Spanish football returns for 2024 with a full midweek fixture list and the two games involving the Madrid clubs will determine who tops the table at the midway point in the season. Our La Liga betting double prediction looks at how Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid will get on in their respective fixtures.
Both play on Wednesday 3rd January with Real Madrid red hot favourites against Mallorca at a best priced 6/25 (1.24) while Atletico Madrid are available 7/4 (2.75) to beat 2nd placed Girona in the big showdown at the top. If you fancy both Madrid clubs to win, that would work out at around a 12/5 (3.40) double.
However with Atleti having lost their last three on the road in La Liga and up against strong opposition, backing Real Madrid and Girona to win their games looks a better bet at only marginally shorter odds of 9/4 (3.25).
Real Madrid vs Mallorca
This should be a relatively routine home outing for Real Madrid who have only dropped two points this season at the Santiago Bernabeu. That was in the 0-0 draw with Rayo Vallecano and defensively they’ve been impressive, boasting La Liga’s best defensive record.
They are going to be forced into a bit of a defensive reshuffle though which brings into question whether they can continue to shut teams out so effectively. David Alaba is the third key Real Madrid player to go down with an ACL injury this season after Thibaut Courtois and Eder Militao and his replacement Nacho was sent off in the last match at Alaves.
That will most likely see Aurelien Tchouameni fill in here at centre back. It’s far from his natural role but he has the athleticism and quality to play there and it’s doubtful whether a defensive Mallorca side that will most likely line up with only one striker will really give the Frenchman too difficult an afternoon.
With the likes of Jude Bellingham and Rodrygo in great form at the other end, a home win looks by far the most likely outcome here. If you’re really confident in Real Madrid’s ability to take care of business, you can instead back Real Madrid -1 in the Handicap Market at 8/11 for better returns on our La Liga betting double prediction.
Girona vs Atletico Madrid
This is a fascinating game and the fact the bookies can barely split them in the Full Time Result market, adds to the intrigue of a fixture that will tell us plenty about the title aspirations of both teams.
There’s plenty of reason to think Girona will have the edge. They’ve been exceptional so far this season and come into the game as La Liga’s top scorers with the likes of Artem Dovbyk and Savio firing them onto 42 goals and 45 points from their first 18 games, a return that would have been beyond the wildest dreams of Michel and his team when the campaign got underway.
Atletico Madrid by contrast are stuttering. They’ve lost three straight away games and were completely outplayed in Bilbao in their most recent road trip. That match ended 2-0 to Athletic Club but it could easily have been more than that and they’ll face a similar kind of test here against an energetic Girona side that will look to attack them from the off.
Since that game, Atleti have played twice at home but ended up having to play with 10 men in both games. They allowed Getafe to have 29 attempts in a thrilling 3-3 draw before edging out Sevilla 1-0 so they could do with both a result and a performance in a big game like this to get their title challenge back on track.
Defeat would leave them 10 points off the pace, but on current form that outcome is a real possibility on Wednesday night in what should be a really watchable game.
Girona are 6/4 to claim the win, while you can back Girona Draw No Bet at 20/23 as the season’s surprise package bids to continue to match the pace of Real Madrid.
Head to our La Liga betting tips for more predictions from the Spanish top flight.