Santiago Bernabeu Stadium – Thursday 15th January at 19:00 live Sky Sports 1
The big games are coming thick and fast in Spain at the moment as fans are treated to mouth-watering, midweek Copa Del Rey action tonight, with European Champions Real Madrid hosting cross town rivals & La Liga Champions Atletico Madrid.
These two star studded local rivals have become even more closely acquainted over the past two seasons, as Atletico’s rise to prominence has led to additional encounters at the business end of numerous tournaments. They met at the semi-final stage of Copa Del Rey last season, when Real progressed to the final with some ease after a 5-0 aggregate win.
Since then both sides had started the season in impressive form, despite numerous changes in personnel over the summer and in the four games they have already played against each other this term, Real are yet to win. Having lost 2-0 in the first leg, Los Blancos really have their work cut out for them if they are to continue their defence of the trophy.
As mentioned Atletico lost a number of key players in the summer but Diego Simeone has instilled an incredible team ethic at the club and they continue to impress both at home and in Europe. However, there have been some disappointing results this season especially when playing away from the Vincente Calderon.
They did not perform well at Barcelona on Sunday, where they lost 3-1 and with another 3-1 defeat at Valencia, combined with a 2-1 defeat against lowly Real Sociedad, their more illustrious cross town rivals will fancy their chances of at least scoring a goal or two in this second leg tie.
Although Real have only won three of those nine most recent games against Los Rojiblancos each of the victories have been by two goals or more and all seven of their home wins this season have also been by at least two goals. Should they continue that form in front of goal tonight, especially if they can keep a clean sheet as well, then they will progress to the next round.
Simeone’s team are notoriously good at defending leads and having gone four games unbeaten against Real already this season, they should be confident of knocking out the holders tonight. They have scored in 12 of their 14 away games in all competitions so far this season and that includes three goals at the Bernabeu, against Real.
Real are capable of blowing away any team on the planet within a matter of minutes but Atletico seem to have their number at the moment and with that in mind we recommend taking Atletico Madrid +1 at 1.99
Price correct at the time of writing.
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