Barcelona - Atletico Madrid Betting Preview: Back at least two goals to be scored in the first half

With this fixture having a history of high-scoring first halves, our Spanish expert Phil Kitromilides believes there will be a couple of goals in the opening 45 minutes
Undoubtedly the clash of the weekend in La Liga sees second take on first as Atletico Madrid travel to leaders Barcelona.

The side from the capital have been highly impressive so far this season, yet failed to live up to their billing as title contenders in the Madrid derby a few weeks ago, going down tamely 2-0 at the Bernabeu and Sunday night's game at Camp Nou will be another serious test for Diego Simeone's men.

Paddy Power price the Rojiblancos at 8/1 (9.00) to inflict a first league defeat of the season upon the Catalans while Barca can be backed at 3/10 (1.33) with the draw offered at 4/1 (5.00).

The bet which stands out a mile from every other though, is to back over 1.5 goals in the first available at the eye-wateringly generous price of 11/10 (2.10).

That the odds are charitable is without question if you consider the simple history of this fixture which has consistently seen high scoring first halves.

This bet has paid out in an astonishing 11 of the previous 13 meetings between these two sides and if anything it looks even more likely to pay out again this season given Atletico's potency in front of goal, especially with Radamel Falcao on such an impressive goal-scoring run.

This has proved to be the correct selection 10 times in matches involving Atletico this season, while it has also paid out in 13 matches for Barcelona.

Given all the statistics then the price of 11/10 (2.10) looks unmissable, but for a value bet there is a strong argument to made for backing over 2.5 goals in the first half at 3/1 (4.00).

This bet has paid out in five of the last seven meetings between the two sides and with both Lionel Messi and Radamel Falcao in stunning scoring form, there is every chance of us getting the high-scoring first half which would see some healthy profits.

Over 1.5 goals first half at 11/10 (2.10) with Paddy Power
Over 2.5 goals first half at 3/1 (4.00) with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid. You can also follow Phil on Twitter.