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Our in-form Spanish tipster believes these two sides will cancel each other out in the opening 45 minutes

A winter's trip to El Sadar can usually be relied upon to separate genuine title contenders from mere pretenders and on Sunday evening Atletico Madrid visit Pamplona in the hope of proving their worth. The Rojiblancos have bounced back impressively from their three straight defeats to record a comfortable 3-0 win over Valladolid and an impressive 1-0 victory in Milan over the last seven days.

Paddy Power make them overwhelming favourites to round off the week with another success, pricing them at 2/5 (1.40), while Osasuna can be backed at 13/2 (7.50).

It is worth remembering, of course, that this season both Real Madrid and Barcelona have failed to win their league clashes away to Osasuna, with both of the country's giants being held to a draw by the Rojillos.

While Atletico have been impressive this season, their success has not come from their ability to blow teams away by scoring plenty of goals.

Instead theirs is a quiet, relentless efficiency that wears down opponents and gets the job done. Against one of the lowest-scoring side's in the division, Diego Simeone's men are unlikely to serve up a goal-fest.

Under 2.5 goals in the game is offered at 8/11 (1.72) and is a bet that many will take on. However, braver punters will consider the price of 15/8 (2.62) for no goals to be scored in the first half. This bet has paid out in three of Osasuna's last five games and in three of Atleti's last four away matches, making it tempting for a small investment.

BET
OF THE
DAY
BEST BET
Under 0.5 goals first half at 15/8 (2.62) 1.0pt stake with Paddy Power

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports journalist and TV presenter in Madrid

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