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Costa’s Atletico injury gives Real Madrid’s treble price a prayer

| 09.05.2014

If you thought the climax of this barmy Premier League title race was exciting, over in La Liga the trio of teams vying for the championship are all currently treating it like a hot potato, with all three of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid slipping up recently.

For 4/5 favourites Atletico and 50/1 outsiders Real in third, at least they have the added distraction of the Champions League final as a possible excuse, but for Barcelona – 1/1 to retain their title – there is no such explanation.

With two games to go for each, Barca sit three points off leaders Atletico, where if both teams win their penultimate fixtures it all comes down to the last game at the Camp Nou between the two sides.

Given the way La Liga works, a win for Gerardo Martino’s side would see them clinch the title by virtue of a superior head-to-head record against Diego Simeone’s side, as they’d then be level on 91 points apiece.

However, it may not be as clear cut as that, especially with the news Atletico’s top scorer and talisman, Diego Costa, is set to miss their next league fixture at home to Malaga due to a hamstring strain.

Although Los Rojiblancos are far from a one-man team, following a shock 2-0 loss to Levante this is not the news the 3/1-shots for a La Liga and European double will welcome.

Malaga may have nothing to play for officially, but they have won three of their last five away games, while Barcelona’s shock draw at home to Getafe meant they’ve picked up only seven of the last 15 points available to them.

All this means Real, cut four points adrift after successive draws themselves, could yet sneak in the back door if Malaga can beat Atletico at the Vicente Calderon and their two title rivals share the spoils on the last day.

With the Cop del Rey already in the trophy cabinet, that 80/1 about the treble is not the most outrageous bet in the world.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.