Atletico Madrid out for further revenge over rivals Real in Champions League
Atletico Madrid, 15/8 with Coral to triumph in this Champions League quarter-final first leg, prepare to meet bitter rivals Real Madrid for a record seventh derby across all competitions this campaign.
Diego Simeone’s side have certainly had the measure of their illustrious neighbours recently, who they are yet to lose to in six clashes this season. Two of those tussles have ended on even terms, so Atleti are an excellent 21/10 to split the spoils with their familiar foes.
Ambitious Atletico have, in fact, not been defeated by Real since these two teams last squared up in Europe, when the Vicente Calderon club eventually succumbed to pressure in extra time to lose the Champions League final 4-1.
With revenge in mind, after watching Los Blancos lift La Decima, Atleti’s hopes will revolve around shutting out their Spanish capital competitors to keep a clean sheet, as they have done already three times this term, and are 9/4 to do again.
Simeone’s organised unit must also try to take an advantage to the Bernabeu, however, so leading marksman Mario Mandzukic must step up, although the Croatia poacher is an injury doubt.
After grabbing the final goal in Atleti’s recent 4-0 mauling of their Madrid rivals, the formidable frontman is a fantastic 5/1 to fire home last again if fit.
The hosts will also require Antoine Griezmann (11/2 to strike first), who has four from his past three games, and Fernando Torres (6/4 in the anytime market), to match Carlo Ancelotti’s superior firepower.
Real, meanwhile, are still favourites at 13/8, but will make the short trip to the Vicente Calderon knowing they need to turn around a poor run of derby results.
Three wins on the trot in La Liga mean Los Blancos are back in form and should have the bit between their teeth for this Madrid match-up.
Ancelotti knows his opponents well, and will be able to boost his squad with Wales wingman Gareth Bale, who has shaken off an ankle problem.
Bale has a point to prove and is a tempting 2/1 in the anytime market, but punters will be looking to profit from back in-form superstar Cristiano Ronaldo (9/2 to net first, or 6/1 to bag a brace or better), who has racked up seven strikes in his last three outings.
Summer signing James Rodriguez, recently returned from injury, has already clocked up five derby appearances this campaign already, and is 7/2 to have an impact anytime, while France forward Karim Benzema is 2/1 in the same market.