Football over the festive period is only a tradition in the British Isles. Across Europe, the rest of football has taken a breather from the action, with most of them resuming in January. This has been a much-debated and asked-for reform in English football, with various arguments being put forward to make the case for a winter break. In any case, while footballers in England and elsewhere on the island will barely have time to breathe before the New Year is upon us, their counterparts across the channel will be, metaphorically and literally, putting their feet up and taking some time away from the game. For fans of teams in these leagues, the lack of football can feel like a drag, especially when compared to the action in the Premier League. There is a solution for this – online and mobile betting, as seen in the features of bet365 app. This will allow fans to feel close to the action, while also giving them a reason to follow teams and matches they may not have usually done.

Real Madrid, while only having lost one game in the league, are still second to Barcelona as the league heads for the winter break. This is due to seven draws, the most recent of which came this weekend, as Los Blancos could only struggle to a goalless draw against Athletic Bilbao. Madrid have suffered from a lack of ruthlessness in front of goal this season, and have been heavily reliant on Karim Benzema. New signing Luka Jovic has struggled to replicate his form for Eintracht Frankfurt from last season, thus increasing the burden on Benzema. Gareth Bale has also quickly become a pivotal part of the team after he almost left Madrid in the summer, with Zinedine Zidane quickly rehabilitating the Welsh forward into the squad. Eden Hazard, meanwhile, has been injured, restricting him from showing the brilliance that made the Madrid hierarchy sign him from Chelsea in the first place. Nevertheless, Madrid have been slowly improving as the season has progressed, with the form of young central midfielder Federico Valverde a particular highlight. The Uruguayan has filled in for Luka Modric on numerous occasions, and the best compliment that can be given to him is that the Croatian’s absence has not been as keenly felt as it may have been. Thus, Madrid have built up a decent base from which to assault Barcelona at the top of the table, while they are always a contender in Europe.

Markets are reflecting this, with Real quite attractively priced at 3.25 to win La Liga. They face a difficult round of 16 tie in the Champions League, and thus are at 19.00 to win the competition, and at 4.50 to reach the semi-finals. Their European pedigree can never be taken for granted, having won two finals in a row under Zidane, and these seem like good picks for punters if they want to back Los Blancos.