The Return of La Liga

barca celebration

La Liga Primera returns next week, two weeks after its chief rival for the title of ‘Best League in the World’. I would tend to side with the Spanish in that debate, but its one that either side could win depending on how you objectify ‘best’.

The curtain raiser comes after a wacky mid-week meeting between Barcelona and Sevilla in the European Super Cup which saw Pedro Rodriguez net an extra-time winner that may be his last goal for the Catalans, as he is slated for an imminent move to Manchester United.

Messi up to his old tricks in the European Super Cup

Taking a look at the outright betting for the league, Barcelona are justified favourites at 8/11. Some may point at their shaky defensive performance on Tuesday but they would be guilty of suffering from long term memory loss, as despite the wobbles this week, they had one of the stingiest defenses in Europe last year.

Real Madrid were unusually quiet in the transfer market this off-season with the only real rumblings surrounding the will-he-won’t-he story with David DeGea, and the shockingly poor treatment of club legend Iker Casillas.

As for the rest of the pack, they’re probably just fighting it out for Champions League places.

At the other end of the table Eibar, after miraculously escaping relegation on a technicality that send Elche down in their place, are 4/5 to head back down this season. I’d like to see them stay up as they play with real spirit.

Top scorer betting is between Messi and Ronaldo (surprise surprise) and Ronnie is a slight favourite.

Picks for La Liga Week 1

The pick of the games this weekend sees Barcelona away to Athletic Bilbao and Luis Enrique will be hoping his team overcome what is a potential stumbling block to start the season. Barcelona are a mere 2/5 to see to Bilbao and there might be a shade of value in betting against the champions.

Elsewhere the free flowing Rayo Vallecano open up with a home game against Valencia and I’d be looking to bet that they’ll get something out of this game. Their swashbuckling style can easily rattle a defense that’s not yet settled into the season and I would fancy a score draw in this one.

Real have the simplest of starts albeit away from home to newly promoted Gijon and it’s hard to see anything but a victory for them, prices at a slightly generous 2/9.

Lastly if you’ve got anything left in your wallet that you want to get rid of, I’d fancy Eibar to take a point or more off Granada away from home.

It’s good to have La Liga back!