Aug 9, 2021
Aug 9, 2021

La Liga 2021/22: Outright betting preview

Making La Liga 2021/22 predictions

Who will win La Liga this season?

La Liga 2021/22 outright betting: Where is the value?

La Liga 2021/22 odds

La Liga 2021/22: Outright betting preview

The La Liga 2021/22 season is fast approaching. Will Atletico Madrid successfully defend their title, can Barcelona or Real Madrid top the league once again, or will another team become La Liga champions for the first time since 2004? Read on to inform your La Liga 2021/22 predictions.

La Liga 2021/22: Who are the favourites?

Team

Odds

2020/21 position

Real Madrid

2.090*

2nd

Atletico Madrid

3.350*

1st

Barcelona

3.450*

3rd

Sevilla

13.590*

4th

Real Sociedad

53.470*

5th

Villarreal

105.800*

7th

Despite undergoing a summer of upheaval, Real Madrid currently lead the outright market at 2.090*. On the back of a trophyless season, Zinedine Zidane left the club to be replaced by former manager Carlo Ancelotti, their primary defensive partnership of Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane have joined PSG and Manchester United respectively, and questions remain over the future of players such as Eden Hazard.

Lionel Messi's departure from Barcelona has moved them from outright favourites to third-favourites.

Real Madrid have been repeatedly labelled a team requiring a rebuild since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, but they finished only two points behind Atletico last season and the fact remains that they possess a squad capable of challenging for the title. David Alaba is a strong defensive addition and the returns of Gareth Bale, Luka Jovic, and Martin Odegaard from their respective loans bolsters their options in attack.

While Ancelotti has historically led his teams to greater success in cup competitions than in the league, taking on a Messi-less Barcelona and an Atletico team yet to be significantly strengthened could provide a decent opportunity to secure their 35th La Liga title. If the club manage to add depth to what is perhaps a somewhat threadbare midfield, there is a case to be made that they can be considered firm favourites.

Atletico Madrid (3.350*) deservedly won La Liga in 2020/21, having led the league for the majority of the campaign. It seems likely that their squad will be largely unchanged this season, with the €35 million acquisition of Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese their only major signing thus far, although defender Kieran Trippier has been linked with a move back to the Premier League.

Atletico’s identity under Diego Simeone is well-established and they can be expected to rely upon a combination of defensive resilience, pacey counter-attacks, and brute physicality to grind out results. Luis Suarez’s 21 goals proved pivotal for the team last season, but with the forward entering this campaign aged 34, Simeone may need the likes of Joao Felix and Angel Correa to begin showing their potential in order to share the attacking burden.

Barcelona (3.450*) were La Liga favourites until the unprecedented announcement last week that Lionel Messi is bringing his 21-year stint at the club to an end. Following the departure of their greatest player ever, Ronald Koeman will need to rely upon the free signings he has made in this transfer window, namely Manchester City duo Sergio Aguero and Eric Garcia as well as Memphis Depay from Lyon.

Furthermore, defensive issues were a reoccurring problem for Barcelona in La Liga last season and they conceded 38 goals in the league in comparison to Atletico Madrid’s 25 and Real Madrid’s 28. Garcia should help improve the defence, although Koeman may need the experience of Gerard Pique and Jordi Alba to help the promising but raw talents of Sergino Dest and Ronald Araujo with more reliable defensive performances.

While the absence of Messi may seem a bleak prospect, Barcelona’s attack remains encouraging. Indeed, Aguero is an elite striker, and Antoine Griezmann and Ousmane Dembele both enjoyed their most productive seasons for the club in 2020/21. This new season is likely to serve as a transitional campaign for Barcelona, but there is no major reason to suggest they will finish outside of the top three.

La Liga 2021/22: Notable outsiders

Sevilla (13.590*) finished fourth last season, with their current odds indicating that they can feel confident of achieving a successive top-four finish. While they netted the fewest goals among the top eight in 2020/21 (53), Julen Lopetegui appears to be in the process of building one of the league’s most formidable attacks. Indeed, last season’s top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri and experienced forward Luuk de Jong will be joined this season by former Tottenham winger Erik Lamela.

However, bearing in mind that the club will be participating in the Champions League group stage during the first half of the season, their squad seems somewhat light in numbers and further signings may be required to alleviate the impact of any potential injury crisis. If the team can improve upon their return of five points earned from their six matches against Spain’s ‘Big Three’ last season, then an improvement on fourth this time round is certainly more than plausible.

Real Sociedad (53.470*) claimed fifth in 2020/21, although they did ultimately finish 15 points behind the top four and never fully exhibited their credentials for earning Champions League qualification. Their transfer window thus far has been very quiet, which is perhaps a reflection of the fact that Imanol Alguacil has a talented squad at his disposal capable of reaching higher levels. Expect Alexander Isak and Mikel Oyarzabal to be one of the league’s best striking partnerships this season.

An inconsistent league campaign produced a seventh-place finish for Villarreal (105.800*) last season, although their unexpected Europa League win did highlight their capability to challenge supposedly stronger teams. Unai Emery can also call upon one of the most talented and versatile midfields in La Liga, although another top forward to accompany Gerard Moreno in attack may be the missing link to improve upon their standing in the league.

La Liga 2021/22: Relegation canditates

Elche finished 17th in La Liga last season, a mere two points above the relegation spots, having propelled themselves out of the bottom three at the last possible moment with wins in their final two matches. As things stand, they will enter this season with one of the smallest and most inexperienced squads in La Liga, which does not bode well for a team that recorded the lowest expected goals (30.40) and expected points (30.31) in the division in 2020/21.

Similarly, Cadiz came 12th in their first La Liga campaign since 2005/06, but also finished in the bottom three for expected goals and expected points and turned in lacklustre performances during the second half of the campaign. They will urgently need to strengthen their attack if they want to avoid falling down the table.

Rayo Vallecano were promoted to La Liga after emerging victorious from the Segunda Division play-offs, but did so unexpectedly after finishing sixth in the regular season and winning less than half of their league matches (19 of 42). They will thus face an inherently difficult task to stay in Spain’s top flight, which has been exacerbated by the fact that they will be unable to call upon several players from last season who have returned to their parent club following loan spells.

While Valencia finished 13th last season, they did so with the fifth-fewest expected points (42.38) and fourth-most expected goals against (55.69). This is partially because their squad has been gradually weakened during the last few years, and indeed it has been depleted further this summer via the departures of Kevin Gameiro and Eliaquim Mangala. Los Murcielagos also concluded 2020/21 with just two wins in their final 10 matches and if they maintain such form, they may not be exempt from a relegation battle.

Odds subject to change

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