Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.
Spain’s La Liga begins on August 12 and the title battle may well be a two-way fight between Real Madrid and Barcelona yet again.
Real claimed the top prize last term as they finished 13 points ahead of the Catalan giants. Los Blancos also head into the new campaign as European champions, but they may face a bit more resistance in their bid to secure a record-extending 36th crown in Spain’s top tier.
Barca improved after the arrival of club legend Xavi as manager last season, while Sevilla and Atletico Madrid shouldn’t necessarily be written off either.
We’ve taken a look over the outright markets and have predictions for the title, top four, relegation and the top scorer.
La Liga 2022/23 winner odds
- Real Madrid 6/5
- Barcelona 5/4
- Atletico Madrid 6/1
- Sevilla 20/1
Last season’s top four are the four favourites to take the La Liga title, with Sevilla the big outsiders of this group.
Los Nervionenses were Real’s closest challengers for some time but their challenge faded in the latter half of the season. It is worth mentioning that Sevilla only lost four games last season – the same as Real – but too many draws, particularly on the road, proved their undoing.
Barcelona won the last of their 26 titles in 2019 but there is renewed optimism at Camp Nou as Xavi prepares for his first full season at the helm, and with Robert Lewandowski among their ranks after his move from Bayern Munich.
Atleti have Saul back after his unsuccessful stint at Chelsea and will feel they are genuine title contenders, having won the title twice under the guidance of Diego Simeone.
La Liga 2022/23 outright predictions & tips
Winner – Real Madrid at 5/4
FST’s sports editor Alex Wrigley has already given his La Liga prediction for our huge 1991/1 season outrights mega acca which you can view here, and here is why he has picked out Real Madrid to defend their crown.
Alex: “It is hard to look beyond Los Blancos after their claimed their 35th La Liga title last season, beating arch-rivals Barcelona by 13 points.
Xavi’s arrival in November sparked a resurgence for Barcelona but they still picked up five fewer points than Real Madrid since he took the reins and that was while Real Madrid maintained their successful Champions League campaign.
The Catalan club have strengthened their squad with the likes of Raphinha and Robert Lewandowski but internal politics and cashflow issues make them hard to back, while Real Madrid haven’t sat on their laurels, either, with the arrival of Aurelien Tchouameni and Antonio Rudiger.”
Real and Barca are likely to be the top two, and with Atletico Madrid also a level above the rest of La Liga there is value in backing Real to finish first, Barca second and Los Colchoneros third at 11/1.
Top Four – Real Betis at 9/2
Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico should take three of the four Champions League spots and that means only one place is up for grabs in Spain’s top tier.
Aside from those three giants, Sevilla are the favourites and rightly so given their exploits last season – but there are a few reasons to suggest they may miss out on a top four finish.
The Sevillistas have lost some important players, most notably defender Jules Kounde to Barcelona and Diego Carlos has made the move to Aston Villa, and they will have a Champions League campaign to focus on.
That leaves them vulnerable in the top four battle and city rivals Real Betis may be the team to benefit. Betis actually won one more La Liga game than Sevilla last season with 19 victories as they came in fifth, just five points off the pace.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini has a good record of taking underdogs into the Champions League having led both Villarreal and Malaga into Europe’s premier competition previously and they look a stronger team going into the new season, following the arrivals of defender Luiz Felipe from Lazio and Brazilian youngster Luiz Henrique from Fluminense so at 9/2 they look good value to nick fourth spot.
Relegation – Rayo Vallecano at 5/2
Girona, Valladolid and Almeria are the three promoted sides in La Liga and all are among the favourites to be relegated, although there are no odds-on teams to be relegated in what looks to be a competitive bottom half of the table.
Picking out a relegation candidate at a decent price is no easy task but there is some appeal in the 5/2 on Rayo Vallecano to drop out of the division. The Madrid-based outfit were the surprise package last term and for a while were even involved in the top four tussle.
However, their form dramatically dipped after the Spanish winter break and they won just two of their final 17 games – losing 11, including each of their last three. Rayo have also lost last season’s top scorer as Sergi Guardiola has returned to parent club Valladolid and they could be set for a difficult campaign.
Top Goalscorer – Robert Lewandowski at 2/1
Lewandowski scored 50 goals in 46 games for Bayern Munich last term, meaning he has scored more than a goal-per-game in each of the last four seasons. It remains to be seen how quickly it will take the Polish star to adapt to Spanish football but his goalscoring record is simply incredible and at 2/1 to be La Liga’s top scorer he is hard to ignore.
Top scorer each-way – Iago Aspas at 25/1
If you’re looking for a bit more value, Iago Aspas of Celta Vigo appeals as an each-way option at 25/1.
Aspas finished second in the scoring charts in La Liga last year with 18, behind Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema as he managed 27 goals, and will be Celta’s main man in attack once again.
At 35, Aspas is coming towards the end of his career but his goalscoring record during this second stint with Celta is excellent with 121 goals in 235 La Liga games since he returned to the club in 2015 and if he can stay injury free he should be up there with the league’s top scorers once again.
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