Atletico can claim bragging rights as humbled Real lose Ronaldo for derby
Atletico haven’t beaten their more illustrious city neighbours since 1999 and have failed to take a point against Los Merengues since 2009.
However, Saturday’s clash perhaps represents their best chance of doing so since then, especially with the news emerging of Cristiano Ronaldo’s thigh injury, which has ruled him out of the game. The Portuguese has scored eight against Real’s crosstown rivals in their last six meetings.
Atletico are 13/8 to win, Real 6/4 to do the same. The draw can be found at 5/2.
Mourinho’s squad return to Madrid with their tails between their legs after suffering a shellacking at the hands of Borussia Dortmund.
With Real attempting to overturn a 4-1 scoreline next Tuesday, Mourinho may look to rest some of his key players ahead of Dortmund’s visit. Real’s manager was brought to the Bernabeu with the primary objective of winning the Champions League, and Atletico may be able to profit from that concern here.
Atleti have just one loss from 16 matches on home turf (14 wins), and are conceding just 0.5 goals per game at the Vicente Calderon. All five of Real’s league defeats have come on the road.
While Los Blancos offer a different proposition to much of La Liga, a repeat of their 4-1 triumph last year here seems unthinkable, with the sides separated by just three points after 32 games – not to mention Ronaldo’s absence.
Diego Simeone has developed an extremely stubborn defence that leads the league with just 25 conceded, and his charges have now allowed just two strikes in their last seven. Atletico are 3/1 to keep a clean sheet, and 7/10 to restrict Real to either none or a single goal.
With Ronaldo out of action, Karim Benzema is a 7/5 anytime shot, and 9/2 to open the scoring. The Frenchman played just 22 minutes as a substitute in Germany, and so should get the nod here.
From the home side’s perspective, the much-coveted Falcao has led the line with aplomb this term, scoring 25 goals in 29 appearances. The Colombian scored against Madrid on their last visit, and is 4/1 to open the scoring here, and 11/10 to register anytime – the later certainly tempts with the striker having netted four times in his last four matches.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing