Could Atletico Madrid Snatch The Title From Barcelona?
FC Barcelona are renowned for holding the La Liga crown for many years, however this year’s season is taking a rather unexpected turn. Instead, Atletico Madrid are looking very promising, with many mentioning the possibility of them snatching the title from Barcelona. With sports betting sites beginning to really raise the stakes, which team should you opt for? We’d say Atletico Madrid have a fighting chance, and here’s why.
Enrique Cerezo Is Determined
When it comes to a team’s success, a lot of this is dependent on the attitude of the manager and president, and the strategy they both decide to enforce throughout the season. Atletico’s president Enrique Cerezo is determined to snatch the champion’s title off of Barcelona, insisting that his team will ‘battle to the end’ in a recent speech regarding the La Liga crown. Beating Malaga 1-0 about a month ago, with many other games following, Atletico have now managed to cut the gap between them and Barcelona to just 5 points, giving them an increased possibility of catching their ultimate rivals.
Cerezo states “we still have to play Barcelona. It will be very interesting” and we have to agree! Atletico’s strategy on the pitch is all about sticking to their guns, not looking too deeply at the opponents. According to Cerezo, the team is quite relaxed about their upcoming match against Barcelona, and so we’ll soon see the outcome of those events.
The Team’s Incredibly Efficient
With the arrival of Diego Costa a few months ago, Atletico have added a completely new dimension to their team. Barcelona’s defence is well equipped with the likes of Pique and Semedo, however with Costa and Griezmann forming a strong duo for Atletico, almost any defence that they’re faced with will struggle. Up to this point, Atletico have played outstandingly, winning almost every game in the La Liga so far. Not only does the team have one of the most solid defences in the league though, but their offensive side is also playing flawlessly well. Only time will tell how both sides fair against Barcelona very soon.
Barcelona Depend On Messi Too Much
With Atletico, the team’s strength is made with a general combination of players, however many argue that Barcelona rely too heavily on Messi, with many strategies being crafted around his performance. True, Barcelona are still unbeaten in the Spanish top flight, however the team has lost some of their effortless charm as the struggle of depending on Messi constantly is beginning to show. When one player is able to tip the scales aggressively, he automatically becomes the team’s Achilles Heel. And when this is also reflected in the odds bookmakers present for that game, then you know that the influence of the player holds too much sway over the games’ outcome.
We cannot deny, Messi is one of the most legendary players within the world of football currently and has been a standout performer for the Spanish team. However, he doesn’t play on every position on the field, so the team will need to revise their players and ensure that they’re on top form if they want to break Atletico’s barricade. With the strong partnerships and collaborations that Atletico has formed within their team, the fact that Barcelona rely so massively on Messi could work quite well in their favour.
If there’s a goalkeeper that we should all be talking about this year, it’s Jan Oblak. Also known as ‘the wall’, ‘the saviour’, and our favourite ‘the unbeatable’, he’s shown the La Liga what he’s truly made of, making some unbelievable saves, and undeniably saving the team on many occasions. This was truly shown earlier in January, in Atletico’s match against Eibar, with a final score of 0-1 to Atletico. Eibar proved to be quite a strong side, however the stubbornness of Atletico’s defence prevented Eibar from knocking one into the back of the net.
It isn’t just Oblak that’s having a remarkable impact on the team though. Both Vitolo and Costa have made fantastic additions to the team, as they previously weren’t on their best form. Now that they’ve received the signings that they wanted, their performance has truly reflected their signing decisions, and it’s safe to say that they made some spectacular choices.
They’re Simply On Top Form
In the La Liga so far, Atletico have lost just 3 games out of 26, so the proof is quite blatantly in the pudding here. Initially, the majority of these losses were against Sevilla, making them quite an obstacle for Atletico to overcome. However, fast forward a few matches and Atletico are able to thrash them with a final score of 5-2, so there appears to be nothing that Atletico can’t manage in the La Liga so far! All other teams, including Eibar, Getafe, Real Sociedad, Sergio Garcia, Real Betis and Alaves have been beaten, and with Barcelona remaining mostly unbeaten throughout the Spanish league so far, we’re interested to see how their head-to-head with Atletico ends.
Atletico Madrid were left humiliated after their elimination from the Champions League, however they’ve definitely redeemed themselves throughout the La Liga, posing as quite a large threat to Barcelona, with predictions of over 2.5 goals being put in place by betting experts.