Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Prediction: Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

One of the most important derbies in Europe – and one that has gained added significance of late due to the instances where these two sides have met – will live another chapter on Saturday. Atletico Madrid will host Real Madrid at Wanda Metropolitano and both sides will likely pursue the same goal: both need the three points in order to close the gap with league-leaders, FC Barcelona. This thrilling derby will take place in Madrid and will start at 15:15 GMT.

Atletico Madrid

Diego Simeone’s men continue to look like the only team capable – at some extent – to challenge Barca for the league title. However, Los Colchoneros have experienced a slight dip in their form of late.. and unfortunately, one step in the wrong direction could be everything Barca need to run away with the title. Atletico are coming off a surprising 1-0 away loss at Real Betis, and they have won “only” three of their past five league matches (W3, D1, L1). They have been at their best when playing at home, though, since Atletico are the best home side in the entire competition. Indeed, Atletico are undefeated at home this term (W9, D2) and remain the only team yet to lose at home in Spain’s top-flight. Whether that’s enough to secure the win against Real Madrid remains to be seen. However, there’s no question that this will arguably be their biggest chance to secure a statement win over their heated rivals.

Team News

Diego Simeone won’t have Diego Costa (toe) and Stefan Savic (muscle) available for this contest.

That’s not all, though. Diego Godin, Koke (both thigh) and Saul (leg) are doubtful for this match. All three will require a late-fitness test to determine their availability.

Real Madrid

On the other hand, Real Madrid have experienced quite a turnaround since Santiago Solari’s appointment. El Indiecito has Los Merengues playing quite well, and that’s evidenced by the fact the team is currently undefeated in their last six matches across all competitions (W5, D1). During this impressive run, that included a 1-1 draw against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey semifinals, Los Blancos have scored 17 times while conceding just six. That’s the path they need to go through if they want to keep climbing up the table, but the reality shows they’re just too far away from Barcelona to mount a serious title challenge. There’s still a lot of time left, but Real Madrid must be smart here. They need to acknowledge they are still alive in both the Copa del Rey and the UEFA Champions League. But derbies have something special, and Real Madrid clearly want to take all three points on their rivals’ home. Will they be able to accomplish that feat?

Team News

Marcos Llorente (groin) and Jesus Vallejo (thigh) have both been ruled out for this match.

Third-string goalkeeper Luca Zidane (thigh) has been listed as doubtful. However, his chances of playing are quite scarce even when he’s healthy.

Key Factors to Consider

  • There’s been 163 ‘Madrid derbies’ in LL, and the H2H record strongly favours Real Madrid (W86, D38, L39).
  • Los Merengues also own the edge on the goalscoring department in H2H matches. They have netted 286 times against Atletico’s 215.
  • There’s a lot of motivation involved here as well. On one hand, Atletico would potentially get closer to Barca with a win. However, Real Madrid would overtake Atletico if they claim all three points.
  • Counting only the 90 minutes, the last four meetings between these two sides have ended in a draw. Two of those had both sides scoring, and three featured under 2.5 goals scored.
  • The last time neither side secured a Liga win in this meeting was all the way back in 2016.

Conclusion

This game is expected to be incredibly tight. We can pencil under 2.5 goals scored in this one.

Verdict: Over 2.5 goals scored – yes

Best Odds: 3/4

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Juan Pablo Aravena


A freelance writer and sports analyst with almost five years of experience in the industry before joining SoccerNews, Juan Pablo Aravena is based in Chile and currently contributes to several publications and websites including SoccerNews, 12up, and Sports From The Basement, while also working as a fantasy beat writer for RotoWire, as a database editor for EA Sports, and as a football analyst for SmartOdds and InsideFutbol. His areas of focus are Serie A, Bundesliga, Premier League, LaLiga, and Ligue 1, but he has also written about MLS and South American football in the past.

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