Soccer Picks: Atletico Madrid To Keep The Winning Streak Alive vs. PSV

Martin Green

Monday, March 14, 2016 4:05 PM GMT

Monday, Mar. 14, 2016 4:05 PM GMT

Atletico Madrid host PSV this week in one the most finely balanced matchups. Will Atletico be strong enough to secure a place in the quarter-finals? See my soccer picks here. 

Atletico Madrid vs. PSV Eindhoven
Atletico Madrid host PSV this week in the most finely balanced of all the remaining second leg ties in the last 16 of the Champions League. The first leg finished 0-0 and the failure to get that often crucial away goal could come back to haunt Atletico, but they should be strong enough to see off the Dutch league leaders and secure a place in the quarter-finals.

Atletico are having another strong season under their superb manager, Diego Simeone. They are second in La Liga, four points above big spending city rivals Real Madrid, and not far behind Barcelona. The way Simeone keeps Atletico competitive with these two Spanish giants season after season, with just a fraction of the transfer budget they enjoy, is nothing short of astonishing. He knows he cannot go out and break world transfer records to buy global superstars, so he focuses on cultivating a team full of energetic, hard-working players that buy into his philosophy.

Atletico play a tireless brand of football reliant on pressing the opposition hard and high, staying tight and compact at the back, scoring the odd goal and protecting a narrow lead with brutal desire. They have not scored anywhere near as many goals as Barca or Real this season – just 42 to Real’s 81 and Barcelona’s 78. But they have by far and away the meanest defence in Spain, and probably in all of Europe. Atletico have conceded just 12 goals in 28 league games this season, compared to 22 conceded by Barcelona and 27 by Real Madrid.

Bear this in mind when betting on this second leg match. PSV really struggled to break down the resolute Atletico defence in the first leg, and they will struggle again here. Bet Victor has -120 on the under 2.5 goals, which looks a great bet. Perhaps even better is a bet on both teams not to score, which is -200 at Sky Bet. It could also help if you’re interested in correct score betting. Backing Atletico to win 1-0 (+450 with Betfred) and 2-0 (+475 with Bet Victor) could prove very astute.

Atletico are in strong form, having won their last three games, including a win over Real, and deserve to be favourites here. They are priced at -160 with Coral, and this is not particularly attractive. The draw is +350 and PSV are huge outsiders at +900, again both with Coral, showing the gap in class between the two sides.

 

Betting Analysis
PSV are enjoying a great season in the Dutch league, where they lead arch-rivals by a single point. They have won their last seven league games in a row and will be full of confidence, buoyed by a hard-fought draw in the first leg. But the Spanish league is vastly superior, and Atletico are an extremely good side. It is also worth bearing in mind that PSV will view the league as their real priority this season, fighting tooth and nail with Ajax, with a run in the Champions League an added bonus as they will never believe they can actually win it, whereas Atletico will fancy their chances of lifting the Champions League trophy. They were beaten finalists a couple of years back, and they know how to beat Barcelona and Real Madrid – the favourites and third-favourites – so they will fear no one. They will give their all in this game and should prove victorious.

It may be wise to avoid first goal scorer betting for this match. Atletico don’t score a great deal of goals, and the ones they get are spread around the team, so it is difficult to predict. Antoine Griezmann is the favourite on the soccer odds at +260, followed by Fernando Torres at +350, both with Bet Bright, but while Griezmann is a wonderful player, he is more of a winger, while Torres’ form is erratic, so it may prove difficult to choose who will score for today's soccer picks.

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Free Soccer Pick: Atletico Madrid -310
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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