Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite, left, argues with Real Madrid’s Luka Modric, right, during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between Real Madrid and FC Barcelona at the Alfredo di Stefano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, April 10, 2021. Real Madrid won 2-1. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)
- With eight games remaining in the 2020/21 La Liga season, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid sit within two points of one another atop the table
- Mathematically, seven teams are still in contention for the title, but ultimately it is a three horse race between the Spanish powerhouses to see who will lift the Spanish top-flight trophy
- Read below for updated odds and our best bet analysis
After a thrilling weekend in La Liga, Atletico Madrid sit atop the Spanish top flight on 67 points while Real Madrid and Barcelona remain behind them on 66 and 65 points, respectively. Atletico Madrid could have stretched their lead to three points if it were not for a draw to sixth place Real Betis. While goal scorer Marcos Llorente will return after his yellow-card accumulation suspension, Atletico will remain without striker Luis Suarez for the remainder of April.
The absence of Suarez not only provides a risk to Atletico, but an advantage to the two giants below them. While Barcelona are in third place, they currently have the best La Liga odds to lift silverware this season. Even despite a disappointing El Clasico where they fell to Real Madrid thanks to goals from Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema, the Catalonians are the favorites. Working in their favor, is the fact that Real Madrid still have the Champions League to worry about which could cause some fatigue in the squad.
Finally, of course Real Madrid have to be in the conversation to win La Liga this year. The Galacticos have not lost since the end of January, and despite their squad lacking a bit of star-power, their defense has been rock solid. After wins against Liverpool and Barcelona they should feel overly confident going into the run-in.
La Liga Title Odds
Odds as of Apr 11 at DraftKings
Why Messi and Barcelona Will Not Win La Liga
With the talent in their squad and the controversy surrounding their club at every moment this year, Barcelona have probably performed above expectations. At the start of the season, Lionel Messi was pushing his way out of the club and it looked like a once dominant dynasty was falling. In the middle of the season, their president of six years, Josep Bartomeu resigned from his position and was arrested not long after.
However, the league is not over by this result. Many matches to go and we will fight until the end. Now we must focus on the Copa del Rey final, a big moment for us and our fans.
Força Barça 🔵🔴 pic.twitter.com/D7NBcmV5pk
— Marc ter Stegen (@mterstegen1) April 11, 2021
Furthermore, their starting eleven often features teenagers or broken toys that do not fit in Barcelona’s team like Philippe Coutinho and Antoine Griezmann. Keeping this in mind, it is unreasonable to think this team would win La Liga this time around. They have put up a respectable fight, but ultimately, the inconsistency is going to be expected.
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Atletico Madrid Cannot Cope Without Luis Suarez
When Luis Suarez came to Atletico Madrid in the summer, they probably thought he was good for ten or so goals. However, that has not been the case whatsoever, as the Uruguayan has made himself such an imperative part of this Atletico side in so many ways. His injury will most likely see him miss three more games which could be devastating for Atletico’s odds to win La Liga this year.
Real Madrid win both Clasicos in a single La Liga season for the first time since 2007/08 pic.twitter.com/HU6c9oompe
— B/R Football (@brfootball) April 10, 2021
Meanwhile, across town sit Real Madrid who find themselves conveniently placed just one point below Atletico in the La Liga table. Despite a fairly hard schedule to end the year featuring sides like Sevilla, Real Betis, Granada and Villarreal, they have great odds to win the competition. They are missing Sergio Ramos, but their defense has held up in terrific fashion while their offense is doing just enough to win games.
Overall, Real Madrid seem to have a good balance of youth and veteran leadership, which is why I think they can compete on both fronts and win La Liga. The Champions League will obviously take a lot of energy and dedication, but with an already condensed season, teams are used to the wear and tear. Finally, this bet has tremendous value, and while Barcelona are narrow favorites, it is just hard to see Messi having enough help to win La Liga this year.
Pick: Real Madrid (+165)
Josh Ricker is a freelance sports journalist, currently attending the University of Southern Maine (Bachelor of Science in Sports Management and Marketing). He has recently interned with the AA Portland Sea Dogs, and his work has been featured on Fansided, as well as now here on SBD.