Atletico Madrid (+400) at Real Madrid (-130), Draw (+270)
The loser of tomorrow’s Madrid Derby between Real and Atletico (10:00 AM Eastern at Santiago Bernabeu) can all but kiss their title hopes goodbye. The two La Liga powers trail Barcelona by eight and nine points, respectively. Another setback tomorrow will likely have them in a double-digit hole with just over ten games remaining.
Real Madrid are the highest scoring team in Spain with 71 goals for (2.84 goals per game). They could only find the net once against Malaga last weekend, though, drawing the middling squad 1-1 (away).
Back on home turf tonight, the Meringues will be expecting better. They have won 11 of 13 (11-1-1) at Santiago Bernabeu this season, a record that stands second only to Barcelona. But Real will be facing road warriors in the form of Atletico Madrid, who have been the best road team in the league. They’re impenetrable defense has spurred them to nine wins in 13 road contests (9-1-3) and the team has only surrendered five goals in those 13 matches.
Atletico has posted three clean sheets in a row since falling 2-1 at Barcelona in late January. Two of those shutouts came on the road as the squad blanked both Getafe (1-0 in La Liga action) and PSV (0-0 in the Champions League).
This game will be a serious contrast in styles with Real wanting to push the pace and Atletico looking to slow the game down and keep it a low scoring affair.
In recent years, Atletico’s tack has worked a little better. They’re 2-3-1 against Real in the last six and have managed to drive Real crazy with their defensive schemes. Winning at Santiago Bernabeu is one of the hardest feats in club football, though. The draw looks like the best value on the board.
Pick: Draw (+270).
(Photo credit: Jan S0L0 [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)
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