La Liga 2020/21 Title Winners Prediction, Odds and Picks

La Liga Title Winners

  • Real Madrid are the reigning champions and favorites to triumph this season
  • Barcelona are in flux but have the individual quality to challenge
  • Atletico Madrid could be part of the race if they improve their attacking output

La Liga Title Odds

Odds taken 21 September 2020 from BetMGM

To Win the La Liga TitleOdds
Real Madrid-112
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Barcelona+110
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Atletico Madrid+1100
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Sevilla+2800
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Villarreal+15000
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Real Sociedad+25000
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La Liga Title Predictions and Picks

Barcelona relinquished their La Liga crown last term and will find it difficult to wrestle it back in 2020/21. Ronald Koeman is the new man in the hot seat after Quique Setien’s sacking, but the jury is out on whether the Dutchman is the right man to oversee a significant rebuilding job at the Camp Nou.

Real Madrid is on a much more stable footing and Zinedine Zidane will be eyeing another La Liga title. It may well be Atletico Madrid, their city rivals, that push them closest, but it is difficult to see any team other than Real finishing on top of the pile. Back the reigning champions to finish first once more.

Pick:

Atletico Madrid to Win +1100

How to Watch La Liga

La Liga Information
What2020/21 La Liga season
WhereSpain
When12 September 2020 – 23 May 2021
How to WatchbeIN Sports

Real Madrid Still the Team to Beat After Mature Triumph Last Term

Real Madrid is a club that has long been associated with glitz, glamour, and individual superstars. The main reason for their three Champions League triumphs in a row between 2016 and 2018 was the fact they had superior players to their rivals, rather than because of any revolutionary tactics or their manager’s dedication to a certain philosophy. Zidane’s chief success was creating an environment where those high-profile names felt comfortable and fashioning an on-field structure that brought the best out of Cristiano Ronaldo and co.

Ronaldo departed for Juventus two years ago, and Zidane followed him through the exit door soon after. But the Frenchman was back in the Santiago Bernabeu dugout within a few months and then proceeded to guide Madrid to the title last year. It was a success that demonstrated Zidane’s managerial acumen; with Ronaldo gone, the collective suddenly became more important than any individual within it, and Zidane was able to create a team that was as strong as the sum of its extremely talented parts.

Madrid’s defensive record was particularly impressive, and a repeat of last season’s 25 goals conceded in 38 matches would surely bring them another title. The worry is that Karim Benzema, now 32, may not be as influential as he was last time out when Madrid relied heavily on his goals and all-round center-forward play.

The likes of Luka Modric and Sergio Ramos are even older than Benzema, but both men should have at least another season at the top left in them, and Martin Odegaard could be one to watch after his return from a loan spell at Real Sociedad. Madrid showed great maturity last year and should benefit from the stability that comes with having a settled squad and manager.

More Questions Than Answers for Barcelona Makes Title Unlikely

At the time of writing Lionel Messi’s future remains uncertain, and that factor – more than any other – will determine Barcelona’s season. The astonishing 8-2 Champions League defeat by Bayern Munich seemed to be the final straw for the club’s greatest ever player, but he is more likely to stay put than depart. Barcelona will certainly be determined to keep hold of him, although retaining a player against his wishes rarely ends well – even in the case of one as gifted as Messi.

Barcelona still faces considerable problems even if their star man remains. Koeman replaced Setien this summer but it is doubtful that he would have got the job had he not been a former Barcelona player, with the club continuing to favor those who supposedly have ‘Barca DNA’. The squad has been allowed to get old together, and formerly key men such as Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets, and Luis Suarez are now past their best. Elsewhere, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, and Antoine Griezmann have yet to convince supporters following their big-money moves to Catalonia.

Barcelona was undone by their poor defensive record in 2019/20, conceding 38 goals in the same number of games. The team has sufficient individual talent to win the majority of their matches this season, but overhauling Madrid at the summit will be a tall order indeed.

Atletico Madrid Could Mount a Challenge If They Start Quickly

The last campaign was a transitional one for Atletico Madrid, who underwent a squad overhaul in the summer of 2019. It took a while for the Colchoneros to get going as a consequence of the changes, with Diego Simeone’s side as low as seventh after 16 matches – in effect ruling them out of the title race before the winter break.

The manner in which Atletico ended the season offers hope of a title tilt, although they will need to become more adept at turning draws into wins if they are to mount a sustained challenge. Atletico has actually finished in the top two more often than Madrid in the last three seasons, and their defensive solidity remains firmly intact. However, they will probably not score quite enough goals to go all the way.

A challenge from elsewhere is unlikely. Sevilla, fresh from yet another Europa League victory, are perhaps the likeliest of the outsiders, with Julen Lopetegui on a mission to rebuild his reputation following a disappointing stint in charge of Real Madrid. Sevilla ended last season strongly, going unbeaten in their last 15 games, and it is certainly possible to envision them taking points off the big three in 2020/21, although a title challenge will surely prove a bridge too far.

The same can be said for Villarreal and Real Sociedad, the only other teams available at odds of less than +50000. Both clubs will be focused on a top-four finish rather than anything more ambitious.

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Greg Lea

Expert on Soccer

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.



Email: greg.lea@wsn.com