La Liga Betting: Does Bundesliga trend make Real Madrid value for title?

With very few home sides winning in Germany since football resumed, Dan Fitch ponders whether this could be replicated in Spain when La Liga returns this week, as he looks at the betting for the title, top four and relegation.

After a long period of inactivity due to the current pandemic, La Liga resumes on Thursday when Sevilla take on their local rivals Real Betis.
If lovers of Spanish football have felt starved in recent weeks, this is their time to feast. The Seville derby kicks off 15 days of consecutive La Liga action, with at least two matches being played each day.
There were still eleven rounds of La Liga to be played when the season was put on hold, so there are a lot of games to cram into a short period of time, with the season now scheduled to conclude by 19th July. This will put pressure on clubs with smaller squads, which is one of a number of challenges that these unprecedented circumstances have thrown up.
The use of five substitutes rather than three, is another boost for clubs with large squads. No fans will be admitted, but La Liga will broadcast matches showing virtual fans in the stands and artificial crowd noise. Teams will be play their scheduled home matches in their own stadiums rather than neutral venues, with the exception of Real Madrid.

Barca favourites, but Bundesliga trend casts doubt

When the season was put on hold, Barcelona were top of La Liga, with Real Madrid two points behind. Though it is mathematically possible for the likes of third placed Sevilla to challenge for the title -they trail Barca by eleven points - realistically it's a two-horse race.
Barcelona are the favourites to win the title at 1.69, ahead of Real Madrid at 2.44. Both clubs will be refreshed from the enforced break and that could perhaps help them to be more consistent than they had previously been. Luis Suarez is fit again for Barcelona, having been supposedly ruled out for the season, while Madrid will welcome the return of Eden Hazard, who fractured his ankle in February.

With the Bernabeu currently undergoing construction work, Real will instead play their home matches at the Alfredo di Stefano Stadium, which is normally used by Castilla and has a capacity of just 6000. It will be a very different experience for Madrid than Barcelona will face when playing in the familiar Camp Nou. One might assume that it would be a disadvantage for Real, but the opposite could be true when you look at what's happened in the Bundesliga since it returned.
Like La Liga, matches in Germany have been played behind closed doors and home advantage has been severely diminished. In the 46 matches played since the Bundesliga resumed, the home side has only won on ten occasions. There have been 22 wins for away teams and 14 draws.
So perhaps playing in less familiar surroundings will help Real Madrid. Barca have been very reliant on their home form this season, winning 13 of their 14 games (D1), but only rank fifth for away form. While there is scope for Barcelona's away record to improve in these unusual conditions, the value could be with Real Madrid in these uncertain times.

Sevilla will hold on, Atletico may face a fight

With the top two essentially assured of a Champions League place, there are five teams fighting it out for the remaining two spots.
Third placed Sevilla are only a point ahead of Real Sociedad and Getafe. Atletico Madrid are sixth, yet only two points behind Sevilla, while Valencia are just four points away from fourth. With the title race also very close, it demonstrates why the return of La Liga is so exciting, especially for punters.
Sevilla at 1.43 and Atletico at 1.45 are expected to book their spot in next season's Champions League. Real Sociedad are 2.66, just ahead of Getafe at 2.70, with Valencia at 8.00.
Looking at home/away form, Valencia stand out as a team that might struggle with the new conditions, ranking third at home and just 13th away. The opposite is true for Getafe and Sevilla, who are much more reliable on the road. Sevilla should hold on to their top four spot, but it could be difficult for Getafe to maintain the pace, as they have a slim squad.
The fight for the final place could be between Atletico Madrid and Real Sociedad and it looks a fair one. Neither are particularly reliant on home or away form, both have some strength in depth and a similar run in. As the outsiders at 2.66, the value could lie with Imanol Alguacil's team.

Eibar could get sucked in at big odds

Rock bottom Espanyol are the favourites to go down at 1.22. They are six points from safety, but might have more chance of staying up than their odds suggest. Since Abelardo was appointed as coach in December, Espanyol's results have been respectable (P13 W4 D4 L5), their away form is much better than at home and they no longer have the drain of playing in the Europa League.
Leganes are second from bottom, but are 1.44 to go down, compared to the 1.30 for Mallorca, who are a place above and only a point from safety. Mallorca have the worst away record in La Liga and have claimed 20 of their 25 points at home.
Of the teams outside the relegation zone, it's Eibar in sixteenth who could get sucked in. Like Mallorca, they are very reliant on their home form, which has accounted for 19 of their 27 points. Eibar had won only one of their seven games before the season ended (D2 L4) and are 3.25 to go down.

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