Real Madrid Made Clear Underdog in La Liga After Disastrous US Tour


Real Madrid has been pushed out to +150 with Bet365 to win La Liga next season after suffering a 7-3 drubbing in a pre-season friendly. Los Blancos took on local rival Atletico Madrid at the MetLife Stadium this week and they were expected to deliver a strong performance. Manager Zinedine Zidane fielded the best team possible, featuring stalwarts like Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Isco alongside exciting newcomers Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic. However, it ended in disaster for the Frenchman.

Atletico raced into a 5-0 lead as Diego Costa hit four goals and new $140 million signing Joao Felix was also on target. Real Madrid battled back somewhat in the second half following Costa’s red card, and late goals from Karim Benzema and Javier Hernandez Carrera added a modicum of respectability to the final scoreline, but it still finished 7-3 to Atletico Madrid. Real fans, never known for their patience, immediately began calling for Zidane to be sacked.

Last summer, Zidane walked away from the club after winning three consecutive Champions League titles. He was unhappy at the decision to sell Cristiano Ronaldo to Juventus, and at the lack of investment in the squad. The 2018/19 campaign turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Zidane’s replacement, Julen Lopetegui, was quickly fired for presiding over a dreadful run of form. Santiago Solari then took the reins, but he did not last long either.

The club went cap in hand to Zidane and convinced him to return before the end of the season. Real had already crashed out of the Champions League by that point, and it limped to a third placed finish in La Liga. Yet Zidane has now been backed heavily in the transfer market, spending more than $300 million on the likes of Hazard, Jovic and Eder Militao. Real Madrid has spent more than any other club during a transfer window in history, and a sense of optimism should abound at the club.

Yet the alarming defeat at the hands of Atletico has ended any such buoyancy, and supporters are now approaching the new campaign with jitters. It also lost 3-1 to Bayern Munich and could only draw 2-2 with Arsenal in a disastrous tour of the US, which saw forward Marco Asensio suffer a horrendous injury.

Bet365 makes Barcelona the -150 favorite to defend its crown, with Real out at +150 and Atletico priced at +1200. Atletico lost several key players this summer, including Antoine Griezmann, Diego Godin, Rodri and Lucas Hernandez, but it has brought in Felix, Marcos Llorente, Mario Hermoso, Kieran Trippier, Felipe, Redan Lodi and Hector Herrera, and it looks strong once again. You can find -150 on Atletico Madrid in the “without Barcelona and Real Madrid’ market, and that looks attractive. But right now it is difficult to see either team stopping Barcelona from winning La Liga once more.