Mourinho’s pressure the only thing to stop Real Madrid winning La Liga
Real Madrid are 4/5 to win La Liga for a second straight season and the fact they have a greater number of goal scorers and a stronger squad make them the best bet to trump Barcelona again.
Some punters may be put off from backing them at odds-on with opposition of the calibre of Barcelona, but it seems that only manager Jose Mourinho can actually lose them the title.
Mourinho’s managerial mentality is one that heaps great pressure on his squad, constantly believing that it is they against the world.
Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso have already found it difficult to subscribe to such a thought process and been caught not adhering to this ethos.
This attitude gradually grinds down players and it seems that only the strongest characters thrive in a Mourinho-led environment.
The wheels began to fall off after a period at Chelsea, while this may be a reason that he does well in the short-term at clubs but decides to move on after only a couple of seasons.
This is now his third season in Madrid and the so the impact of his managerial mentality may be starting to kick in with players in the squad who have been there since his arrival.
The good news for Mourinho is that his squad remains the stronger, with Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain able to share the goal-load with Cristiano Ronaldo.
Barcelona look as reliant on Lionel Messi as ever, even with David Villa back, and an ageing Xavi is unlikely to have the same impact in providing assists.
Madrid have Angel Di Maria back after 15 assists in 16 starts last season before getting injured, while another involved campaign is expected from Mesut Ozil and can both outshine Xavi.
Barcelona are also weaker in defence despite the capture of Jordi Alba, with Gerard Pique and a more injury-prone Carles Puyol the only out-and-out defenders available to Tito Vilanova.
Meanwhile, the fact that Vilanova is untested is another reason to side with Real Madrid, although 21/20 could look an amazing Barcelona price come the end of the season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.