They know that a victory will prevent Barca from securing the title for another week, after Real Madrid thrashed Malaga 5-2 this evening to put the onus back on the Catalan side for at least one more game.
So, with Atleti secure and unassailable in third and with Barcelona still needing to make the title mathematically theirs, where does the value lie in this top three clash in La Liga and what do our bookies make of the stuttering finish Barcelona are making to their season.
Well, both Ladbrokes and bet365 have Barca as slight 11/10 soccer odds favourites with 3/1 from bet365 the best price an Atletico Madrid victory. William Hill has the draw at 12/5.
Atletico were also in action this evening, where they beat relegation threatened Celta Vigo 3-1 thanks to second half goals from Diego Da Silva Costa, Francisco Juanfran and Radamel Falcao to secure their Champions League spot ahead of this game Sunday.
That is Falcao's 26th goal of the campaign, hence he is at EVENS to score anytime and 11/2 to net first or last in this one with William Hill. Diego Da Silva Costa is at 2/1 to score anytime while Francisco Juanfran is 20/1 to net twice in two games having not scored all season until tonight!
Well, as I said in some detail when previewing the Barcelona vs Real Betis game from last weekend right here at SBRForum.com, Barca without Lionel Messi seem to lack the confidence and direction they have when he is fit and playing and they have, if you read the article, been faltering quite badly of late, were destroyed by Bayern Munich twice and, well, read the article, little has changed since then.
Indeed, my predictions for that game last weekend were all spot on, correct score prediction the lot, that is until Messi took his goals tally to 60 for the season, after coming on as a substitute. His side were being held 2-2 by the spirited visitors and facing a real threat to their 13-month unbeaten home record in La Liga until he hit a brace to secure the 4-2 win.
The only problem I see for Atletico in this one is of their own making and has been their Achilles heel all season. They cannot beat the other top five or six sides in Spain!
Barca beat the 4-1 with ease in the reverse fixture back in December and Real have beaten them twice already, 2-1 just three games ago and 2-0 back in December.
Real Sociedad and Valencia, who sit 4th and 5th in La Liga have also both taken points off Atleti at their own stadium in recent weeks and in fact Atletico have only won one of their last four home fixtures, losing twice and drawing the other.
Although buoyed by their guarantee of Champions League football next season and with nothing more than pride to play for in reality, that and the desire to stop Barca winning the title at their home of course, I just think Barca will find a way to win this one at Atletico and put us all finally out of our misery. They should have done so several games ago!
Away win for me at 10/11 with Ladbrokes the correct score prediction of 3-1 at 12/1 with William Hill and the double result of Atletico Madrid/Barcelona at 20/1 with bet365 and lastly Falcao to score first at 4/1 with Ladbrokes for your soccer picks.Also, don't forget to check my Liga Picks on Valencia and Vallacano to make some more money over in Spain!~