La Liga preview: can Atlético Madrid stop Barça or Real?

Diego Simeone’s side will be looking for their second league title in the last five years, but two adversaries stand in their way


After a fairly brief hiatus owing to the FIFA World Cup held in Russia, La Liga is now just a few days away from its big kick off. And once again we head into the Spanish domestic campaign with two names on most people’s lips as the favourites for the title.

Barcelona stormed towards the crown last season, while Real took the Champions League title for the third season in a row. Simeone and Atlético, however, will be hoping to have their say on the league’s destiny this term.

Getting the ball rolling

Before you do anything else, pay a visit to the Oddsshark website, procure your favourite betting agency and get your own account sorted out with a username and password. As a brand new customer and with La Liga set to get underway, there should be several offers and promotions available to you.

Where should I be investing my money?

If you like backing an outside, then Atlético may well be the way to go. The only side to win the La Liga crown besides Barcelona and Real Madrid in the last 14 years, Atlético Madrid are at 11.00 to win the league crown this season.

Of all the title contenders, it is Atlético who have the trickiest start, however. They travel to take on Valencia, who have Champions League qualification aspirations of their own.

This should be a close game, but it is Atlético who are the slight favourites to make a winning start to the season. Simeone’s men are at 2.60 to take the points, with Valencia at 2.80 to win in front of their own fans and a draw priced slightly higher at 3.10, according to  Oddsshark .

Real Madrid, however, will be looking to reassert themselves on the domestic front following a disappointing campaign last season. Real could only finish third, behind Barcelona and Atlético, although that was compensated for with victory over Liverpool in the final of the Champions League – their third win in a row.

There may well be a period of adjustment at the start of the season for Real, who must make do without wither Cristiano Ronaldo and coach Zinedine Zidane. There will be a lot of pressure on Welsh forward Gareth Bale who will need to step forward in the absence of the Portuguese star.

Former Spain boss Julen Lopetegui has also taken over at the helm of the Real Madrid ship and will most certainly be looking to hit the ground running. You could potentially more than double your money if you think that Real will snatch the La Liga crown back from old rivals Barcelona – they are priced at 2.50 to do so.

Real Madrid kick off their domestic campaign at home against Getafe, and it is a game which should cause them few problems. The European champions are at just 1.20 to take all three points, with Getafe out at 13.00 and a stalemate priced at 6.50.

But it would still appear that the team to beat this season will be Barcelona. The Catalan giants won the league by an enormous margin of 14 points, winning 28 of their 38 games, losing just once and scoring no fewer than 99 goals in the process.

It is therefore of little surprise that the team coached by Ernesto Valverde come into the new campaign as the clear favourites to maintain their league crown. You can back Barcelona to do so at a price of just 1.75.

Barcelona are embarking on a pre-season tour of the USA, where they will take on the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, AS Roma and AC Milan, before meeting Sevilla in the Spanish Super Cup where they have an early chance to claim some silverware this season. Barcelona are the favourites to lift that cup, at a price of just 1.57, while Sevilla are all the way out at 5.50 to win the tie inside 90 minutes.

The club have also officially unveiled new Brazilian forward Malcom from Bordeaux, who should take some of the goal scoring pressure off the shoulder of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez. Whichever way you slice the cake, Barça are looking a formidable unit for the upcoming season.

The current La Liga champions kick off their title defence at home against Alaves, and it will of of no surprise that they are the red hot favourites to make a winning start to the season. The Catalans are at just 1.10 to take all three points in their domestic opener.

Odds to win La Liga:

Barcelona (1.75)
Real Madrid (2.50)
Atlético Madrid (11.00)