The start of a season can play havoc on a football fan’s emotions. A couple of early wins can lift unfancied teams to remarkable positions in the table and a bad defeat or two can smash pre-season optimism. Real Madrid followers are currently in the doldrums after defeat away at their less glamorous local rivals Getafe condemned them to a five-point deficit on Barcelona after just two La Liga matches.
Punters can take advantage of the pessimism surrounding Jose Mourinho’s men by backing them for the title now that they have drifted from evens to cracking odds of 33/20.
Having won the Spanish league by nine points last season after a similar shock away defeat to Levante in their third match of the campaign, Madrid possess what it takes to overturn the gap – and the addition of £30 million former Tottenham star Luka Modric to their midfield will certainly help.
That Barcelona were similarly unconvincing in their first away trip on Sunday is another factor. Two late Leo Messi goals rescued them at Osasuna, but the Catalans look too short at 9/20 to win the league after their odds were slashed following Real’s misfortune.
At least one Real, newly-promoted Valladolid, have got their season off to a flier with two wins out of two. The form of Miroslav Dukic’s team, who are yet to concede, has sent their odds of finishing in the top four plummeting down from 200/1 to 66/1.
Rayo Vallecano are the third team still boasting a 100 percent record. Having survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last season, they are still an improbable 100/1 to finish the season in the top four.
Athletic Bilbao are bottom of the pile after a disastrous 4-0 away defeat to Atletico Madrid. The bookies have cut their odds of being relegated to 5/1 from 20/1 but the Basques, who were lauded across Europe last season for their run to the Europa League final, have the quality to avoid that fate.
Fans of Celta Vigo might be more concerned, though. A 2-1 defeat in Sociedad means the Primera Division new boys are also still looking for their first point.
Celta are 19/20 favourites for the drop and while their ageing squad made their experience an asset in securing promotion last season, they look off the pace in the top flight so far.
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