The La Liga title has been alternating between Los Blancos and the Blaugrana for six seasons now but, with the current 2020/21 campaign drawing to its conclusion, staunch hope is now building up in the hearts of the Atletico Madrid faithful that the La Liga trophy will instead be finding a new roost at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium later this month.
The title race has been a breathtaking neck-to-neck tussle between the two Madrid teams immediately after Barcelona took an uncustomary season-ending nosedive, having fallen away in recent weeks to finish a sputtering third to the dismay and and chagrin of the Camp Nou diehards, not to mention incumbent newly-reinstated president, Joan Laporta. This is alarmingly the first time the Catalans have finished outside the top two since 2008 – with Barca’s fate sealed on Sunday after a shattering 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Celta Vigo left them trailing on 76 points.
Real Madrid, last season’s champions, were 1- 0 up against Athletic Club at San Mames last weekend but the eyes of the fans of Los Blancos were understandably rooted on another match back in the capital with Atletico Madrid vs Osasuna, with the league leaders and hosts 1-0 down with seven minutes to go. Substitute Renan Lodi then notched an equalizer for Atletico, and the indefatigable Luis Suarez ended his five-game goal drought by rifling home Yannick Carrasco’s ball in the 88th minute of the game, giving Atletico the lead in the title race after 37 games, with only one more to go.
Atletico now head the leaderboard with 83 points, with rivals Real Madrid two points behind.
The concluding games of the season take place next Saturday when Atletico travel north to engage Real Valladolid at the Estadio Jose Zorrilla, and Los Blancos squaring up against Villarreal in Madrid.
At this point, Los Colchoneros are hot favorites with bookmaker Betway offering odds of 1/ 4 that Diego Simeone’s side will win La Liga, for the first time since 2014. However, a defeat or draw against Valladolid combined with a win for Real Madrid would produce yet another spectacular league title for manager Zinedine Zidane and his team.
That said, bookies are not betting on this outcome with SBK, for example, offering odds of 19/5 that Real Madrid will win the title.