Atletico entertains Hannover 96 in the first leg of the
Europa League quarter-finals and are the firm favorites to grab a win.
The Spanish outfit is listed at -220 in the soccer odds at
Bovada to secure victory, while the visitors are +550. A draw is priced at
+330, while you can back the Over 2.5 goals at -135 odds at the same
Both sides are well out of the running for their respective
league titles, so this Europa League quarter-final is of utmost importance. The
chance of winning silverware trumps all.
Allure of Europe
Atletico is tied for eighth in La Liga right now alongside
Sevilla and Getafe. What's saved them is their terrific home form, as they've
lost just two games out of 14 with a goal differential of +16. Away from Estadio Vicente Calderon, Atletico
has won just two of 15 matches and has a goal differential of -12.
At least the Mattress Makers have been having a lot more
success in Europe this term.
After breezing through their group, Atletico overcame Lazio
4-1 on aggregate in the second round and then topped Besiktas 6-1 in the third.
Falcao's six goals in eight Europa League appearances has surely helped
Hannover 96 can also be found in eighth in their league
table and are a remarkable 24 points behind the leaders.
The Reds are however coming off a valiant effort in a 2-1
away loss to Bayern Munich over the weekend. Didier Ya Konan scored for the
visitors to tie things up before Mario Gomez netted the winner with close to 20
Though they may not have been as dominant in getting here,
Hannover has played well enough to reach the last eight and that's an
accomplishment in itself when you consider teams such as Manchester United and
Manchester City have already been knocked out of the competition.
Falcao ready to pounce
The German side scraped through the second round, beating
Club Brugge on away goals. The Reds had a much easier time in the following
round, blasting past Standard Liege 6-2 on aggregate.
I feel as if Hannover's European run is going to end here
soon against Atletico though.
It's immensely difficult to go into Madrid and get even a
point, and with Falcao firing on all cylinders I believe the hosts will get
this quarter-final tie off to a great start.
Signed from FC Porto, the Colombian striker has made an
immediate impact in Spain, scoring 25 goals in all competitions for Atletico
this season. He has five goals in his last five matches and scored twice in the
last Europa League round win over Besiktas.
The Reds will try and get some more magic out of Mohammed
Abdellaoue, who has a team-leading 16 goals so far this campaign, but I think
the away team is going to have great difficulty getting on the scoresheet in
Atletico has allowed just 10 goals in 14 home matches in La
Liga this season, which puts them second behind only Barcelona. As long as the
hosts can keep that same discipline in the back, I suspect we'll see a
comfortable opening leg triumph for the Spaniards.
FREE Pick: Atletico Madrid 2 Hannover 96 0