Atletico Land Super Cup to Lay Down Credentials
It may have only been a small surprise to some, but it was a surprise that Atletico Madrid won the UEFA Super Cup last night against their fierce city rivals Real Madrid. Real are seen as the far superior club in Madrid, and alongside Barcelona they are one of the top two clubs in Spain. However, it was Atletico who came out on top last night, and could that be the first of many signs that things are changing ever so slightly in Spain, and can Atletico really challenge this season?
Atletico won the Super Cup 4-2 after extra time and they appear to have a strong and stable group of players going into the new season. Can the same be said about those they are trying to chase, Real Madrid and Barcelona? This summer has been fantastic for Atletico, not only have they managed to strengthen their squad, but they have also kept hold of their vital pieces. Numerous players attracted interest and losing one or two of those would have been a huge blow but instead the Spanish club have managed to resist everything so far.
While we often find ourselves talking about the two Spanish giants, we could begin talking about a trio over the comnig few months if things go right for Atletico Madrid. There is no doubt they have improved over the summer, and it could be argued that both Real Madrid and Barcelona have failed to improve in the same way, in fact, Real have lost a lot this summer with the move away of Cristiano Ronaldo. The La Liga title race could well be more open than it normally is this season, and you certainly wouldn't discount Atletico from getting involved.
Atletico 15/2 for La Liga Title
The bookmakers make Barcelona strong favourites to lift the La Liga title at 20/29, with Real Madrid behind them as 7/4 second favourites and the only other team in contention being Atletico Madrid at 15/2. Those odds suggest that Atletico won't be able to get invovled this season, but they have a lot going for them and a surprise could be on the cards. Another competition they are going to aim to do well in is the Champions League. They have an extra incentive above anyone else because their home stadium will host the final at the end of the season. At 14/1, the bookmakers give them a chance in what looks to be a very open Champions League this season, and with a good draw who knows what will happen.
Atletico have to wait until Monday to get their La Liga campaign underway and they head to Valencia for their opener. They are priced up as 31/20 favourites to win that game and get off to the best possible start as they look to win the title.