Real Madrid hold a two-point lead over Barcelona in the La Liga title race after two months of the campaign in their bid to win the Spanish top-flight crown for the first time in five seasons. Los Blancos have been thwarted by the Catalan club and bitter rivals Atletico Madrid in their bid for the major domestic honour, despite their success in the Champions League.
However, Zinedine Zidane has his outfit on the right path in the early stages of the term to knock Barcelona off their perch to clinch the title for the 33rd time in the team’s history. Their dominating win over Alaves proved that even though they were far from their best they can still put the hammer on any team in the division due to the clinical edge installed in them by the Frenchman.
As a result of their excellent form throughout October, Los Blancos are backed in the latest La Liga betting odds at 13/8 to triumph and win the top-flight crown. However, there is a lot football ahead of them and there are defence issues which will give Zidane cause for concern, although the potency of their attack has kept them safe from catastrophe thus far.
Zidane’s men have only kept two clean sheets in their 10 matches this term, including games of conceding multiple goals against Las Palmas and Osasuna. The clash against Las Palmas highlighted Madrid’s propensity to make mistakes at the back as Tana and Sergio Araujo found the net to salvage their team a draw. However, Real could look back at that match and other defensive slips against Eibar and Villarreal at the end of the campaign with regret.
At the other end of the pitch things could not be going better for Los Blancos, although Barcelona have scored two more goals than them this season. Madrid have found the net 28 times and there is no surprise who leads them in scoring – Cristiano Ronaldo paved the way with five strikes following his hat-trick against Alaves.
Unlike in previous years the goals have been spread across the team, which will delight Zidane as the burden will be eased on the Portuguese, who missed the early portion of the term with a knee injury. The less strain Madrid place on the 31-year-old the better their results will be come the crunch time towards the end of the season.
Gareth Bale has been in irrepressible form thus far, continuing his excellent form from Euro 2016. The Welshman has notched three goals, being used as an effective counter-punch on the break down the left flank. He continues to form a formidable partnership with Ronaldo to constantly put the opposition under pressure. Zidane has found a formula to allow the two players to thrive, while also finding room for Alvaro Morata and Karim Benzema.
Zidane will need those players to maintain and improve their strike rate in front of goal to ensure that the club’s defensive concerns do not come back to haunt them. There is more than enough talent in the forwards and the midfield to blast away their opponents and take a stranglehold of the league, returning to glory on the domestic front for the first time since 2012.