La Liga top-four finish odds update: Barca and Atleti to see off Basque challenge?

There are 15 matchdays remaining in La Liga and the top of the table continues to have an unfamiliar look with Girona currently Real Madrid’s closest rivals at the top. Behind them, the latest La Liga top-four finish odds suggest Barcelona and Atletico Madrid should still make the Champions League places, but they’ve work to do to shake off the challenge from 5th placed Athletic Club.

Girona have an 11 point advantage on 5th as things stand and the bookies see them as certainties to be playing in Europe’s premier competition next term. That’s an extraordinary state of affairs with the Catalan minnows in only their second season back at this level and just their fifth top flight campaign overall.

With Michel’s team looking so strong, there’s significantly less margin for error for the likes of Barcelona and Atletico Madrid who are usually all but assured a top four finish.

La Liga top-four finish odds - Barcelona
16 year old Lamine Yamal in action for Barca against Osasuna last week – Photo by Icon Sport

La Liga top-four finish odds update – Latest news

Despite struggles, Barca still on course for top four

Barcelona lost 5-3 at home to Villarreal only a week ago, a shock result which prompted Xavi to go public with his decision to leave at the end of the season. It also raised doubts about whether Barca would even make the top four.

However, despite significant injury problems at the end of a really busy period, Barca deserve some credit for battling their way to important wins over Osasuna and Alaves over the past few days. They’ve a five point advantage on 5th place as a result and their La Liga top-four finish odds are now very short to the point where some bookies have stopped taking bets.

Atletico doing enough to hold off Basque challenge

If there’s to be a big battle for 4th place, it looks most likely to be contested between Atletico Madrid and Athletic Club, who also meet in the Copa del Rey Semi-Finals this month.

Athletic were absolutely dominant when the sides met in the league in December but both have struggled to replicate really strong home form on their travels. Ernesto Valverde’s team have dropped points at both Valencia and Cadiz in recent weeks and they trail Atleti by three points as a result.

Atletico madrid players
Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann have 37 goals between them in all competitions – Photo by Icon Sport

La Liga top-four finish odds update – Current outrights

Atletico Madrid – 1/7

Atletico Madrid lost four straight away league games around the turn of the year, but they’ve halted the slide with an impressive return of 10 points from their last 4 matches, including a dramatic late draw in the Madrid derby at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday night.

They have one of La Liga’s best strike duos in the shape of Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata and having only dropped points once at home in the space of nearly a year, they’ll take some stopping in the race for the top four.

Athletic Club – 5/2

If anyone can deny Atletico Madrid, or perhaps Barcelona, it’s most likely going to be Athletic Club. The Basque giants have won 8 home games in a row in all competitions and are a formidable force at fortress San Mames.

With the Williams brothers tearing things up on the flanks, Athletic are certainly in with a real shot at Champions League qualification and they’ll know that their current 5th place might be good enough given the new rules granting the two best performing countries in this season’s European competitions, an extra Champions League place.

La Liga top-four finish odds - Athletic Real Sociedad
Basque rivals Athletic and Real Sociedad are 5th and 6th – Photo by Icon Sport

Real Sociedad – 22/1

Real Sociedad finished in the top four of La Liga last season, but they’ve found it tough to combine Champions League football and a strong Copa del Rey run, with their league commitments.

Imanol’s side have drawn 10 of their 23 league games and are 8 points behind local rivals Athletic and 11 behind 4th placed Atletico Madrid. They’ll need a miraculous end to the season if they’re to make the top four.

Valencia – 250/1

There is little prospect of anyone else competing for a La Liga top four finish. Valencia are currently 7th having won 4 of their last 5 league games and are seen as the next most likely candidate.

However this is far from a great Valencia side and Ruben Baraja’s men would be delighted if they ended up snatching a Europa or Conference League place, although even that may be beyond them.

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.