With the possibility of finishing second in La Liga a very real one, Diego Simeone realises that the defence of his side's Europa League title is of little consequence compared with the prospect of delivering Champions League football.
Nevertheless, it is not in the Argentine's makeup to send out a side to lose, and Atleti can be backed at 2/5 (1.40) for the win. Their Russian oppenents meanwhile who have not played a competitive fixture for two months are offered at 8/1 (9.00) with the draw available at 5/1 (6.00).
Despite Simeone's priorities this is a match that Atleti should win, irrespective of the side he choses to field given the strength in depth of the squad available to him.
Their formidable aforementioned home record has seen them win each one of their previous 21 matches at the Calderon in all competitions having conceded just one goal in their last 12 matches there.
Those statistics are pretty astounding, and a Rubin side devoid of competitive match practice should find the going tough.
Having said that, it is unlikely to be an entertaining goal filled encounter this evening, because for all
Atletico's relative success this season, they remain a side that are functional rather than attractive.
Backing under 2.5 goals then at 43/40 (2.07) looks to hold real value, especially as Atleti's home games have recently been bankers for less than three goals. This bet has paid out in five of the last six fixtures at the Calderon, and should comfortably do so again this evening.
For a value bet, the price of 11/2 (6.50) for a 2-0 win to Atleti looks temtping, given that this has paid out in three of their last five home games.
|Under 2.5 goals at 43/40 (2.07) with Bet365
||Atletico to win 2-0 at 11/2 (6.50) with Bet365|
Sign up with Bet365 for up to £200 in free bets and back Phil's selections for this match
Phil Kitromilides is a sports anchor working on TV in Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.