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La Liga winner odds: Messi deal key to Barcelona title hopes

| 13.07.2021

La Liga winner odds and preview

Atletico Madrid start the defence of their title at Celta Vigo on August 15 and are 7/2 in La Liga winner odds.

Diego Simeone’s side won the championship on the final day of the season when they trailed 1-0 at half-time against Valladolid but goals from Angel Correa and Luis Suarez sealed a 2-1 victory to pip main rivals Real Madrid to the title by two points.

Real Madrid and Barcelona will once again be their main challengers but could some of the other clubs challenge the top three this season?

Barcelona

The Catalans had won four of the last six titles until Atletico bucked the trend by winning La Liga for the 11th time in their history on the back of a rock-solid defence but they are not guaranteed to get back to winning ways.

Ronald Koeman’s side may be 6/4 co-favourites in La Liga winner odds but their sole focus is trying to convince the out-of-contract Lionel Messi to sign a new deal.

Messi, who recently led Argentina to the Copa America title, is reportedly in talks with Barca whose financial troubles mean they may struggle to find room to sign the Ballon d’Or winner and satisfy the salary-cap rules imposed by La Liga.

The hold-up is also complicated by the fact new signings Sergio Aguero, Memphis Depay, Eric Garcia and Emerson cannot be registered until several first-team players are moved on.

Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti is back for a second spell with Real Madrid and has already set his sights on raiding former club Everton in a bid to sign Brazil forward Richarlison, but his main task will be to find  replacements for Sergio Ramos, who has joined PSG on a two-year deal, and Rapahel Varane, linked with a move to Manchester United.

Los Blancos are thought to be interested in a move for PSG striker Kylian Mbappe, whose penalty miss saw Euro 2020 favourites France crash out to Switzerland in the last 16.

Real Madrid have only won two titles in the last nine seasons – the same number as city rivals Atletico – and are 6/4 joint-favourites with Barca to win the championship for a record-extending 35th time.

Atletico Madrid

Simeone’s side conceded just 25 goals in 38 games – the lowest in La Liga – to be crowned champions for the first time in seven years and they are 7/2 for a successful title defence.

Atletico have already made moves in the transfer market with the £30million signing of Argentina midfielder Rodrigo De Pau on a five-year deal which may pave the way for Saul Niguez’s move to Liverpool.

It will be tough for Atletico to win the title again but with El Clasico rivals Barca and Real Madrid in financial trouble they could take advantage.

Best of the rest

Sevilla, 20/1 in La Liga winner odds, qualified comfortably for the Champions League in fourth place and were only two points behind Barcelona in the final reckoning.

Jules Rounde has been linked with Real Madrid and European champions Chelsea, but Julen Lopetegui will be keen to keep the French centre-back.

Real Sociedad were a distant 15 points behind Sevilla in fifth place and are 50/1 in La Liga winner odds for a second title in 56 years.

View the latest La Liga winner odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Author

Warren Barner