1.50 Newbury - Friday
Horse Racing analyst Will Smith has had a good look at all this weekend's ante-post markets, and provides a 7/1 EW selection in the Grade 2 novices' chase at Newbury on Friday.
|Real Madrid||5/45/4||Ante Post
|Place BetPlace Bet|
To Be Relegated
|Place BetPlace Bet|
|Karim Benzema||5/25/2||Ante Post
|Place BetPlace Bet|
Date of Tips: 28/07/2022
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (17:15 28/07/2022) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
|La Liga Ante-Post Tips|
|La Liga Winner|
|To Be Relegated||Top Scorer|
La Liga is one of the later leagues in Europe to get going with fixtures starting in the second week of August. It’s set to be an entertaining season in Spain with 26-time league champions Barcelona back in the mix following some excellent signings. The season will take a break throughout November & December to make way for the 2022 World Cup, but other than that it’s business as usual.
I’ll be providing my thoughts on the upcoming campaign along with tips for various ante-post markets.
Real Madrid claimed their 35th La Liga title rather comfortably last season, topping the table by a modest 13 points. However, the bookies are predicting a slightly more competitive season this time around with Barca being priced at 3/2 compared to Real’s 5/4.
Barcelona have signed Leeds United’s Raphina and the Bundesliga’s top scorer for the past five seasons, Robert Lewandowski. They’re two excellent recruits that will surely boost Barca’s chances of getting back in the mix for the title but the club still has serious issues to deal with off the field.
Their astronomical outstanding debt, which is believed to be in the region of €1 billion, means that they are limited to spending only what they raise. Financial restrictions also mean that both defender Andreas Christensen and midfielder Franck Kessie, who signed on free transfers from Chelsea and AC Milan this summer, are unable to register or play. In order for them to do so, Barca will need to offload more of their players to meet La Liga’s wage cap. The likes of Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Dani Alves and Adama Traore have already been shipped on to free up funds and reduce the wage bill but more shaving of the squad is required if they are to register their new duo. It’s likely that Barca’s off-field issues will have some sort of negative impact on the players but it remains to be seen how much.
With that in mind, I’d rather take ever so shorter odds on Real Madrid to win back-to-back titles for the first time since 2008.
Carlo Ancelotti’s side lost just four league games last season and went on to win the Spanish Super Cup and more impressively, the UEFA Champions League, beating Liverpool 1-0 in the final despite their opponents dominating for much of the game.
Karim Benzema was in some of the best form of his career last season, bagging the most goals in La Liga with 27 and playing a huge part in his sides achievements last year. The squad has some young and promising talent that should only improve and Ancelotti has brought in the likes of Aurélien Tchouameni from Monaco for £72m along with tempting Antonio Rüdiger to join the club on a free transfer from Chelsea. Both are great additions to an already talented squad and they’ll without a doubt be in the mix for topping the table again this year.
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It was a tense end to the season for many teams at the bottom of the league with six sides finishing within four points of the drop zone.
16th-placed Mallorca lost more games than any other La Liga team in 2021/22 and clawed themselves away from relegation with two wins in their final games against Rayo Vallecano and Osasuna. However, they had the second worst goal difference in the league behind rock-bottom Alaves and may be looking at another swift return to the Spanish 2nd division where they have spent 5 of the last 8 seasons as well as one in Segunda División B.
To make matters worse for a side who struggle for goals, they’ve also lost their two top goal scorers of last season in the summer window. Salva Sevilla has moved to Alaves and Lazio have recalled the services of Vedat Muriqi following his loan spell.
There are several teams who could be in the mix for relegation this coming season but for me, Mallorca are one of the more likely.
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When it comes to the top scorer market, many will be looking at Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema to bag the Golden Boot for the 2nd season in a row. Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi dominated this market for over a decade but with both having moved on, there are other options to consider.
Benzema scored 27 league goals for Real Madrid last season which was an impressive 9 more than Celta de Vigo’s Iago Aspas who finished as the leagues 2nd top scorer with 18 goals. With Real looking to retain their title, Benzema will be eager to have a season like last but there is one player standing in his way of claiming the Golden Boot.
After eight years with Bayern Munich during which time he scored a hugely impressive 238 goals in 253 games, Robert Lewandowski has moved to Barcelona and is the bookies’ favourite to finish the season with the most goals. There is no uncertainty as to his ability to score goals but there is some with the club he is at. Although I have no doubt that Lewandowski will easily register double figures come the end of the season, I do think that Benzema is a better bet given that he is priced at 5/2 compared to Lewandowski’s 9/4.
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