Madrid fans will be praying that they still have Falcao amongst their ranks for this match and that rumours the Colombian striker has been seen dining with Real Madrid’s president and hanging out with Ronaldo, are way off the mark.
Although Atletico are currently sitting in second place, 11 points behind leaders Barcelona, they’ll be well aware that their biggest rivals, Real are just four points behind them and last Sunday’s comprehensive defeat to Bilbao means they really need to take all three points at the Vicente Calderon on Sunday afternoon.
Betis currently sit in fifth position in the table, but they too come into this one on the back of a 3-0 defeat to Vallecono so this is a crucial match for both teams as they try to ensure their strong first halves of the season don’t give way to a mediocre second.
Atletico have lost four of their last five away matches but it’s their home form which has seen them rise to second in the table and they currently have the best home record in the league. Their last five home games have seen Atletico pick up 15 points, scoring 15 goals and conceding none. In fact, Atletico have conceded just six goals at home this season and three of those came in a 4-3 win over Vallecano at the start of the season.
Betis have won six of their ten matches on the road this season, but having lost their last away match 3-0 and been defeated 4-2 at home when these two sides met earlier in the season, they won’t be coming into this one full of confidence.
In terms of an overall head-to-head record, the home team hasn’t won this match since Atletico prevailed back in 2008. The last three meetings have seen an away win for each side and a 2-2 draw. When they met at Vicente Calderon last season it was Betis who ran out 2-0 winners.
In terms of and football betting value for picking out who’s going to get the goals for each team, there’s little question that, should be remain, Flacao is the main man for Atletico. Despite constant speculation linking him with a move to Chelsea, the Colombian is the third highest scorer in the league, with 18 goals and nobody else in the squad has scored more than four goals this season.
31-year-old, Ruben Castro is the main man in the Betis side, with 12 goals to his name this season and he’ll be the man most likely to open the scoring for his side, should they manage to breach one of the tightest home defenses in the league on Sunday.
Both teams come in to the match having lost heavily in their last outing, but Atletico’s home record, combined with their determination to stay clear of their big rivals, Real, should see them through this match.
Atletico have been scoring freely at home however Betis have got a decent away record and will want to keep things tight to avoid a repeat of their 3-0 defeat last Sunday.
All this points to a tight win for Atletico, possibly just by the odd goal.
Assuming Falcao is still with the club after the transfer window closes on Thursday, he will certainly be the favourite to grab the first goal and a 1-0 home win with Falcao on the score sheet could be an attractive double.
Atletico Madrid to win – 4/9 - BetVictor
Atletico Madrid to win 1-0 – 6/1 - Ladbrokes
Total goals – two or less – 10/3 – Bet365First goal scorer – Falcao