Atletico Madrid vs. Real Madrid Champions League Quarter Finals Soccer Pick

Lee Phelps

Friday, March 27, 2015 1:10 PM GMT

Friday, Mar. 27, 2015 1:10 PM GMT

The Madrid derby has become one of THE games in Europe with Atletico's rise, so who will triumph in this first leg match? William Hill's Lee Phelps has been looking at the odds and has a free pick.

There is something about Real Madrid that just makes me want to back them at a price like 2.7 (17/10) against any team in the world, but then they were bigger than that against Barcelona and only looked like they could win for about 20 minutes in the first half. Plus this is against a team who are fast becoming their bogey side and it’s Atletico who are the value price on UCL Soccer odds board at 2.9 (19/10). I’m not ignoring the draw either at 3.4 (12/5). So basically I could back all three!

My job is to be a little more precise so let’s have a look at what this Champions League quarter final first leg means and what each team requires from it.

 

Atletico Madrid
That performance in last year’s Champions League must have hurt and we have probably seen what effect it has had in their games against Real since. The fact they held their great rivals in normal time has been largely forgotten after the capitulated in extra time, losing 4-1 in the end, handing Real 'La Decima' and all the hullabaloo that went with it.

Diego Simeone’s men haven’t lost to them in 90 minutes in seven now (including that final). Add to that three successive clean sheets win at the Vicente Calderon and the cherry on top in the most recent 4-0 win was Ronaldo and Co not even managing a single shot on target.

If Atletico win to nil again, they will have one big foot in the Champions League semi-finals, because they know they are capable of getting an away goal across the city. Looking back at the previous two wins at home, Real managed 11 shots in each with five and three on target. Atleti have the second best home defence in La Liga with eight goals conceded and have only let in three goals in their eight UEFA Champions League games, with six clean sheets.

There’s another big plus for them too. Simeone has signed a new five deal until 2020, something midfielder Tiago greeted by saying: “we players would love it to be 10.”

One area they have to be careful is their discipline, with the most yellow cards in the Champions League (25) and 109 fouls so far. Compare that to their opponent’s stats of 12 and 63.

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Real Madrid
For me Carlo Ancelotti’s men don’t need to worry about going for a win, what they need is a goal. The run they are on against their city neighbours is a worry, but seven head-to-heads is nothing in La Liga, with two Copa Del Ray legs and two matches in the Super Cup. You only have to go back to March 2014 to find they were on a run of scoring at least two goals a game at the Calderon in their previous five matches there.

Obviously CR7 needs to cheer up again and regain his very best form, I’m thinking the next three league games against Granada, Ray Vallecano and Eibar will give him and the fit-again Luka Modric chance to rediscover some form and understanding.

When you compare attacking stats, Real are well ahead of Atleti in the Champions League with 21 goals compared to 15, 145 shots compared to 112 and 61 on target compared to 38.

 

Soccer picks
So for our Soccer Pick, as much as Simeone would like this to be a tactical battle ending in a 2-0, I see Real going for it to grab that away goal. If they score first the home team will have to respond and then we have a game on our hands, as they know they can score two or more in this tie.

Free Soccer Pick: Over 2.5 goals 2.25 (5/4)

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