Soccer Picks: Espanyol v Atletico Madrid

Richard O'Hagan

Thursday, October 17, 2013 8:15 PM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 8:15 PM GMT

Atletico need goals if they are to overtake Barcelona at the top of La Liga, but will they get them against eighth side Espanyol? We dive into this matchup, ready to share our favorite soccer picks for this fixture.

The big frustration for Atletico in this campaign has been that for everything they do right, Barcelona seem able to do it just a little bit better. Diego Simeone’s team are unbeaten, have yet to drop a point and have conceded only six goals in eight games. Yet the goal difference advantage that Barca has just seems to keep on growing.

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They will be hopeful, though, of closing that gap against Espanyol, who are in eighth place more because the rest of La Liga is struggling to keep pace with the two leaders than anything else. They’ve won only three games this season, conceded as many goals (11) as they’ve scored, and last time out lost to an Elche side ranked in the bottom three at the time.

None of which makes for good betting news, unfortunately. Atletico know that with Barca playing at lowly Osasuna, they need to be sure of a win here. They have a slight advantage in that Barca’s game will finish when their first half has scarcely started, but that knowledge seemed to inhibit them in the last round, when they played a day later and still only won 2-1 as against Barca’s 4-1 victory the day before.

Atletico are hot favorites for this game, best priced at soccer odds of 1.73 with Stan James. You can get fractionally more on both teams scoring, a best price of 2.0 with William Hill, but really you have to look to something high risk like the correct scoreline market to get much of a return on this game. This looks like a 2-1 or 3-1 Atletico win, with odds of 9.0 and 16.0 respectively offered by BetVictor.

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