Can Girona win the title? – Our 2024 La Liga predictions

La Liga returns from a brief winter break in early January with unlikely title candidates Girona level pegging with Real Madrid at the top. Our 2024 La Liga predictions pose the question, can Girona win the title?

Can Girona win the title? – Surprise package targets historic success

Girona are available at 15/2 to win La Liga with the bookies considering them the second favourites behind Real Madrid who are as short as 3/10 after they clinched top spot on goal difference with a late win at Alaves in their final game of 2023.

The unlikely position that Girona find themselves in, is not even the result of the underachievement of the usual challengers. Their average of 2.5 points per game is outstanding and leaves them currently on course for a 95 point season, a tally that would have been enough to win La Liga in any of the last ten years.

La Liga predictions 2024 - Girona
Artem Dovbyk of Girona FC – Photo by Icon Sport

The secret to their success can be attributed to various factors. Aided by their place in the powerful City Football Group, they recruited brilliantly in the summer with young winger Savio and striker Artem Dovbyk arriving and both hitting the ground running. The duo have 15 goals and 9 assists between them this term while veteran Cristhian Stuani has also chipped in with 6 goals despite being essentially a back-up player.

They’ve built on a strong mid-table finish last term on their return to the top flight under Michel. The Madrid-born boss is doing a stunning job with his caution-free, attacking approach ensuring the Catalan minnows are also La Liga’s top scorers with 42 goals in 18 games.

Real Madrid vs Girona – Crunch clash on the horizon

We shouldn’t have too long to wait to find out whether Girona are Spain’s answer to 2015/16 Leicester City or a team whose bubble will eventually burst. Their first game of 2024 is at home to fellow hopefuls Atletico Madrid while the current top two clash on the second weekend of February in a key game at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Those results will go a long way to determining whether or not Girona can last the course. Their solitary defeat so far this season was at home to Real Madrid in September and it was a heavy 3-0 loss which suggests toppling Carlo Ancelotti’s side may be a bridge too far for Michel’s men.

Granada vs Real Madrid
Granada and Real Madrid clash – Photo by Icon Sport

The Real Madrid vs Girona H2H is surprisingly even overall though with three wins each across the seven previous league meetings with one draw.

Despite considerable injury problems, Real Madrid are looking strong at both ends of the pitch this term with Jude Bellingham enjoying a stunning start to life in Spain while defensively, they have by far the best record with only 11 goals conceded in 18 games.

Overall, Los Blancos look like they should go on to win La Liga 2023/24 from this position but on current form, Girona are at worst the second best team in Spain and they’ve every chance of breaking up the “big three” domination of La Liga.

2024 La Liga predictions – Almeria and Granada look relegation certainties

We still have one more matchday to go until La Liga hits the midway point, but it doesn’t feel premature to say that Almeria and Granada will be playing Segunda Division football next term.

Both sides have sacked coaches already this season, but there has been no new manager bounce and there is seemingly no hope for either. Almeria are the only remaining winless team in Europe’s big five leagues and are 1/16 for the drop. Meanwhile Granada have only won once and are 1/5 to go which looks a pretty safe bet given their huge issues in defence.

Relegation odds - Celta vs Granada
Jonathan Bamba of Celta runs at the Granada defence – Photo by Icon Sport

The battle to avoid the third relegation place is much more interesting. Cadiz are winless since August and are third favourites in the La Liga relegation market at 6/5. However they’re a battle-hardened side that has drawn the last five and specialises in the art of a late season escape act, having survived on the final day in each of the last two years.

Celta Vigo currently occupy 18th with Rafa Benitez’s return to Spain not going to plan. They’re as long as 7/2 to go down though and it’s true that they’ve been unfortunate not to win more games and their overall level looks high enough to suggest they’ll stay afloat.

After three straight defeats, Alaves look a more likely relegation candidate at 5/1 with the harsh reality of top flight football starting to bite after a bright start from the new boys.

For an outside punt, consider Osasuna, priced at 20/1 to go down. They qualified for Europe last term, but have been out of sorts this season with defensive issues surprisingly cropping up while they’ve been heavily reliant on striker Ante Budimir for goals.

La Liga top four race – Basque clubs hoping to gatecrash the party

The battle for the top four in La Liga is normally just a battle for 4th place, but Girona’s stunning start changes that this term. It raises the possibility that either an unconvincing Barcelona side or an Atletico Madrid that is regularly running into trouble on the road, could miss out on Champions League qualification.

The only two sides that look capable of breaking into the top four are both in the Basque Country. Athletic Bilbao have stepped up a gear this term with the Williams brothers doing real damage on the flanks and they totally outplayed Atletico Madrid in one of the most one-sided games of the season a fortnight ago. You can back Athletic Bilbao to finish in the top four at 13/5.

La Liga predictions 2024
Hamari Traore of Real Sociedad and Nico Williams of Athletic Club – Photo by Icon Sport

Rivals Real Sociedad are four points worse off but might be a better bet at 5/1. They’ve been juggling a strong Champions League campaign with league action and that has surely contributed to a few dropped points.

With PSG to come in the Last 16, it’s quite possible that La Real may only have two more European games to play though. Should they exit the Champions League, Imanol’s side are quite capable of going on the kind of run which fired them to 4th place last season.

Avatar of Mark Sochon
Mark Sochon

Mark is a freelance football writer based in Madrid. He regularly attends and covers La Liga matches around Spain, whilst also following football across Europe.