Champions League: Atletico Madrid start Group C with Galatasaray game
La Liga winners in 2013/14 and Champions League finalists that season, Atletico Madrid have proved consistent challengers to El Clasico couple Barcelona and Real Madrid in recent years. Atleti are odds-on at 3/4 with Coral to beat Galatasary in their Champions League Group C opener.
Diego Simeone has made a number of changes to his squad in the summer in an attempt to no doubt give the side a more cutting edge, which will see them kill teams off quicker both in Europe and domestically.
The signing of Jackson Martinez can prove to be inspirational. His seven strikes in eight matches for FC Porto in the elite contintental club competition last season evidences a remarkable return, and odds of 6/1 to net two or more against Gala are definitely worth considering.
It is perhaps, though, the array of attacking ability in Simeone’s squad which is more impressive. With Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Luciano Vietto, plus the creative cunning of Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, Angel Correa and the hugely talented Koke, Atletico have a huge amount of potential.
While Vietto is a newbie to the competition, there is no mistaking his proficiency as a footballer, outlined by the quality of his goals for Villarreal last term both in La Liga and the Europa League. A return of eight strikes and six assists from 12 matches highlight a particular proclivity for continental football, and the Argentine attacker is an attractive alternative to Martinez to score two or more at 7/1.
Torres, though, is off the mark already for Atleti domestically this season, so fan favourite ‘El Nino’ will be looking to add to his 18 career Champions League goals this term at 9/2 to break the deadlock. Griezmann, meanwhile, is swiftly proving to be a player who can reach top class status and, having already scored and laid on two assists in La Liga this term, has odds of 5/1 to break the deadlock.
Last time the two clubs met was in the Europa League in 2010 when the Spanish outfit went on to beat Fulham in the final. In Turkey, the match finished 2-1; with Atletico earning a 1-1 draw in the return leg, though Galatasaray have upgraded somewhat since.
Former Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski is relatively experienced in the Champions League and has scored a respectable 16 goals in the competition, so odds of 7/2 to net anytime are worth a punter.
Failing that, Burak Yilmaz, 2/1 anytime, is an accomplished centre forward, capable of causing defences problems and in the 2012/13 campaign dispatched eight in nine appearances, while Wesley Sneijder was a key part of Inter Milan’s winning side in 2009/10 and, still a threat from set pieces has decent 5/1 anytime odds.
Coral’s top tip: Podolski anytime scorer @ 7/2 is definitely decent value considering his record