Barca edged Atleti in a telling encounter, but could Simeone’s men snatch La Liga?

From day one, Barcelona have been clear favourites for the title in Spain this season, only helped more-so by the massively underwhelming attempt seen by Real Madrid. Barca remain unbeaten in winning eleven and drawing six of their twenty-seven games played so far, so there’s been not much fight seen by any other side.

The odds continue to yo-yo as all leagues head into the final few months and Oddschanger are one website that keep a close eye on all of the betting odds, providing their own football tips in the process. They give us the run down on Atletico Madrid, who’ve suddenly become an outsider to snatch Barcelona’s clear lead in the top spot.

What are Barcelona doing wrong?

Both Barcelona in La Liga and Manchester City in the Premier League were doing the impossible in going unbeaten for so long. Pep Guardiola’s men fell to a 4-3 defeat to Liverpool in January to ruin their chances of a season-long unbeaten run but Barca’s form continues, only hampered by their occasional inability to finish the job, as they’ve drawn four of their last eight.

Not only have draws began to surface but Ernesto Valverde’s side aren’t falling short against some of La Liga’s top sides, instead taking a seldom point against Espanyol, Getafe and Las Palmas in games they should not only be dominating but winning by a hefty deficit.

Being able to defeat Atletico in their most recent game, even by the mere 1-0 scoreline they achieved, does speak wonders for their campaign, but they keep slipping up arguably where it matters most – against the weaker sides.

What do the odds say?

Moments throughout Diego Simeone’s tenure have presented Atletico Madrid as being a far more regimented side than both Real Madrid and Barcelona, who always surpass that argument with their regular duopoly over the top tier of Spanish football.

With a view to being as neutral as possible, most bookmakers toyed with an array of odds before the term kicked off, eventually pricing Atleti’s chances at 25/1 a day before they played their first game. It was only a day after that their odds increased to 50/1 with some bookies, not only down to the fact that they drew with Girona, but also through the realisation that either Real Madrid or Barcelona would pull La Liga by the scruff of the neck like they do every year.

Odds bounced between 25/1 and 80/1 from that point but Simeone’s men had suffered their last league defeat towards the end of 2017, going unbeaten in the nine games played since, where all but one of those ties resulted as a win. Losing to Barcelona was a major setback, but the odds have barely moved, which shows just how much more capable they are of organisation in all remaining fixtures.

Can Atletico Madrid actually win La Liga?

January arrivals of former striker Diego Costa and reliable winger Vitolo have only bolstered Atletico Madrid’s hopes of success and they’re the most in-form side in La Liga, trailing Barcelona by just five points and sitting ahead of local derby rivals Real Madrid by a whopping ten-point gap.

It’s expected that Barcelona will still finish the campaign as league champions but something a lot of neutral don’t take notice of is that, despite Barcelona getting hailed for going unbeaten in league meetings, Atletico have lost just twice including their recent loss to Barcelona, and they remain as one of the most underrated dark horses in world football.

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