The rivalry is set to be renewed on the European stage as it was in 2014 and 2016, Tuesday’s semi-final tie essentially a rerun of the Champions League finals then. Twice Los Blancos ran out winners, making their 10th and 11th trophies in the competition especially sweet.
This is the fourth straight season that these city rivals face off in the Champions League knockout phase and Paddy Power have sweetened the game up for new customers. Favourites Madrid are available at 7/1 (8.0) to lord it over their smaller counterparts with another win here, while Atletico are 16/1 (17.0) to claim their first victory in their fourth straight season of meeting their arch-nemesis in the knockout stages of the competition.
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Last 3/4 (1.75), Real Madrid have been boosted to 7/1 (8.0). Los Blancos have an enviable Champions League record at the Bernabeu and are chasing a 36th win from 42 games - a special victory, certainly, given it is always personal against local rivals Atletico. A fearsome attack that has not failed to score in a record 35 straight games in the competition will certainly play a big part in securing ultimate bragging rights over this edition of the capital derby.
Unbeaten Madrid have scored at least two goals in each of their last 10 European games and they know they will need to produce something special if they are to breach the back of Jan Oblak’s net and they will attempt to stockpile as many goals as possible with the crowd behind them ahead of a daunting trip to the Vicente Calderon next.
Tuesday’s hosts may have failed to keep a single clean sheet this tournament but they must fancy their chances against an Atletico side whose game is based on solidity and netted just 13 goals over 10 outings. Madrid can count on an incredible mental strength too and have fought back to win in all four of their knockout stage clashes this term despite conceding the opening goal in every one of them.
Thankfully, they have all-time Champions League top goalscorer leading the line, with the Portuguese netting at a rate of 0.75 strikes every knockout game. His goalscoring greed has been fully on show this term as illustrated by how decisive he was leading Madrid past Bayern in the quarter-finals, and Zidane will be well aware he has a player he can trust to turn up for the big moment, making the 7/1 (8.0) for new Paddy Power customers the best way to back his Madrid side.
Formerly 15/4 (4.75), Atletico Madrid have been increased to a massive 16/1 (17.0). Los Rojiblancos are outsiders for this one but, desperate to overturn their Champions League hoodoo against their neighbours, Simeone’s side will set out to seize any advantage that falls their way.
Thankfully, their solidity throughout ensures they are well-served preserving any lead they may gain, and they have potent outlets of their own in Antoine Griezmann - who has scored or assisted 50 per cent of Atletico’s goals in the Champions League since last season - the recovered Yannick Carrasco and Kevin Gameiro, who warmed up for this Bernabeu showcase by netting a brace at the weekend.
All three possess the speed to trouble Madrid’s defence with Nacho perhaps identified as the weakest link. Should any of them strike against the tide of the game that is expected to fall Madrid’s way, a defence that has kept 27 clean sheets in 46 Champions League games under Simeone stands perhaps the best chance of protecting the advantage, making the 16/1 (17.0) a massive payout for those keeping faith in the underdogs to defy the odds this time out.
|Real Madrid 7/1 (8.0) or Atletico Madrid 16/1 (17.0) to win for new Paddy Power customers|