Barcelona lost just one La Liga game in 2017/18 as they dominated the Spanish league and finished 14 points clear of Atletico Madrid, their nearest challengers. They have strengthened extensively over the summer and, with Real Madrid losing Cristiano Ronaldo, the odds are in their favour to retain the trophy. Tipbet’s season bet odds have them at 1.55 to do so, and they begin the new season at home to Alaves on Saturday night.

Pre-season was generally successful for Ernesto Valverde and his squad, with a win over Sevilla in the Super Cup the highlight. It will be interesting to see the starting 11 that is picked at the weekend with new purchase Malcom looking particularly impressive in Wednesday’s 3-0 friendly win over Boca Juniors, a fixture that also saw Arturo Vidal feature. The Chilean has been signed to replace Andres Iniesta and will bring added energy to an ageing midfield.

Alaves finished 14th last season and getting into the top half will clearly be the aim having claimed ninth in 2016/17, their first season back in the top-flight. While their opening match of the season could not be any harder, taking place at the Nou Camp, the next six fixtures are much more winnable up until they host Real Madrid on 7th October.

Babazorros have improved their squad over the summer too with John Guidetti, signed from Celta Vigo for €4m, their standout signing. The Swede is inconsistent, though, and will have to be at his best for his new team to have a successful season.

Tipbet’s odds include the chance to back the correct scorers. Guidetti is 5.75 to net at any point or 16.2 to open the scoring. More likely is Lionel Messi, who is 1.20 and 2.10 for the same feat. In the match winner markets, a home victory is 1.10 with the Catalan giants expected to have too much quality. Better value is to be found in the half-time and full-time results – these are displayed below.

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