Our man in the Spanish capital, Phil Kitromilides, believes that another tight Madrid derby is in prospect and is backing under 2.5 goals to be scored at the Vicente Calderon
Bet365 are top priced at 5/2 (3.50) on another stalemate while Atletico can be backed at 23/10 (3.30) to win the match in normal time and Madrid are offered at 11/10 (2.10) in the match odds market.
The first leg was a curious encounter given that, for the first time in 25 Madrid derbies spanning across nine years and four different competitions, the score was goalless at half-time.
Early goals are almost guaranteed in these encounters yet the opener did not come until the 80th minute as Madrid attacked but Atletico resolutely defended. New signing James Rodriguez gave the home side the lead before a late equaliser left the tie finely balanced.
Expect more of the same at the Vicente Calderon as the hosts know a clean sheet will see them lift the trophy.
Perhaps, then, it would be wise to consider backing a low-scoring game given Atleti's resilience and Madrid's lack of proficiency in breaking them down. Diego Simeone's side built a league-winning campaign on defensive stability and it looks as if they are just as strong despite the summer turnover of some key players including goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois and defender Felipe Luis.
Three out of the last four Madrid derbies have seen under 2.5 goals (in 90 minutes) and a repeat is offered at a seemingly generous 19/20 (1.95).
Madrid's new midfield is still coming to terms with how to best feed their forward line, while Cristiano Ronaldo went off at half-time in the first leg, making him a doubt for Friday night's game.
That will limit Madrid's significant goalscoring threat and, despite them having an array of potential replacements and with Atletico likely to set out to frustrate los Blancos, another game with few goals looks probable and could lead punters into profit for Friday's second-leg encounter.
|Under 2.5 goals at 19/20 (1.95) for a 2.5pt stake with bet365