Closely Contested Madrid Derby at The Vicente Calderon
Despite serene progress in this season’s edition of the Champions League, Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid side are in danger of losing touch with the top two in La Liga just 11 games in.
Having been a major player in the Spanish title race over the last few years – even getting the better of both Barcelona and their city rivals Real in 2014 – Atleti have already slipped six points off the pace set by Los Blancos, although none of the top teams have looked particularly impressive by their own high standards.
That will give the home side plenty of confidence and they are 6/4 (2.50) favourites with Paddy Power to cut that gap to the table toppers with a victory. Real are 2/1 (3.0) shots to win the game although that is not something they’ve managed in the league since April 2013.
Atleti have had the upper hand domestically during Simeone’s tenure but these two rivals have contested two of the last three Champions League finals with Real now boasting an impressive 11 European titles courtesy of victories in 2014 and earlier this year. With that in mind, pride and points are on the line in equal measure but Paddy Power go 21/10 (3.10) for the draw and both sides are made to settle for a share of the spoils.
In truth, the draw actually makes the most appeal. Atleti have looked nothing like the defensive masters of recent years and come into this game after back-to-back leagues defeats on the road to Real Sociedad and Sevilla. Madrid on the other hand, have scored plenty of goals but struggled to keep them out in equal measure, keeping only three clean sheets in 16 games in all competitions this season.
The 21/10 (3.10) is appealing enough for a betting interest but for higher returns punters should consider the Both teams to score and Draw option available at Paddy Power. Simeone’s side are nowhere near as watertight as they were in previous seasons and with Zinedine Zidane’s side still looking shaky at the back, it would be no surprise to see a clash involving goals at both ends.
Both teams to score alone is a 4/6 (1.67) shot but combine it with the match result and Paddy Power go 16/5 (4.20) which makes plenty of appeal.
Elsewhere, the goalscorer markets could be of some interest with a galaxy of stars on show at the Calderon on Saturday night. Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t looked quite up to his magnificent best and has failed to make an impact in recent derby meetings (2 goals in 11 games excluding penalties) so he is best avoided at 11/10 (2.10).
Gareth Bale makes more appeal at 13/10 (2.30) as the Welshman seems to be growing into his role in the side with every passing game while Antoine Griezmann (11/10 anytime) could be worth a small stakes investment if passed fit to start the game. The France international should be Atleti’s most potent threat and with four goals in the last six La Liga meetings between these clubs he can certainly shine on the big stage. He’s 4/1 (5.0) to break the deadlock.
The best bet though, is undoubtedly the draw at 21/10 (3.10) with the both teams to score option available to add even more juice to the price at 16/5 (4.20) with Paddy Power