BARCELONA take a 1-0 advantage to the Spanish capital for the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final tie. Mark O’Haire (@MarkOHaire) highlights the value.
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona | Wednesday 21.00 | Sky Sports 5
For the past fortnight or so I’ve been eulogising about backing Atletico Madrid when playing against the bigger boys. Bookmakers just don’t fancy them. There’s a whole host of reasons why (I won’t go through them all now) and on the most part, I like to disagree and find value in siding with the Mattress Makers.
That was until now. Yes, shock horror, I’m opposing Diego Simeone’s men. At 3/4 you can back Atleti +0.50 in the Asian Handicap market and make profit should the capital club avoid defeat in their Copa del Rey second leg at the Vicente Calderon. On the face of it, it looks a very fair price.
However, Los Colchoneros are without key defensive lynchpin Diego Godin again and will need to chase the game against Barcelona, if they’re to reach the semi-finals. The 1-0 defeat at the Camp Nou last week means should Barca score in the capital on Wednesday night, Atletico will need to net at least three goals!
Jose Gimenez and Miranda are most definitely a fine and able pairing in the centre of defence but I just hold reservations about Simeone’s side. We’re not used to seeing them having to chase results and the famed backline from last season hasn’t proved quite as impassable. Atleti have kept just two clean sheets in 10 matches.
So with Barcelona’s feared front-three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez all expected to be on display, the Catalans could be a real menace on the counter-attack when the tie opens up. The Blaugrana's rested a number of headline names for their weekend waltz over Elche and they’ve now smashed 23 goals in a six-game winning streak and I just can’t imagine them not scoring.
Despite Atletico’s excellent record against the Big-Two in Spain, they’ve only actually beaten Barca once in their last 14 encounters and so, backing the visitors -0.25 in the Asian Handicap is the bet I’m taking on Wednesday night. It’s a 10/11 shot with BetVictor and means we’ll only lose half our stake should Barcelona fail to record a victory in Madrid.
Atletico Madrid v Barcelona – Barcelona -0.25 Asian Handicap (10/11 BetVictor)