 4-1 by Sevilla in their curtain raiser last week.

Like Barcelona, Atletico already have silverware to their name this year. They beat city rivals Real in the UEFA Super Cup, and they are 7.00 to win their first La Liga title since the 2013/14 season.

Rayo, meanwhile, are at 2.10 to suffer relegation and their pricing suggests they will not make much of a contest of this game. Vallecano are at 21.00 to win in Madrid, while hosts Atletico are at the very short price of 1.16.

This really looks to be a question of how many Atletico will score and a rout is not out of the question. A 4-0 win for Simeone’s men is priced at 9.00, offering close to a ten-fold return on any investment.

The likes of Diego Costa, meanwhile, must be rubbing his hands with glee at the prospect of facing Rayo. The Spain striker is at just 1.80 to net at any time, and 4.33 to score either the first or last goal of the game.

La Liga round 2 fixtures:

Friday, 24 August

(2.00) Getafe x Eibar (4.20); draw (3.30)

(3.20) Leganes x Real Sociedad (2.30); draw (3.25)

Saturday, 25 August

(2.62) Alaves x Real Betis (2.75); draw (3.25)

(1.16) Atletico Madrid x Rayo Vallecano (21.00); draw (7.00)

(17.00) Valladolid x Barcelona (1.16); draw (7.50)

Sunday, 26 August

(3.20) Espanyol x Valencia (2.37); draw (3.20)

(1.72) Sevilla x Villarreal (4.33); draw (4.20)

(8.50) Girona x Real Madrid (1.33); draw (5.50)

Monday, 27 August

(2.55) Levante x Celta Vigo (2.87); draw (3.25)

(1.57) Athletic Bilbao x Huesca (6.50); draw (3.75)