Barcelona’s unbeaten start is nothing to get carried away with

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Barcelona setting the pace in the marathon that is the Spanish La Liga season is nothing new. Neither is their unbeaten status or odds-on price to claim back the prize that Atletico Madrid took from them last term.

But is 4/6 on silverware lining the halls of the Nou Camp again really a price worth taking?

Luis Enrique has settled into the dugout of his former club like a cat bedding down on its favourite pillow, guiding the Blaugrana to six wins from the opening seven games to hold a two-point lead over Valencia.

What’s even more eye-catching in that unbeaten league run though, is the fact that the side’s sheets have remained clean throughout.

With curious summer acquisition Jeremy Mathieu marshalling the defence in the absence of Gerard Pique, Barca have set a new La Liga record in keeping seven consecutive clean sheets to start the season.

All of this looks mighty positive for Enrique and co, but it’s not quite enough to convince us about their heavy favouritism for the title.

Firstly, Barcelona haven’t played any of the league’s elite core (the Madrid clubs, Sevilla or Valencia) meaning their makeshift defence has had it largely easy.

Mathieu and anchorman-turned-undersized-centre-half Javier Mascherano were partnered together when the Catalan club faced Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, resulting in a defensive horror show and a 3-2 loss.

Then there’s the fact that Lionel Messi’s side went unbeaten in the first 14 games last season, but still didn’t win the title.

With tougher tests ahead and a far younger crop of players now involved in first-team duties, we’re expecting Barca’s price to expand with a loss of form, so whether you’re a Barca-believer or not, hold fire on adding their odds to your betlsip.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.