While their more prestigious local rivals thrash around scrambling to rescue their season from disaster, Atletico Madrid have quietly laid a fantastic foundation for their top-four hopes since La Liga got underway.
A comfortable 2-1 home win over Real Valladolid at the weekend was Atletico’s third victory in four matches. It was also the side’s 15th match in an unbeaten spell and should this be extended further on Wednesday night away at Real Betis then Atletico will move second in the table.
A price of 11/20 for Atleti to seal a Champions League spot next May looks short, but it might look long fairly soon if Diego Simeone’s side keep their momentum going.
The Argentine legend is instilling huge confidence in his charges as they focus on constraining opponents and unleashing their fierce attacking force on the break. It is an attack led by Colombian striker Radamel Falcao, who has smashed a staggering ten goals in his last six matches for club and country.
The battle for the top four looks increasingly likely to be a thrilling one this La Liga season, with four other clubs also unbeaten after five matches.
Sevilla’s odds of making the Champions League cut were trimmed to 6/4 thanks to a 2-0 win at Deportivo, Malaga are still at an enticing 14/5 to defy their financial troubles with a top-four finish having taken a decent point back to the Costa Del Sol from Athletic Bilbao.
Mallorca are lesser fancied at 6/1 despite currently sitting second in the table after beating Valencia 2-0 at home over the weekend.
The other unbeaten side, Barcelona, left it late to edge past relegation favourites Granada 2-0 at the Nou Camp, with a Xavi strike and an own-goal – both of which arrived in the final three minutes – sparing their blushes.
Barca are now 33/100 with bwin to turn their eight-point advantage over arch-rivals Real Madrid – who won 2-0 at Rayo Vallecano – into a league win, which are the best odds you will find anywhere.
Jose Mourinho’s men are 23/10 to retain their title after their latest success in a match which was postponed from Sunday to Monday after the Campo de Vallecas floodlight system was sabotaged, prompting a police investigation.
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