2017/2018 season is the 87th in the history of the Spanish Primera Division (La Liga). The first match between Leganes и Deportivo Alaves was played on August 18, 2017 at Municipal de Butarque. The game ended with the close 1:0 (1:0) win in the home team’s favour. The final match is planned to be held on May 20, 2018. A short winter break as well as several breaks for the national teams’ matches are scheduled within the season.
Traditionally, twenty teams take part in their struggle to win champions’ trophy. All in all, 380 matches are normally played throughout the season. The Primera Division’s tours are followed not only in Spain, but in the whole world. The Top Division matches of the Spanish league are highly popular among the online betting fans.
The current tournament includes seventeen participants of 2016/2017 season, in accordance with their positions in the tournament bracket. They were joined by another three teams from Segunda, the second Spanish league. In their turn, Sporting Gijon, CA Osasuna and FC Granada ranking 18-20th at the end of the season were moved to Segunda. UD Levante and FC Girona, a champion and a vice-champion of Segunda, climbed up to the Top League. The play-off winner, FC Getafe was the third newcomer. At the end of the regular season, the play-off matches became one of the most popular events for live betting.
The latest season’s champion, Real Madrid directly hit the group stage of the Champions League. Having occupied the 2nd and 3rd places, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid also became participants in the UCL. Starting with its 4th place in the League, FC Sevilla got the opportunity to participate in the play-off round of this European tournament. Spanish top clubs traditionally belong to the favorites of the Champions League, so you can place the football bets on one of the would-be winners until the very final match. FC Villarreal and Real Sociedad rank 5th and 6th in the standings and have qualified for the group stage of the Europa League. Having ended the season in seventh place, Athletic Bilbao became a participant of the third knockout round in the same tournament.
The most possible candidates for the champion’s title in the current season are two long standing rivals - FC Barcelona and Real Madrid closely followed by Atletico Madrid and FC Valencia clubs. Nevertheless, the teams fight not only for the title, but also for the participation in the Champions League or the Europa League. The sports bets on the League’s winner remain available until the very final round. The teams ranking 1-4th will become the members of the UCL in the 2017/2018 season. The 5th place gives the opportunity to reach the UEL. The club, which ranks 6th, will join the qualifiers in this tournament. Along with the Champions League, Europa League is another attractive option for sports betting fans.
Upon completing the last round, the best scorer gets Pichichi trophy. Judging from the odds, the current favorites are Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez from Barcelona. Besides, the most successful Spanish striker receives Zarra trophy. Among the potential winners in this category, you can find such names as Gerard Moreno from Espanyol, Angel from FC Getafe, Rodrigo from FC Valencia and Iago Aspas from Celta Vigo.
Zamora trophy is awarded to the best goalkeeper of the season. There are many worthy goalkeepers who can receive this award in the 2017/2018 season, including Marko Dmitrovic from Eibar, Ivan Cuellar from Leganes, Neto from Valencia, Jan Oblak from Atletico Madrid and Marc-Andre ter Stegen from Barcelona.
Primera Division Facts
La Liga, or Primera Division, is the top football League in Spain, which is held since 1928 under the guidance of Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional. According to the last 5 years’ UEFA rankings, Primera clubs have achieved impressive results in multiple European clubs’ tournaments. During the season, the teams, participating in the League, fight for Spain’s champion title as well as for an opportunity to represent their country in the Champions League and the Europa League.
La Liga is contested by 20 teams and divided into 2 rounds. All matches are available for sports betting. The teams are ranked in the tournament bracket according to the points scored throughout the season. The participants receive 3 points for each win and 1 point for a draw. No points are given for a loss. If some of the teams have an equal number of points, their scores in matches played against each other will be considered. When necessary, the goals ratio is also taken into account.
In total, there are 38 rounds and 380 matches played in accordance with the number of clubs, participating in the League. Considering Spain’s climate, unlike in many other countries the season here starts at the end of August or at the beginning of September. Those years when UEFA European Championship or the FIFA World Cup are held at the end of the season, the start and completion dates are brought forward.
The Primera Division’s champion and the three teams following them in the standings, become participants of the group round of the Champions League. The 5th rank guarantees a place in the group round of the Europa League. The 6th position allows to participate in the third knockout round of the Europa League. Both tournaments are among the biggest events in the world of football betting.
There were ten teams that participated in the first season of 1928/1929. The founding clubs were Racing Santander, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Real Union Irun, Athletic Bilbao, Arenas de Getxo, Real Sociedad, FC Barcelona, Espanyol Barcelona and CE Europa. Since then the number of clubs has increased to 22 (1995/1996 and 1996/1997). With the further development of the League, the interest in sports betting in Spain has been also growing. Since the 1997/1998 season, the league includes 20 teams. Three of them, ranking 18-20th, are relegated to La Liga 2 after the end of the season and are replaced with three Segunda’s clubs. The two teams occupying the 1st and 2nd positions, join the Primera Division. The play-off matches are held among the 3-6 positions. Other set of relegation rules was in force till 1998/1999, meaning the two teams occupying the last positions in the ranking had to leave La Liga, while the third--down and the fourth-down teams participated in the relegation matches.
The most well-known Spanish derbies are Real Madrid - FC Barcelona, Espanyol - FC Barcelona and Atletico Madrid - Real Madrid. The long-standing confrontation between Real Madrid and Barcelona, also called El Clasico, is known all over the world. It is very difficult to predict the outcome of every match, which is always proved by the odds.
FC Barcelona became the first Spanish champion. In 1929/1930, Athletic Bilbao won the title without suffering a single defeat in the season. Two years later, this success was repeated by Real Madrid. Those years, most clubs were led by English managers. Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao never left the League. Only three clubs became champions once in the tournament history and they are FC Sevilla, Betis Sevilla and Deportivo La Coruna. Real Sociedad won two titles, FC Valencia - 6, Athletic Bilbao - 8, Atletico Madrid - 10. FC Barcelona got their victory in the championship 24 times. The all-time record belongs to Real Madrid with its 33 League’s champion titles. Online betting on the potential champion remains available until the end of the season.
Andoni Zubizarreta, a Spanish goalkeeper who played for FC Barcelona, broke the record number of the League matches. He took part in 622 Primera games. Other names known for the greatest number of matches in the League, include Raul (Real Madrid, 550 matches), Eusebio (Real Valladolid, 543 matches), Francisco Buyo (Real Madrid, 542 matches), Manolo Sanchis (Real Madrid, 523 matches).
Lionel Messi, who plays as a forward for Barcelona, is the best scorer in the Primera Division. Since 2004, he scored more than 360 goals. Cristiano Ronaldo, who joined Real Madrid in 2009, got over 280 goals scored. Other successful strikers are Zarra (Athletic Bilbao, 251 goals), Hugo Sanchez (Real Madrid, 234 goals), Raul (Real Madrid, 228 goals), Alfredo Di Stefano (Real Madrid, 227 goals), Cesar (FC Barcelona, 225 goals ). Cristiano Ronaldo also became the first player in the history of La Liga, who managed to score 30 goals in six consecutive seasons. Besides, he is the one who took the biggest number of penalty kicks. Two players were able to score seven goals in one match: Bata in the match between Athletic Bilbao and FC Barcelona in 1931, which ended 12:1, and Laszlo Kubala in the match FC Barcelona - Sporting Gijon in 1952 that ended with the score 9:0.