For more than a decade, the race for La Liga has been dominated by Real Madrid and Barcelona, the two famous giants of Spanish football. Although their monopoly of titles was briefly challenged by Atlético Madrid, who lifted the title trophy in 2013-14, since then it has been pretty much business as usual for the ‘Big Two’ clubs.
Nevertheless, the 2020-21 campaign in La Liga has been filled with plenty of surprises, leading to what could be one of the most exciting conclusions in years. This time there are four teams in the race, as we head into what promises to be a thrilling final showdown.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 25, 2021
Offering both in-game markets and outright odds for La Liga in Spain, Space Casino betting on football has Barcelona tipped for the title, priced as 1.50 favourites. Despite losing El Clásico against Real Madrid earlier in April, the side coached by Ronald Koeman is producing the most consistent winning form, putting them in a much stronger position to challenge.
At the start of the 2020-21 season, Barcelona found themselves well off the pace, having made a frustratingly poor start to the campaign. With just three wins from their opening ten games, even the magnificence of Lionel Messi couldn’t guarantee positive results. However, their form gradually improved and the team went 19 games unbeaten in La Liga.
𝟭𝟭𝟴 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗻𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘂𝗽.
Happy Birthday, Atleti family!
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) April 26, 2021
Atleti Start to Falter
By contrast, it was Atlético Madrid who made the flying start this season. Aside from the derby defeat against city rivals Real Madrid in mid-December, the side managed by Diego Simeone seemed practically unbeatable. They boasted the tightest defence in European football, keeping an impressive 10 clean sheets out of their first 14 La Liga games, while conceding just 5 goals.
Maintaining such an impregnable defence was always going to be challenging. Although the wins kept on coming, by January this year the typically robust Atlético Madrid rear-guard was leaking goals. By February, the results were also beginning to slacken, which meant the commanding lead at the top of La Liga was also being eroded. Atlético Madrid are no longer considered the favourites, now priced at 3.25 odds to hang on for the title.
@DaniCarvajal92: “There are five matchdays left and we will fight until the end.”#HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/9H07UyWKs1
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) April 24, 2021
All the while, Real Madrid kept themselves within touching distance as the most likely challenger. The reigning La Liga champions are habitually slow starters, typically hitting their peak towards the business end of the season. Managed by Zinedine Zidane, they went the entirety of February, March and April without losing, although having drawn more than they would like, their title odds have slipped to 8.00 recently.
Sevilla Look to Upset the Party
Spicing things up and regardless of being the outsiders at 29.00 betting odds, Sevilla believe they have a chance. The Andalusian outfit remain firmly in the title picture, with Julen Lopetegui coaching every ounce of effort from his team. If they can achieve the impossible, what an amazing story that would be to conclude a remarkable season in La Liga.
@ivanrakitic: ‘We want to reach for the stars and make our fans happy.’ #SevillaFCGranada #NeverSurrender pic.twitter.com/k2EE3mIDAd
— Sevilla FC (@SevillaFC_ENG) April 25, 2021
If you need some context as to how impressive that would be, Sevilla has only won the title once and that was back in the 1945-46 season. By comparison, Real Madrid have won 34 La Liga titles, Barcelona have 26 in total, and Atlético Madrid have 10 to their name.
With all four teams in the thick of battle and with everything at stake, these crucial final games of the season will be truly fascinating to observe. There will be absolutely zero margin for error, which makes these remaining matches all the more intense. May the best team win!
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