Predicting who will qualify for Champions League next season (outside Real Madrid and FC Barcelona), would appear to be a lot harder than in recent seasons, due to a serious number of changes at the clubs likely to be battling for 3rd and 4th spots, which render their chances harder to assess. This means putting bets on the 3rd and 4th spot so far before the start of the action (always a risky move anyway) seems doubly so this summer, but this is unlikely to stop some football betting fans from doing so. The bookmakers have made pre-season odds available already, we have an idea of who might be a good bet for Champions League qualification, so which teams are worth gambling on, aside from the big two?
Valencia has always been in the race for 3rd or 4th but they stumbled and failed to qualify in the 2012/2013 season and now have problems looming on how to pay down their substantial debt. They seem to be more of a selling club this summer. They need to sell to alleviate the high salaries and focus on finding cheaper replacements. Valencia CF is not a sure thing to qualify for Champions League in 2013/2014, but is still a decent bet based on past history.
Atletico Madrid has sold their biggest player asset this summer, Radamel Falcao. He was instrumental in qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in several years. But can they repeat in 2013/2014? They really have not dipped their toes in the transfer market yet and Falcao’s goals will be extremely hard to replace. They too are heavily in debt and are on a slippery slope as it relates to adhering to UEFA’s financial fair play rules.
Real Sociedad are a dark horse bet. Can they really repeat and qualify for the Champions League in 2013/2014? They have a very young vibrant squad, but alas the vultures are circling, particularly in the cases of Asier Illarramendi and Iñigo Martinez. Can they hold on to the two U21 winners? Plus they don’t have a very large squad and depend largely on their cantera. At least Real Sociedad are in a relatively stable financial position for La Liga, but repeat qualification could be a bridge too far for the Basque club.
Malaga is another troubled team financially and under close scrutiny by the UEFA police. Could they be a potential contender for 3rd or 4th spot next season? They had a wonderful CL run this past season. But this summer they have been on fire sale mode as every player is on the shopping block. Would you bet on the miracle worker, new coach Bernd Schuster, to rebuild this time? Hmmmm
Last longshot contender is the return of Villarreal to La Primera. Some punters believe the Yellow Submarine might surprise us all and end the season at the top of the table (under the shadow of the big two). Is this a pipe dream or a possible reality considering the topsy turvy world of Spanish football?
Who would you bet on to end the 2013/2014 in the 3rd and 4th spot of La Liga – Valencia? Atletico? Real Sociedad? Malaga? Villarreal? Or someone I haven’t mentioned, like Sevilla or Real Betis? Some football betting fans might have a go at this wager, but there is always the option of waiting until the season starts and playing at the Australian online casino instead.
If you’re feeling lucky why not place a bet on the football and try out some football themed online pokies too. One of the most popular football game in online casinos at the moment is Shoot. With it’s nostalgic feel of the Shoot magazine and great payout features, it is easy to see why. Of course, this isn’t the only game in the casino, Intertops have loads more to chose from, so give them a go.