As the La Liga campaign passes the midway mark, Real Madrid continues to lead the way on both the league table and on the odds to win this season’s La Liga championship. Despite struggling through their schedule over the Christmas holidays, Real maintain a slender five-point lead over second-place Sevilla FC on the table, but have emerged as clear favourites to claim their third league title in six years, sporting short 1.12 odds on the European soccer futures at Betway.
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|La Liga Futures|
Real Madrid Seek Return to Early-Season Form
After rocketing to the top of the La Liga table while winning seven straight contests, Real Madrid struggled over the holiday season. After settling for a scoreless draw with bottom-feeders Cadiz on December 19, the club rebounded to eke out a narrow 2-1 win over Athletic Bilbao. However, Real once again took a step in their first league contest of 2022, dropping a stunning 1-0 decision on the road to Getafe.
Getafe roll over Real Madrid in great escape bid inspired by Crystal Palace | Getafe | The Guardian https://t.co/eH1dVKBNZ0
— Steve Parish (@CEO4TAG) January 4, 2022
Despite their recent swoon, Real maintain a solid five-point lead over Sevilla on the table. But with Sevilla currently holding one match in hand, Los Blancos can ill afford to leave any more points on the table when facing opponents they are expected to dominate. Indeed, opportunity knocks for the club over the course of the next month. Three of their next four league dates come against opponents lagging on the bottom half of the table. Real are also benefiting from the continued strong play of Karim Bezema and Vinicius Junior. The duo sit one-two in league scorer, as well as on the La Liga goalscoring odds, where Benzema leads the way as a strong 1.17 favourite. Real also has a huge date coming up on the international stage. Listed in the middle of the pick as a high value 21.00 bet on last summer’s UEFA Champion League picks, the club now looks to a round of 16 matchup with Paris Saint-Germain that gets underway on February 15.
Sevilla in the Hunt
However, sports bettors overlook Sevilla at their own peril. Undefeated in their past six league contests, Sevilla have closed the gap on the top of the table to just five points, but continue to lag as a distant 7.00 second favourite on the La Liga futures at Betway.
The full #LaLigaSantander table after Matchday 20.
Just 6 points separate 3rd and 10th! 🍿 pic.twitter.com/BtaOFE1kcT
— LaLiga English (@LaLigaEN) January 10, 2022
The Sevillistas have leveraged the league’s stingiest defence during their climb up the table, allowing just 13 total goals through their first 20 outings, and just two total goals during their current 5-1-0 win-draw-loss run. Sevilla have also been a force on home turf this season, going undefeated through their first 10 contests. That bodes well during the second half, with three of their next six home dates coming against opponents currently perched above the line, including an all-important date with Real on April 16.
— Man United News (@ManUtdMEN) January 12, 2022
The biggest challenge for Sevilla will be finding an offensive spark. The club has scored more than one goal just once in their past seven league contests. That has not been helped by the absence of Youssef En-Nesyri, who is one of four Sevilla players currently away competing in the Africa Cup of Nations. Sevilla have reportedly been pursuing Manchester United striker Anthony Martial, but acquiring the talented Frenchman is still likely to come at a high price.
A stingy defence and dominance on home turf have powered the Sevillistas into legitimate contention for this season’s La Liga championship
Battle Above the Line Heats Up
While a two-team race has emerged for the top of the table, the battle for the final two spots among the top four remains wide open. FC Barcelona currently lead the best of the rest, sporting 1.57 odds to crack the top four despite currently lagging in sixth place, one point back of both Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad.
Villarreal centre-back Pau Torres 🇪🇸 has revealed he turned down a move to #Tottenham that would have seen him increase his salary. He wanted to stay with his current club and compete in the Champions League. #THFC @LaResistencia @Transferzone00 pic.twitter.com/LTaQd0382N
— The Spurs Express (@TheSpursExpress) January 12, 2022
The club offering the best value on the odds to finish above the line is Villarreal. Currently enjoying a five-match unbeaten streak, during which they have averaged 3.40 goals per game, Villarreal now sit just four points back of fourth place on the table, and are worthy of a value wager as a lucrative 5.50 bet to finish the season among the top four.
Best Bets: Villarreal top four (5.50); Sevilla to win La Liga title (7.00) at Betway
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