Ronaldo and Real to right recent Atleti record in majestic Madrid derby
Despite an incredible eight duels between silverware-seeking Spanish capital clubs Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid across all competitions last season, this tussle never gets tiring.
So, Atletico and rivals Real prepare to duke it out once again at the Vicente Calderon, where Diego Simeone’s side (9/4 with Coral for victory) have shut out their visitors on their past four trips.
With Cristiano Ronaldo having drawn level alongside lethal legend Raul Gonzalez in Real’s all-time top scorer chart, and surely keen to surpass it in style, Atleti’s chances of another clean sheet (5/2) seem unlikely.
Simeone’s side smashed four past the Bernabeu boys in this fixture last term, but Rafa Benitiez’s arrival has tightened the ship. Real now also offer a resilient rearguard alongside attacking prowess, having conceded just one goal in eight outings across all competitions, so are better value than their local foes at 3/1 to win to nil.
Ronaldo and France forward Karim Benzema (6/1 to net last) are Los Blancos’ leading scorers under Benitez, and the former has been ferocious against Atleti previously, with 15 strikes and eight assists in 22 career appearances against them. So take a punt on the prolific Portuguese at 4/1 to bag a brace or better, or 7/2 to deliver the first deadly blow.
With Real unbeaten all term so far, and Ronaldo in rampant form, the Liga giants are favourable at 13/10 to snatch all three points.
Atletico, meanwhile, are not the same force this season, and enter this important encounter unlikely to steal bragging rights. Two defeats on the spin, versus Villarreal and Benfica, mean a draw at 21/10 would still be a sensational result for the hosts.
Electric Antoine Griezmann has been bagging goals galore and is the biggest threat to Benitez’s backline. The formidable Frenchman has bagged against Real before, and is 7/4 to net again anytime, or 7/1 to score two or more, having already hit two braces this campaign.
Other Atleti attackers worth a punt include summer signing Jackson Martinez (11/5 to notch anytime) and in-form Argentina starlet Angel Correa (3/1), who coach Simeone recently compared favorably to former Vicente Calderon superstar Sergio Aguero.
Simeone said of his compatriot “One [Aguero] is more a pure forward, a number nine, and Angel breaks down the wings, moves between the lines, is improving and we hope that with this improvement the team will have different options.
“Angel can play in any part of the pitch, as a third forward out wide, or up front if needed. Kun is more a finisher of moves.” Deciding the Madrid derby would be one way for crafty Correa to empahtically announce himself.
Coral’s top tip: We fancy Ronaldo at 4/1 to break records with a brace or better.