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La Liga: Suarez-Inspired Atletico Looking Unstoppable


La Liga: Suarez-Inspired Atletico Looking Unstoppable

It is looking more and more likely that there won’t be much of a title race in Spain this season. Atletico Madrid are running away with La Liga after picking up their 10th straight win over the weekend thanks to star striker Luis Suarez.

Meanwhile, Barcelona are a distant second and must be regretting their decision to sell Suarez to a direct title rival with every goal he scores. And Real Madrid remain stuck in a downward spiral which could spell the end for Zinedine Zidane’s second spell at the club.

Those are just some of SBOTOP’s top takeaways from this latest round of La Liga fixtures, so read on below for more.

Suarez deal looking great for Atletico, worse for Barca

Signing Luis Suarez is looking like the move that lands Atletico Madrid the La Liga title for the first time in seven years.

The 34-year-old striker has been even more than Atleti could have hoped for. He is now La Liga’s leading scorer with 14 goals (in just 16 La Liga appearances) after bagging a brace in their 4-2 win over Cadiz, Atleti’s 10th in a row. He has been in blistering form to start the year, with 5 goals in his last 3 games.

The Uruguayan has been exactly the type of clinical finisher Atleti have missed for so long. With his arrival, they are not only the best defence by far (just 10 goals conceded) but they have also scored 40 goals, the second-most behind Barcelona’s 41.

Meanwhile, the decision to let Suarez go to a direct title rival looks worse and worse from Barcelona’s perspective. Although it was clear that Suarez didn’t have much of a future at the Camp Nou, they also did not need to sell him to Atleti after his move to Juventus fell through.

Had they not sold Suarez to Madrid, maybe Atleti would not be quite this good and Barca would actually have a shot at the title this season despite being far from their best.

But Barca did make that perplexing move to improve a title rival and are now 10 points adrift of Atleti, who still have one more game in hand. The La Liga 2021 odds now have them as clear favourites for the title, thanks in large part to Suarez’s goals.

Zidane and Real must part ways once again

Meanwhile, things are not looking as rosy on the other side of Madrid. Real slumped to another embarrassing home loss over the weekend, this time against Levante.

That is now three defeats in the last four games for Real, who were knocked out of the Spanish Super Cup by Athletic Bilbao and suffered a humiliating exit to Alcoyano in the Copa del Rey.

This latest run of disastous results is just another reminder that Real Madrid are going in the wrong direction with manager Zinedine Zidane.

Although the Frenchman did well to lead Real to the La Liga title last season, he did so by relying on the club’s veterans while failing to develop the youngsters in his squad.

The club also deserve some blame for their questionable transfer decisions, which they must learn from. But it is clear that this ageing side needs a serious rebuild, and it is equally apparent that Zidane is not the man to head up such a rebuilding project.

At this point, it appears best for both parties that Zidane and Real to part ways once again before things get much worse in Madrid.

1X2 Draw @ 3.55

Osasuna Asian Handicap +0.50 @ 2.01

Total Goals 0-1 @ 3.10

Sevilla suddenly have great shot at top 3

With Real in serious turmoil, the door is suddenly wide open for Sevilla to swoop in and finish in the top 3 for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

Sevilla have been in great form of late; they have won four of their last five games and their only loss came away to leaders Atleti. They have actually lost just twice in the league since November, with their other loss coming against the other Madrid team.

With the emergence of Youssef En-Nesyri – who appears set to stay amid recent links to West Ham United – as a reliable goalscorer (12 league goals this season, tied for second with Lionel Messi) coupled with Julen Lopetegui’s rock-solid defensive system (16 goals conceded, second only to Atleti), Sevilla are now playing with the consistency that they haven’t had in some time.

The arrival of Papu Gomez from Atalanta should also help spark the Sevilla attack and deliver some La Liga 2021 highlights in the second half of the season.

With other contenders in Real Sociedad and Villarreal dropping off in recent weeks and Real and Barca looking so vulnerable, the path is clear for Sevilla to finally break up the Madrid-Barcelona trio at the top this season.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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