The Spanish Primera Division season kicks off on Saturday and, according to bookmakers, it will be a two-team race between Real Madrid and Barcelona, with Atletico Madrid unlikely to mount a successful defence of the title.
Surely the Spanish Primera Division is Real Madrid’s to lose given the changes to the respective coaching and playing rosters of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real during the summer months. One thinks that Real Madrid has strengthened, Barcelona has, at best, stood still and Atletico Madrid has gone backwards following its remarkable triumph last term.
Sepp Blatter awarded the Golden Ball to Barcelona’s Lionel Messi but 99.99 per cent of the world’s population knows that new Real Madrid signing James Rodriquez was the true outfield star of the FIFA World Cup. And Real Madrid has snapped up the FIFA World Cup’s breakout goalkeeper, Keylor Navas, to put pressure on Iker Casillas between the sticks, and FIFA World Cup-winning midfielder Toni Kroos because, well, it could. Welcome to the latest Galaticos era.
There have been a lot of changes at Barcelona. Novice coach Luis Enrique, one of the very few players to represent both Barcelona and Real Madrid with distinction as a player, has been handed the task of putting Barca back on top of not only Spanish football but also world football. Enrique has had two proper managerial jobs – sorry but Barcelona B does not count – having been Roma’s boss for one unsuccessful season – seventh place in Italian Serie A and a humbling UEFA Europa League exit to Slovan Bratislava – and Celta’s coach last term when it finished ninth in the Spanish Primera Division. At least that was a pass mark.
One has grave concerns about Enrique’s suitability for the Barcelona job considering that it has proved beyond many managers with better resumes than him. In the race for the Spanish Primera Division title, Enrique is up against Carlo Ancelotti, who has won the UEFA Champions League three times as a mentor and a host of other honours, and Diego Simeone, who did his coaching apprenticeship in Argentina and won titles before inspiring Atletico Madrid to great heights.
Like Real Madrid, Barcelona’s roster has changed between seasons but one is not sure if the arrivals make up for the departures. Luis Suarez is every bit as likely to lose the Spanish Primera Division title for Barcelona as he is to win it for his new employer, with his FIFA World Cup bite being the third time that he had sunk his teeth into an opponent.
Not often do betting markets shock one but Real Madrid looks grossly overpriced at odds of -110 with several bookmakers, including Betfred, Coral and Totesport, to win its 33rd Spanish Primera Division championship. Real Madrid has the best manager and the best squad of players. If it was not for the name Barcelona, Real Madrid would be shorter than 1.50 to end the 38-round competition in first place.
Given the lop-sided nature of the Spanish Primera Division, it is worth reviewing the fixture list to see when the big games will take place. Significantly, Real Madrid will host Barcelona in the first El Clasico on Sunday 25 October. That matters if one is going to back Real Madrid at odds of 1.91.
The German Bundesliga season gets under way on Friday and it looks like a cakewalk for Bayern Munchen, which ended last term 19 points ahead of silver medallist Dortmund. For the second summer running, Bayern has raided Dortmund. Twelve months ago it was midfielder Mario Gotze who swapped North Rhine-Westphalia for Bavaria. This year it was the turn of striker Robert Lewandowski to make the big move south.
Bayern Munchen to win the German Bundesliga at odds of -588 with Coral is multi fodder for punters who are placing long-term football bets at this time of the year. For example, couple Bayern with Real Madrid and one can obtain odds of +123 with Coral about the two favourites.
Add Bayern Munich to win Bundesliga and get +123 with Coral
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