The Coronavirus continues to increase with Madrid and Spain remaining one of the worst affected in the world. This is why La Liga and the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFER) have announced that no professional competitions will resume until the authorities can ensure there will be ‘no risk to health’. This follows on from the initial suspension of the league from March 12th and there is now no likely date as to when and if this will end, and when sport and Spanish football can return.

As a result, in the lack of sporting action, Google trend data has shown us that less and less people are looking to bet online, as it’s only virtual sports readily available. Sports betting related searches have seen a 50% decline in Spain over the last 4 weeks, with searches around football more generically seeing a 75% drop off since the start of the year. Interestingly, increases in searches around ‘online slots’ have increased – from a 41% average to upwards of 75% in Spain, over the last 2 months – an indicator that more Spaniards are looking to play online slots with offers at, whilst the sports betting markets have faltered.

However, despite this rise, the overall picture is showing that the gross gaming revenue amongst Spain’s regulated online gambling market is falling. This showed a fall of 2% from the same period of the previous year, and this drop is likely to continue, with sports betting the key drop due to these cancellations and postponements world-wide.

Spanish football is not the only cancellation due to this pandemic and the European championships have also now been postponed until next year. Bilbao were set to be the host venue for Spain at the championships and ‘San Mames’ will still keep this up next year, with Spain being drawn in Group E against the likes of Sweden and Poland. Spain go into the competition amongst the favourites following an impressive qualification and will also be looking to win the competition for a fourth time and third since back in 2008.

Domestically, it also continues to be a remarkable championship with Real Madrid again challenging for the title. Barcelona have won the last two titles, with Real Madrid also failing to make the top two in each of the last two seasons, with Atletico Madrid pipping them on each occasion. Real Madrid’s last domestic title came back in the 2016/17 season, as they topped the table, winning the championships by three points from Barcelona, with a further 12 points back to Atletico Madrid.

However, since this successful period, Madrid have gone through their troubles that saw them drop off the required standard. This included them finishing with just 68 points last season and 19 points behind winners Barcelona. Real Madrid also lost 12 matches out of their 38 games, which simply is not good enough for a side who have won the title on a record breaking 33 occasions.

Changes needed to be made, with Real Madrid investing heavily in the squad prior to the current campaign. The main signings being Belgium star Eden Hazard from Chelsea and he will be expected to play a major role at the club moving forward, despite his difficult start at

the club. Other key signings included the likes of Luka Jovic from E.Frankfurt and Eder Militao from FC Porto. Other signings included the likes of Rodrygo and Reinier.

The main signing for Real Madrid appears to have been the reappointment of Zinedine Zidane, who guided the club to three consecutive UEFA Champions league titles, on top of a La Liga title and a UEFA Super cup. This also saw him awarded the Best FIFA Men’s Coach award in 2017, before he left the club in May of 2018. Poor results followed at the club and it did not take long before he was being pushed to re-join. This eventually saw him return to the managerial role in March of 2019.

The current season has been a fairly positive one, with the side much improved on previous seasons. This has seen them now challenging Barcelona for the title, with the pair clear of the nearest challengers, that includes the likes of Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Getafe. Atletico Madrid are performing poorly domestically that sees them down in sixth position and 13 points off the top of the table.

Real Madrid have now dropped to second, having spent the majority of the season in the first position. They have picked up 56 points from a possible 81, winning 16, drawing eight and losing just three. This means they are now just two points behind league leaders and defending champions Barcelona, with a gap of nine points over the third placed side Sevilla. Barcelona on the other hand have won 18 matches, drew four and lost five.

This means that Real Madrid still remain very much in the hunt for the title and will be hopeful of landing the championship for the first time in three years and further extend on their record breaking haul of titles. They of course also recently picked up a very important 2-0 home victory over Barcelona, which further added to their claims for the title. However, they followed this up with a shock 2-1 away loss to Real Betis, which was their third loss in their last four matches.

Following the break, Real Madrid will now be looking to return to their best and push Barcelona for the La Liga title.