Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid – San Siro at 19:45 live on BT Sport Europe
On Saturday evening, Real Madrid take on Atletico in a tie which caps off an incredible season of European football.
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This year’s Champions League final is an all Spanish clash, as it was in the 2013/14 season when these 2 sides last battled it out for European glory. On that occasion Atletico were very unlucky not to come away with the trophy as Sergio Ramos forced extra time with a 93rd-minute header. Atleti then went on to lose the match 4-1, with Bale, Marcelo and Ronaldo netting the other goals in extra time.
Diego Simeone’s side will therefore be looking for revenge this time round, although they face a tough ask against a Real Madrid side have been prolific in Europe this campaign, having only lost 1 match (against Wolfsburg) and scoring an incredible 27 goals, whilst only conceding 5!
If anyone can stop one of the most lethal attacks in Europe however, it’s going to be Atletico who boast a great defensive record this season under Simeone. In fact, Atleti have become renowned for their defensive stability and their centre-back pairing of Diego Godin and José María Giminez has really thrived this campaign.
Despite this, Cristiano Ronaldo will no doubt cause the Atletico defence some problems, as the Portuguese international is this season’s top scorer in the Champions League, as well as now being the all-time top goal scorer in Champions League history! However, there was cause for concern mid-week as he seemed to pick up a knock in training, so it will be interesting to see how this affects his performance. Gareth Bale has also proved a huge threat in-front of goal this season and has scored 21 goals across all competitions.
Although Atletico’s defensive stability is a big part of their success this season, Simeone’s men have also proved that they can be dangerous in-front of goal and 9 of Antoine Griezmann’s 33 goals this season have come in the Champions League. Griezmann also got the winner at the Bernabéu in February, when Real Madrid and Atleti last met in La Liga (1-0). In the reverse fixture, the game ended in a 1-1 draw with Benzema and Vietto getting the goals.
Atletico will feel that they have got what it takes to beat their Spanish rivals and I think that this could be their year, although they are very much the underdogs against Zidane’s experienced side. They’ve beaten both Barcelona and Bayern Munich to reach the final of the competition and therefore they will feel like they can beat anybody. I am expecting a game of fine margins and don’t necessarily expect Atleti to get the job done within 90 minutes, although I think that they will end up lifting the Champions League trophy and therefore I recommend backing Atletico +0.25 on the Asian Handicap betting market. If the game ends in a draw after 90 minutes, we get our profit halved and if Atleti do manage to secure victory in normal time, a full profit will be returned.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Atletico Madrid +0.25 @ 1.80 with Bet365
Prices correct at time of writing.