by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Oddsmakers see the La Liga season as a 2 horse race between the powerhouse clubs of defending champion Barcelona and Real Madrid while every other team is a long shot to win the Spanish title.
Barcelona (-125) is favored to repeat at La Liga champions and the reason is simple, they are stacked to say the least. They scored a couple of huge signings in the off-season improving their defense by getting Adriano from Sevilla and David Villa from Valencia, which may have made their club better even though they lost Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez, who both left the club to play in the good ol’ USA. They also just signed Javier Mascherano from Liverpool before the transfer window closed, which will only make them that much better.
Barcelona lost striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, but they still have a great offense led by Lionel Messi and David Villa. The defense is still great with the likes of World Cup hero Carles Puyol, Daniel Alves, and Gerard Piqu. Basically, Barcleona is THE team to beat even though Real Madrid will be in a battle with them all season.
Real Madrid (+110) is hoping that new head coach Jose Mourinho can work his magic in the Spanish capital like he did for Inter Milan last season winning the Italy Serie A crown for the fifth straight season and capturing the Champions League title. Real did not go out and break the bank like last summer, but they did shell out some dough to bring in Ricardo Carvalho, Mesut Oezil, and Angel Di Maria. They still have Kaka, Cristiano Ronaldo, and World Cup hero Iker Casillas in goal and anything less than the La Liga title will be seen as a disappointment.
After Barcelona and Real Madrid every other team in a long shot to win it all, but there are a couple of teams that can challenge the 2 powerhouses this season.
Sevilla kept striker Luis Fabiano in the fold and they added Dabo and Guarante in the off-season, but they lost Luis Fabiano and that may really hurt them this season. Sevilla is a strong team and it would be a shock if they did not finish in the top 4 in La Liga and get an automatic Champions League bid, but it would also be a pretty big shock if they could overtake Barcelona and Real Madrid and win the Spanish league title.
Atletico Madrid has one of the best coaches and best strikers in Europe in Quique Sanchez Flores and Diego Forlan, but the winners of the Europa League last season did add some quality players, but can their defense hold up throughout the season? That is the big question for the second best team in the Spanish Capital and while they will challenge for a top 4 finish they are not likely to win the La Liga this season.
Here are the odds to win La Liga this season at Sportsbook.ag as of September 15th:
Real Madrid +110
Atletico Madrid +3300
Athletic Bilbao +25000
Real Sociedad +100000
Racing Santander +150000
Sporting Gijon +150000
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