Spanish La Liga Preview
La Liga Primera
The Spanish La Liga contains arguably the two most exciting and extravagant teams in club football, namely Real Madrid (4/5 outright) and Barcelona (Evens).
With an abundance of superstars, including the mercurial Lionel Messi (6/5 top goal scorer) and his Madrid counterpart Christiano Ronaldo (11/10), the Nou Camp and Bernabeu look likely to divide up the team and top goal scorer silverware between them again this year.
On the betting front, many punters will be eyeing the above in their outright and top goal scorer doubles. Although a case could definitely be made for David Villa (14/1) to stake a claim for Golden Boot honours.
It is 9 years since a side other than Barca or Real took the Spanish title and it takes a flight of fantasy not to see this run increase to double figures by next May.
Further betting opportunities abound in the highly competitive 'Without The Big 2' market.
Valencia (9/4) head the list, virtue of last year's 'best of the rest' 3rd place finish and have brought in Gago and Canales from Real Madrid and Vila on loan from Milan over the summer.
Malaga (11/2), with the backing of a Qatari investor, have improved over the last few seasons. Though in the last few months, they are conspicuous by their absence from the transfer market.
Sevilla (11/2) have strengthened their defence and midfield and will be hoping that they can swap money spent into points gained.
While Atletico Madrid (11/4) will be hoping to translate 3 recent European knock-out trophies into a sustained domestic challenge and have made some shrewd purchases.
Striker Aritz Aduriz returns to Athletic Bilbao (11/2), for a third time, and the northern side will be expecting vast improvement on last year's 10th place finish.
Based in Valencia, Levante shocked and surprised rivals throughout last season. Unbeaten and top of La Liga after 9 games and finishing just 6 points and 3 places behind their more illustrious neighbours and although they have brought cheaply this summer, the 50/1 currently available could look excellent value if they can manage a similarly fast start to the new campaign.
Whatever you bet on, expect thrills, spills, twists, turns and surprises over the next 9 months!