It’s not often soccer fans get to see a bonafide title fight. Take the Premier League and Bundesliga as examples. They’re essentially sewn up with still six or seven fixtures left to play. Spain’s La Liga usually goes this route, too, with the top three making it hard for the other clubs to mount a challenge. However, 2021 is different because there is a four-way fight for the trophy that is sure to go down to the wire. Aside from Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Sevilla FC has entered the fray. So, which team is going to end up being victorious
La Liga Momentum Is in Barca’s Favor
There have been so many twists and turns during the campaign that it would be foolish to declare a winner until the final game. Atletico looked as if they would need to throw it away, then Real seemed as if they were in pole position, and now it’s Barca’s to lose.
But it’s worth noting that the Catalan giants have the momentum heading into the last five games of the season because they are on a domestic winning streak that dates back to the 24th of February, excluding the El Classico defeat at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano. Although they are currently third, Lionel Messi and Co have a game in hand, and a win would propel them to the top spot. This combination of factors means the football betting market rates Barcelona as the 4/9 favorites to win the La Liga trophy outright.
That’s pretty conclusive. Supporters might not see it that way considering the number of surprises this season, but it’s difficult to argue against it being in Barca’s hands.
Real Madrid Have Distractions
The reason it’s regularly classed as a two-horse race, even though Real are second and level on points with city rivals Atletico, is the fact that the current champions have other things on their mind. That’s because they have won the Spanish league a record 34 times since it came into existence.
🏁 FT: @realmadriden 1-1 @ChelseaFC
⚽ @Benzema 29′; Pulisic 14′#Emirates | #UCL pic.twitter.com/gGb9qUkXpN
— Real Madrid C.F. 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@realmadriden) April 27, 2021
Although Los Galacticos hold the record for the most Champions Leagues won at ten, it’s no secret that president Florentino Pérez wants to add as many titles to the club’s trophy cabinet as possible, particularly as nobody gave them a chance this year. Of course, you write them off at your peril, even if they have an uphill battle in the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
Real have already taken their eye off the ball in league matches while focusing on the Champions League, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they dropped more points in a bid to rest the first 11.
A Favorable Sevilla Fixture List
Actually, it’s not without its problems, the main issue being that they need to play Real Madrid away from home in ten days. But there is a silver lining – Barca and Atletico clash horns the day before. A win could give Sevilla the upper hand, while a draw would still leave them in with an opportunity thanks to Monchi’s emphasis on football intelligence.
Playing Valencia, Villarreal and Alaves isn’t a bad way to finish the season, not when the two hardest games are against sides that used to be in Sevilla’s position. Sadly, Valencia and Villarreal have seen their role in La Liga get less significant each year, meaning the Andalusians will be firm favorites. At 20/1 to take their first title since 1946, it’s a long shot. They aren’t called dark horses for nothing, though!
Anything can happen come May 23rd. However, on the face of it, Barcelona’s 27th La Liga winners medal is theirs to lose, if they can hold their nerve.