Real Madrid can silence neighbours Atletico in big La Liga clash
Real Madrid have had to put up with their own noisy neighbours, Atletico, this season, but unlike Manchester United, they are doing a good job of keeping them quiet. The two sides clash in the Madrid derby on Sunday and the momentum is with just one side – Los Blancos.
Coral make Real 11/10 to beat Atletico and move six points clear of them at the top of La Liga and that looks a decent bet on current form.
Diego Simeone’s side have done brilliantly to stay in the mix with Real and Barcelona for so long this season, but they don’t have the same squad depth as the Spanish giants and there are now distinct signs that their challenge is faltering.
Real beat them 5-0 on aggregate in the two-legged semi-final of the Copa Del Rey and although the domestic Cup competition might not be at the top of Atletico’s priorities, they will have been desperate to put on good shows against their fiercest rivals.
Coral can see the writing on the wall and make Atletico 14/1 for La Liga behind Real (4/6) and Barcelona (13/8) and one does get the feeling that if they don’t take all the points this weekend, their title challenge will be effectively over.
And while Atletico are starting to slip, Real are going the other way. Unbeaten since the Clasico last October, they appear to be getting better and better as each week goes by. Yes, they have to grind out results sometimes, but when they turn it on, as they did in Germany in the Champions League in midweek, they are simply sensational.
Cristiano Ronaldo (22 La Liga goals), Karim Benzema (14) and Gareth Bale (10), two goals apiece in the 6-1 thrashing of Schalke, are understandably making all the headlines, but Luka Modric, though contributing only one league goal this campaign, has really come of age now in the Real shirt and they wouldn’t be as good without him.
Atletico have a formidable strike force of their own, of course, in the new and old faces of Spanish international football, Diego Costa (21 La Liga goals) and David Villa (11) and it is unlikely to be a boring affair at the Vicente Calderon with the promise of plenty of goalmouth action to go with the niggles and the downright bad tackles that are inevitably part and parcel of a Madrid derby.
So while Ronaldo, more and more the man for the big occasion, may well be on the scoresheet again (10/11), a bet that really catches the eye is Coral’s 3/1 both teams to score and Real Madrid to win.