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Have La Liga and the English Premier League Already been Decided?

Two of Europe’s leagues that produce some of the finest football in the world look to have runaway winners already. Last season, Manchester City reclaimed their title after the injury-stricken defending champions, Liverpool, slipped to third. Over in the Spanish top-flight, a surprising king was crowned. Atlético Madrid made the most of the turmoil and struggles of Barcelona and Real Madrid to win La Liga by just two points.

Coming into the 2021/22 campaign, many expected Real Madrid and Barcelona to lay down the gauntlet and reclaim the trophy that they have a monopoly over, but then Lionel Messi and several others had to leave Camp Nou. In the Premier League, a fully-fit Liverpool, Champions League-winning Chelsea, and even an upstart Manchester United were tipped to challenge. Now, it’s all about two clubs.

According to the experts, these two prestigious titles might just be wrapped up, but have La Liga and the Premier League really already been decided?


Overwhelming favourites with hefty leads

The best place to gauge just how likely a team is to succeed in a season is a trusted, highly-rated bookmaker. It’s the job of the recommended bookmakers in the UK to relay accurate odds; otherwise, anyone in the know could take advantage of any shortcomings. That said, the very best do offer enhanced odds as well as partial cash-out features, just in case a backed team starts to lose momentum.

According to the top-rated recommended bookmaker, the Premier League isn’t settled just yet, but there is a clear favorite. Manchester City rules the roost with odds of 1.13, with Liverpool out at 8.00 and Chelsea sitting at 12.00. Given the Cityzens’ lead at the halfway mark in the season, it’s easy to see why they’re being so heavily favored. That said – knowing the difficulty of the league and level of competition – they’re not being overrated.

In La Liga, it’s a different matter entirely. Since the turn of the millennium, it’s been a generous three-horse race, but really, it’s mostly run by two. It’s a relatively easy league to compete in game-to-game for the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, and a full-strength Atlético, but the latter two have dropped off significantly. This has left Los Blancos to run to an eight-point lead after playing 19 games, with odds of 19.00 making the outright favorites.

The experts are backing the league leaders, as you would expect, at the halfway point in the English Premier League and La Liga, but there are certainly some banana peels left in the road.

Roadblocks on the way

With both Manchester City and Real Madrid in the Champions League, and expected to go deep in the competition by the higher-ups, there’ll be increased strain put on each team around their knockout stage ties. The city has the easier of the two draws on paper but do have the most pressure on them to win the whole competition. They face Sporting Lisbon, while Real Madrid comes up against the star-studded Paris Saint-Germain.

With Barcelona spiraling after the loss of Messi (to PSG) and Antoine Griezmann, among many others, and Atlético not expected to repeat as champions, Real Madrid seems set to walk to the title. They’ve been revived by the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti, as detailed by the report, so they should be able to rest some key players in the somewhat easier games before the ties with the French giants.

Even though they have the comparatively easier draw, City has the toughest run of games between their two meets with Sporting. A match against Norwich City before the first leg is welcomed, but the hosting of an upstart Tottenham Hotspur and trips to Everton and Old Trafford before the next leg are less so. Of course, a lot of their need to win in this window will depend on Liverpool not dropping points as they did here

On any given day, both Real Madrid and Manchester City could best any domestic opponent thrown their respective ways. Given their leads and results against key opponents, they wouldn’t be too worried if it was just the league schedule left. However, as has been seen with many Champions League hopefuls, even the best teams can get derailed by the rigors of the elite contest.

So, while the experts heavily favor both Los Blancos and the Cityzens to maintain their standing until the end of the season, neither can be guaranteed a triumph just yet.

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