Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid
Live on Sky Sports 1
Real [1.89] Atletico [4.9] draw [3.7]
After last week’s 0-0 draw in the Vicente Calderon, Atletico Madrid’s unbeaten run now stands at nine derbies (W4-D5-L0 in 90 minutes). A win on Wednesday night and they will be through to another semi-final; a score draw and, again, it will be Atletico in the last four.
What else has changed since last week? Atletico have lost Mario Suarez to suspension; Real are without Marcelo for the same reason but – more importantly – they have also lost Luka Modric and Gareth Bale to injury.
While Diego Simeone can drop Tiago (probably) or Saul Niguez (maybe) into central midfield, Carlo Ancelotti might have to change formation.
A switch to 4-4-2 might not be too damaging – it’s Ancelotti’s 4-3-3 that Atletico have really conquered – but Real’s transitions between defence and attack will be slower for Modric’s absence.
At the Bernabeu this season, Atletico have won a Liga game 2-1 and drawn a Copa del Rey second leg 2-2. On the road at Spain’s top-six teams, Simeone’s men are W4-D3-L2 in Liga matches since the start of last term.
Ancelotti’s record hosting those same top-six sides in La Liga is W5-D1-L3. With Modric’s absence to consider too, that record’s not strong enough for us to support the favourites.
It’s a tight call – the visiting defence is not what it was a year ago – but we’d go with Atletico +0.5 on the Asian Handicap at [2.1].
There’s a very similar bet you can make at a longer price.
Back Atletico to qualify and you’ll get odds of [2.34]. It pays out exactly when the Atletico handicap bet pays out, with one difference: if it finishes goalless, the handicap bet pays out, but this one would still need Atletico to negotiate extra-time and perhaps penalties.
As you’ll see below, we’ve found very few precedents for another 0-0, so we’re happy to take the extra risk for a bigger price.
Both Teams to Score?
For all of Simeone’s success in shattering Atletico’s derby hang-ups and for all that his team has been a slick defensive machine, he’s seen them keep just one clean sheet in seven games at the Bernabeu.
On unfriendly soil, their good results have been rooted in potent forward play: the visitors have scored at least once in 5/6, and twice in their two appearances there this season.
In Liga games at other top-six sides, Atletico have both scored and conceded in 7/9 since the start of last season.
Hosting Spain’s top-six outfits, the Bernabeu has seen goals at both ends in 8/9 since Ancelotti took charge.
We explained last week why Diego Godin caught our eye in this market and the reasons still stand.
The only update: despite a couple of half-chances in the Calderon last Tuesday, Godin’s record is now 10 goals in 81 appearances since the start of last season.
And the only proviso: we’d like to see Koke taking more of the set pieces; captain Gabi let us – and his team – down too many times in the first leg.
Shown A Card
It’s the same fella catching our eye in this market. And, once again, it’s a numbers game: he’s seen yellow in 10 of his last 17 club appearances, but by kick-off Godin should be something like [2.7] to pick up a card at some point in 90 minutes.
And, despite their depletions, he rarely faces the level of attacking threat that Real will bring.
Back ‘Yes’ in Both Teams to Score? @ [1.95] (best bet)
Back Atletico To Qualify @ [2.36]Back Diego Godin To Score @ [13.0]Back Diego Godin To Be Shown a Card @ [2.7]