Following Robert Lewandowski’s high-profile move to Barcelona, bet365 have priced the Pole at 4/5 to outscore Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema.
It’s no secret that La Liga has lost some of its star power and sparkle since the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
However Benzema has stepped into the breach superbly since the Portuguese’s departure, going from five goals in 2017/18, to 21, 21, 23 and 27 in the four seasons since, and is almost a dead cert to win the Ballon d’Or at the end of the year.
There’s little reason to think Benzema, 35 in December, will suffer any big drop in output, with another 20-goal haul surely his target.
Lewandowski is 10/11 to score 25 or more La Liga goals this season, while Benzema is 1/1, which you can back here.
But he may need a little more to out-score Lewandowski.
Yes, he’s played at perhaps the most dominant club in world football, but his figures of 22, 34, 41 and 35 across the last four campaigns aren’t to be sniffed at.
After what threatened to be a total implosion last season, Barcelona steadied the ship with Xavi’s appointment as manager, to secure a top-four place, even if they did fail to get out of the Champions League group stage.
And although the club’s financial position remains uncertain, it’s not stopped the Catalan side from strengthening majorly this summer.
Raphinha and Andreas Christensen were signed from Leeds and Chelsea, with Joules Kounde further bolstering the defence. Ousmane Dembele has agreed to extend his contract, Franck Kessie will add plenty of physicality to the midfield, and with teenage sensations Gavi and Pedri another year older, Xavi’s men look well-primed to challenge Real Madrid again.
One thing to be wary of in this market, however, is Barcelona’s attacking options.
While the thought of Lewandowski being rotated has been hard to consider in his Bayern days, Barca have a number of expensive, talented forwards who are unlikely to be happy with a place on the bench.
Raphinha and Ferran Torres bost cost around £50m, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay have both impressed since their free transfers. Dembele has also been an important player when available, and Ansu Fati, assuming he’s back to full fitness, is one of the club’s hottest properties.
Although Real Madrid outscored their rivals by 12 last season, the gap was cut to two from when Xavi took over, with both sides averaging roughly two a game, but Barca’s goals may continue to be spread out amongst the team.
Last season, Benzema scored a 34% of Real’s goals, compared to the 18% scored by Barca’s top scorer Depay, and if we see similar this season, it might be enough for the Frenchman to come out on top.
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