Friday, February 23, 2024

La Liga Oddscheker: Can Real Madrid complete another domestic sweep or will Girona pull off an almighty upset?

Tom Dunstan in Editorial, La Liga 22 Dec 2023

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With Spain’s elite now officially taking a break for the festive interval, La Liga has already produced a string of notable stories at both ends of the table.

While Real Madrid might be set to enter the New Year at the top of the pile, it has certainly been a history-making Girona that have stolen plenty of Spain’s headlines.

With some predicting what could be an almighty La Liga title scrap in 2024, we have taken a look at who the bookmakers have installed as their leading Spanish contenders this season.

Real Madrid – 4/11 with @ BetUS

Eventually finishing 10 points of defending their La Liga crown last season, it was no secret that Real Madrid had a huge amount of pressure on their shoulders this time around.

However, while Los Blancos might have watched attacking talisman Karim Benzema complete a blockbuster move to Saudi Arabia over the summer, Carlo Ancelotti’s men are firing on all cylinders this season.

Clinching a last-gasp 1-0 victory away at Alaves on Thursday night as they officially entered Spain’s festive break at the top of the La Liga table, the former AC Milan boss has seen his superstar squad gain a string of public praise.

Likewise, breezing their way to the Champions League knockout stage without breaking much of a sweat and with their sights set on mounting a genuine European charge in the New Year, Real Madrid could be smelling the chance to make more history this season.

With England international Jude Bellingham only continuing to break a string of records since completing his £100million move from Borussia Dortmund, it is no surprise that Ancelotti’s men have been tipped as a leading contender to get their hands on a 37th domestic crown this season.

Girona – 5/1 with Olympusbet

Enjoying what has been a history-making La Liga romp this season, there is no doubt that Girona have already cemented their spot as Europe’s surprise package this season.

Shocking everyone across the footballing world since opening up the 2023/24 campaign, Michel Sanchez’s men are starting to believe that they can spring what would be considered as one of the greatest upsets in history.

At the heart of what has become a public fairytale and continuing to gain admirers by the week, Girona remarkably find just their goal difference keeping them behind Los Blancos in the title chase.

Mustering 45 points from their first 18 La Liga appearances this season, the former Huesca boss has also not seen his record-breaking squad suffer a single defeat across any front so far this season.

Although many might have speculated that Girona would show some signs of a wobble prior to entering the festive break, Sanchez’s men have proven that they have the mental resolve to really push Real Madrid until the very end.

Barcelona – 9/1 with Luckster

Although Barcelona might have claimed a first La Liga crown since 2019 last season as they enjoyed a famous domestic romp, Xavi’s side have certainly failed to find a similar level this time around.

While the defending champions might have opened the 2023/24 campaign in the midst of a real flurry, Barca have the feel of a squad that is seeking some crucial top-flight stability.

Although the Catalonia-based giants might have entered the festive interval with an action-packed 3-2 victory against Almeria, that is the only win that Xavi’s side have collected from their previous four appearances across all competitions.

Still dealing with some public issues behind the scenes and with mounting scrutiny over Xavi’s position in the Nou Camp hot seat, Barcelona are facing a major uphill battle in their bid to defend their La Liga title.

Set to open the New Year already seven points adrift of both Real Madrid and Girona, Barca are also starting to look over their shoulder at the prospect of a looming top-four scrap in 2024.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom has spent the past six years as one of our senior writers and betting experts. Alongside working with numerous publications from across the globe, Tom also graduated from the University of Falmouth in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Digital Media.
Spending almost the past decade working in countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Canada, he has also spent time featuring in sports radio. Tom can be followed on Instagram - @iamtomdunstan

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