Real Madrid’s drubbing at Atletico last time out, coupled with the beat down Barcelona administered at Athletic Bilbao may have seemingly prised the La Liga title race back open, but smart punters won’t be deceived.
Instead, they’ll see Los Blancos’ drifting out to 4/5 as a golden opportunity to enhance their profit on a sure-fire winning wager.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side haven’t even been dislodged from the Spanish summit following their 4-0 reverse at the Vicente Calderon and are more than capable of restoring the hefty margin that previously existed between them and the chasing pack over the coming weeks.
Their last league loss against Atleti back in September sparked a near-record-breaking 22-game winning run, while the divisional defeat that preceded this one was rectified with five successive victories.
Nothing brings about a sharp upturn in Los Merengues’ fortunes quite like relinquishing the spoils so expect them to set off on another lengthy laurel lassoing streak.
Bundesliga overlords FC Bayern Munchen received a similar wake up call in losing to Wolfsburg recently, their first domestic besting of the campaign.
They’ve picked up four points in the games that followed to reassert themselves as German football’s most feared force.
A home draw with Bayer Leverkusen last term had similar ramifications, with 19 straight league wins strung together following this stalemate.
Closest rivals Barcelona, who are one point back from Real, have difficult away games to come in the closing months of the campaign.
They must visit Atletico, Sevilla and Villarreal, as well as Celta Vigo, who beat them at the Camp Nou earlier this term.
In addition to these tricky away dates, they are also tasked to host the pace-setting Madrid club, meaning there are plenty of opportunities for points to be spilled.
Real’s tough trips aren’t as frequent (Sevilla are the only elite side they’re left to visit aside from Barca) while their reliability at home – where they’ve won 14 from 15 – limits their susceptibility between now and the season’s end.