UEFA Champions League Soccer Pick: Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Rivalry Continues

Kevin Stott

Monday, April 20, 2015 3:48 PM UTC

Monday, Apr. 20, 2015 3:48 PM UTC

The biggest of the incredibly bizarre 7 meetings between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid takes place this Wednesday in Leg 2 of their UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium Wednesday, and with some key players out, is picking the near +400 underdogs prudent? Why not.

Odds Overview
Real Madrid vs Atlético Madrid, Wednesday 20:45 (Fox Sports 1 USA, Fox Soccer 2Go, Fox Sports GO, Fox Deportes (US); ITV 1 UK, UTV, Sky Go, Sky Go Extra, NOW TV (UK); 2:45 p.m. ET/11:45 a.m. PT): If you could pick just one soccer game to watch in this tournament, it would probably have to be this UEFA Champions League Quarterfinals Leg 2 between La Liga and city rivals Real Madrid and Atlético Madrid on Wednesday at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in a rematch of last season’s final and a game in which the winner could very well end up being the European holders.

Soccer betting odds makers have made hosts Real Madrid -120 favorites (bet365) in the Three-Way (Winner) marketplace, with guests and crosstown rivals Atlético Madrid massive +375 underdogs and the Draw priced at +275. The Total Goals in this match has once again been set at 2½ with the Under at -125 and the Over priced at -120 (Paddy Power). The Both Teams To Score Prop odds in this opening leg sees the Yes at -117 with the No set at -105 (BetVictor) And, some various Props bets for this second leg: Draw No Bet: Real Madrid -300, Atlético Madrid +225 (bet365); To Qualify: Real Madrid -150, Atlético Madrid +125 (bet365); and, First Goalscorer: Cristiano Ronaldo +333, Karim Benzema +500, Gareth Bale +550, Mario Mandžukic +750 (Sky Bet).


Atlético Madrid 
Atlético Madrid (21-6-5, 61 GF-26 GA, 69 points) will now probably have to settle for a 3rd place finish in Spain’s top flight of soccer—La Liga—this season and Los Rojiblancos and manager extraordinaire Diego Simeone can now pour all of their energy to this one leg against a team it’s had a surprising amount of success against this year. Leg 1 was an extremely hard-fought, 0-0 draw which put so much more emphasis on this Leg 2, which will basically be a one-game playoff game to try to get to the Semifinals. Here, the big question for the bettor—besides even deciding whether or not to make a wager or wagers in this game—is whether or not to take a shot at big underdogs Atlético (+400, Betfred) against a team which it has gone an amazing 4-3-0 (11 GF-4 GA) against this year in an ungodly number of meetings in various competitions. These two teams must be absolutely sick of each other by now.

So, Atlético Madrid (UEFA CL Form: LWWWDLWD) hasn’t lost to Real Madrid in 7 matches, but it’s all going to come down to this one 90+ minutes (or maybe more) on Wednesday. In Leg 1, the hosts were without the services of star striker Mario Mandžukic (+250, Anytime Goalscorer, Sky Bet; 12 goals La Liga), but Mandžukic isn’t listed as Injured or Doubtful on the UEFA.com website, and is listed in an Anytime and First Goalscorer marketplace, so, look for news closer to matchday and know in this situation, Atlético has to do everything possible to survice. And this a team expert at surviving.

But should Mandžukic not be fit, teammate Antoine Griezmann (+250, 18 goals La Liga, including both in Sunday’s 2-1 La Liga win over Deportivo La Coruña) is more than capable of shocking the world. Toss in Fernando Torres (+300), Raul Garcia (+400), the invaluable Koke (+550, 2 goals), Arda Turan (+500 2 goals) and several other stalwarts like Raúl García (+350, 4 goals) and Diego Godin (+700). Atlético DM Mario Suárez is suspended for this leg.

Ongoing Euro Football Action with Natalie

Real Madrid CF 
Real Madrid (25-1-6, 95 GF-28 GA in La Liga) is still chasing Barcelona (74-71 points)—both won this past weekend, beating Valencia (2-0) and Málaga (3-1) respectively—for the La Liga championship, but have no doubt about it, Los Blancos (The Whites) are extremely intent on becoming the first club ever to win back-to-back UEFA Champions Leagues. But poor Real Madrid drew its’ nemesis and the team that has been giving it fits in city rivals Atlético, so manager Carlo Ancelotti must sincerely believe he has done something wrong to anger the gods. Poo Carlo. With Cristiano Ronaldo (-125 Anytime Goalscorer, Sky Bet; 39 goals La Liga), Karim Benzema (+137 15 goals), Gareth Bale (+150, 13 goals), Isco (+500, 3 goals), James Rodríguez (+240, 9 goals), Jesé (+240), Javier Hernández (+175, 3 goals), Toni Kroos (+500, 1 goal), Sergio Ramos (+600, 3 goals) and Pepe (+900), the Madridistas are always a tough team to defend, but nobody has proven it does it better against Madrid than Atlético and the 0-0 scoreline in Leg 1 reveals as such. Los Rojiblancos and GK Miguel Moya know how to stop their rivals, and proved it last Tuesday, making all the biog stops, blocks and clearances from the box at the right time.

On the Injury front, Real Madrid suffered a big blow when it learned that Luka Modric (knee) will be out for 6 weeks and fellow MF Bale (calf) is also banged up and listed as Doubtful for this leg. But we all know what context “Doubtful” can often have on Injury Reports. The reality that Bale is listed on all Anytime Goalscorer markets on sportsbooks on Oddschecker (Sunday night) and that the hosts will need him more with the devastating news about Modric. Check his status. Álvaro Medrán (leg) and Brazilian teen Abner (knee) are both listed as Injured and presumed Out—although they likely wouldn’t play in a contest of this magnitude anyway—while LB Marcelo is suspended, so, Los Blancos GK Iker Casillas and his teammates could be without three very important cogs here at the Bernabéu on Hump Day. Food for thought.


Best Betting Approaches and Series Trends
Atlético Madrid’s unbeaten 4-3-0 record and 11 Goals For and 4 Goals against Real Madrid (in all competitions this year) is absolutely phenomenal in the context of European soccer, but seldom do we hear of this upstart team’s successes, but more of the guys they once had like Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Thibaut Courtois, among many others. To not lose to Real Madrid with a healthy CR7 in 7 games is totally mind-boggling to the soccer fan. Toss in the fact that—along with the English Premier League’s Chelsea and German Fußball-Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund—Atlético Madrid one of the heartiest and grittiest groups in professional football, has one of the best managers in Simeone, have a chip on its’ collective shoulders from losing to rivals Madrid in last year’s UEFA Champions League final, are blessed with a +375 to +400 underdog price in the Three-Way line betting markets and are pretty healthy—especially if Mandžukic can go—compared to Real Madrid which will be without Marcelo and Modric for sure and quite possibly Bale, and it’s impossible not to recommend taking a shot on Los Rojiblancos in this particular spot. I’m not frightened, boo. The better soccer pick, may again be the Under (2½, -125, Paddy Power) here, and this will be one of those matches where every inch and call matters and one which could very well have to go to Extra Time and quite possibly a Penalty Kick Shootout. Don’t miss this one. Fun plus.

PREDICTED FINAL SCORE: Real Madrid 0 Atlético Madrid 1
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PICKS: Under 2½ -125 (Paddy Power), Atlético Madrid +400 (Betfred)

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