Copa del Rey Picks: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid

Nila Amerova

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 8:46 PM GMT

Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 8:46 PM GMT

Newly crowned top of the table Atletico Madrid descend on Real Madrid in the first leg of the Copa Del Rey semi-final tie. Who will come up trumps? Find out what odds are currently available and where the value is to be had.

Madrid in the hunt

Real Madrid’s run of eight straight wins, which comprised of impressive eight clean sheets, was snapped at San Mames with a 1-1 draw to Athletic Club. The timing of the draw couldn’t have been worse for Real Madrid, coinciding as it did with a rare slip up by Barcelona in La Liga.

Atletico Madrid on the other hand capitalised handsomely on the back of a comprehensive 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad in week 22 La Liga betting, on the back of which the Madrid upstarts assumed the seat at the top of the La Liga table.

As things currently stand, Atletico Madrid preside over La Liga with just a three-point edge over Barcelona and Real Madrid. They boast an 18-3-1 mark and 57 points through 22 laps. At home, Atleti are undefeated with a 10-2-0 mark. On the road, they are almost just as impressive with an 8-1-1 mark. Most notably they’ve scored 56 goals and conceded just 14 goals, the latter of which represents a rather otherworldly defence that Real Madrid, for all their firepower will be challenged to breakdown.

Real Madrid, third in La Liga but level on 54 points with Barcelona, boast a 17-3-2 mark that includes a 9-0-1 mark at home and an 8-3-1 mark on the road. Where Real Madrid have excelled this season is scoring (hardly surprising). They lead the league with 61 goals, two more than Barcelona and five more than Atletico Madrid. Where they come up short in comparison to the league’s top triplet is on defence – they’ve allowed the most goals of the trio with 22.

Copa Del Rey Betting Odds and Picks:

As things currently stand, Real Madrid are fancied at -110 at Bet365 to win the first leg at Estadio Santiago Bernabéu. They are also installed as hot favourites to qualify for the final at -175 and the second overall favourites across sportsbook platforms to win the coveted cup at +175 soccer odds or thereabouts.

Atletico Madrid continue to draw the short straw as they are listed as the +350 underdogs to win the entire competition, the +138 underdogs to qualify for the final and the significant +275 underdogs to win the first leg in their neighbours’ kop. What’s more, even the draw is a similar long shot soccer pick where they are concerned at +260.

Prior to today, there was speculation about whether Cristiano Ronaldo would be participating in this clash after being sent off on Sunday in Real’s 1-1 draw to Athletic Club. Reports on the team’s website state that the Ballon d’Or winner will be playing in this crucial clash with Atletico Madrid, an encouraging sign for fans. As well, Gareth Bale is also expected to participate – two key players that are sure to make an impact in this match as Real hope to impose their intentions on the visitors.

Atleti, despite their disingenuous soccer odds, can’t be underestimated. Diego Simeone’s side has persistently defied the odds and they continue to throw down the gauntlet, not that anybody is taking notice though, which could prove foolish when all is said and done.

Atletico are enjoying a 23-match undefeated run across all competitions. What’s more, Atletico beat Real Madrid in September 1-0 at the Bernabéu. Oh and lest we forget, last season this pair met in the final, which Atletico eventually won 2-1! Surely, that formidable run of form and recent success against their lofty neighbours warrants better soccer odds than those that are currently trading on Atletico?

David Villa is a doubt for the first leg of this tie following an upper thigh injury on Sunday in Atletico’s 4-0 victory over Real Sociedad. But whether he competes on Wednesday is still up in the air. Besides, Simeone has plenty attacking options to turn as well as a solid defence to rely on for the first leg.

Soccer Betting Verdict

While Real Madrid deserve to be the favourites with home advantage, Atletico Madrid are severely underrated in this match. So much so that a bet in their direction would appear to be the value soccer pick – either on the draw at +260 or the win at +275.

Of course, inclination to back Real Madrid (as well as Barcelona) in anything to do with La Liga is ingrained in soccer betting psychology, breaking which is proving difficult. But it’s absolutely great for Spanish football that a third side has emerged as a credible threat to the established order. Don’t you think? Go with the flow if you find old habits die hard and take Real Madrid. But, if you believe times are changing in Spanish football, take a chance on the underdogs.

Free Soccer Picks: Atletico Madrid to win outright +275; Under 2.5 at +100

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