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Atletico Madrid no match for arch-rivals Real in our Combi XI

| 14.04.2015

Easily the pick of the Champions League quarter-finals, Real Madrid’s battle with local rivals Atletico pits the defending champions against the La Liga holders in a repeat of last year’s final.

If all those subplots weren’t enough to whet the whistle, then the prospect of Atletico’s collective mindset tussling with Real’s individualistic superstar side is the icing on top of this sizeable cake.

Which of the two methods wins out is a close argument, with Carlo Ancelotti’s visitors the slim first-leg favourites according to Ladbrokes, at a price of 17/10.

Diego Simeone’s mob are just behind at 9/5, with the draw available at 23/10, but if our Mix ‘n’ Match XI is anything to go by then it’ll be the Galacticos that triumph.

Six Los Blancos stars fill our starting berths, which are picked exclusively from Champions League performances and in the most common formation used:


A superior clean sheet tally gets Miguel Moya the nod over error-prone Iker Casillas, while most of the Bernabeu side’s representatives come in the backline.

Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Alvaro Arbeloa have all outperformed counterparts Guillherme Siqueira, Miranda and Juanfran over the course of the tournament, while Diego Godin fills the final spot for Los Rojiblancos.

In a flat midfield four, the roles are reversed as Atletico Madrid players flood the middle of the park. Koke and Arda Turan have impressed mightily on the flanks and Gabi holds his own in a central partnership with pass-master Toni Kroos.

The leading two scorers of either side are up front, with Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema forming a somewhat predictable strikeforce.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.