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Can anyone dethrone Barcelona in La Liga?
- Updated: 21st August 2019
The new edition of La Liga kicks off this weekend already, with Barcelona being the clear favourites to win the 3rd consecutive title, but both Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid have strengthened themselves in order to try and prevent that from happening…
Ernesto Valverde continues on trial by the Blaugrana fans
Ernesto Valverde won his 2nd consecutive Spanish title last season in a relatively easy way. However, the main objective of the club was missed once again and that has contributed towards increasing the pressure on their shoulders.
The Champions League is the obsession of the Blaugrana club and fans these days and the successive failures of the Spanish manager in unexpected moments has been creating some distrust.
For the new season, a lot of people defend that Barcelona should slack on the domestic competitions and focus completely on the Champions League, but will Valverde be willing to make adjustments, or will opt for another very consistent domestic campaign to protect himself from another potential European disaster?
With the arrivals of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong, Barcelona is a bit stronger than previously right now and they have to take on their responsibilities in 2019/20.
Barcelona travels this Friday to Bilbao to face Athletic, at the always difficult San Mamés, and the likely absence of Lionel Messi due to injury might increase the difficulty level of their task.
The Blaugrana side appears as favourite to win with odds of 1.66 on Bet365, in what will be the first opportunity for us to see what kind of attitude Barcelona will have in La Liga this season.
Colchoneros with a fresh face
If Barcelona maintained their roster practically untouched, the same can’t be said about Diego Simeone’s Atlético, that saw their superstar Griezmann leave for Barcelona, besides the leader of the defence Diego Godín and an important central midfielder such as Rodri.
In total, Atlético lost practically half of their starting line-up at the end of the season and they needed to attack the market with a lot of will, recruiting João Félix, Felipe, Mario Hermoso, Héctor Herrera and Kieran Trippier.
And after a pre-season that allowed them to draw some conclusions for the future, the Colhoneros are looking to do better than in the last two seasons where they’ve finished in 2nd place of La Liga.
— Brinca Na Areia (@BrincaNaAreia) August 10, 2019
Despite having been the club that finished closest to Barcelona for the past 2 years, Atlético are priced with very high odds of around 15.00 on Bet365 to become champions, on a showcase of distrust from the bookmakers regarding Simeone’s team.
Atlético will have a theoretically easy debut in La Liga by hosting Getafe at the Wanda Metropolitano next Sunday night, and their favouritism is clear, since the odds for them to get off to a winning start in La Liga is priced at 1.43 on Bet365.
Zidane’s Real Madrid needs to stabilize
With the return of Zizou to the command of the club and the arrival of Eden Hazard to their attack, there is the expectation of a much more positive season than the previous one. However, the team continues to have some defensive weaknesses that need to be addressed rapidly.
The loss by 7-3 against Atlético de Madrid on a preparation match has probably ringed the alarms at the Santiago Bernabéu and the players will be completely focused in improving their performance level.
Gareth Bale continues to be the great novel of the transfer window at the club, and his departure seems to be starting to be a less likely scenario by now.
The merengues kick off their season at Estádio dos Balaídos this Saturday already, and Celta de Vigo will be the first real test for the “new” Real Madrid 2019/20 edition.
Lionel Messi should maintain his reign amongst the top goal scorers.
On the market of top goal scorer in La Liga, Lionel Messi is the leader naturally, presenting odds of 1.65 to be the “Pichichi” once again in 2019/20.
Curiously, the players that follow him also represent Barcelona – Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann – with Eden Hazard (10.00) and Karim Benzema (12.00) being the first of the list after the magnificent Barcelona’s trio.