Both Barcelona and Real Madrid have endured underwhelming starts to the new La Liga season, and that has left the league very open at the top end.
Sevilla, who finished seventh in the league last season, are the surprise leaders in La Liga with 16 points from their eight games. Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are not far behind with 15 points each, and Real Madrid completes the top four with 14 points.
Espanyol and Alaves have also done well in the opening weeks and they find themselves level on points with the European champions. The likes of Valencia and Villarreal find themselves in the bottom half, but one can expect them to rise up the table.
The league table is probably going to take a very different shape in the coming weeks and some would fall off the pace and some new challengers would appear. However, it can still be argued that we would see a very tight contest for the league title this season.
Barcelona won the league title under Ernesto Valverde last season, but they have looked quite average in recent weeks. The Catalans are going through one of their worst domestic spells in the recent history as they are winless in their last four league games.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid has made a difficult start to life under their new manager Julen Lopetegui. They are without a win in their last four games in competitions and this run includes three defeats.
There are already talks of Lopetegui making an early exit, and it can be said that time is running out for him. It appears that Los Blancos haven’t managed to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit yet, and this could really hurt their chances this season.
Hence, this season is a golden opportunity for the likes of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid to launch a serious title challenge.
Sevilla still has a long way to go before they can be termed as serious challengers, but Atletico have recent experience of upsetting the big-two and they must be licking their lips this season.