It’s been a while since Atletico Madrid failed to win in two consecutive weeks, but that’s exactly what happened in January. They drew at home against Barcelona in the most anticipated game of the month and then settled for a 1-1 draw away at Valencia in Copa del Rey. That incident had no consequences as the team from the capital won the second leg and advanced to the next stage of the competition.
Now it is time for them to earn three more points in Primera Division, as Barcelona is also expected to win comfortably away from home at Levante. Since the two teams are separated by their goal average and none has lost a game in a long while, winning this fixture against Sevilla is of critical importance. Luckily for the hosts, their opponents are not only vulnerable to rapid counterattacks, but have struggled in the past against Atletico Madrid.
To think that Sevilla was struggling at the bottom of the standings with their city rivals and now compete with tough teams for a Europa League berth is impressive. They have risen to the challenge and won several games at home, but on the road they are still struggling to win consecutive games. They were outplayed and outshot by Elche in the previous round and can consider themselves lucky not to lose that fixture, after tying the score with 1 minute left in the match.
Numbers speak for themselves and those who want to see how Sevilla matched up against Atletico, should head on to http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/football/liga/2013-2014/atletico-madrid-sevilla-fc-632001.html. These figures are reliable, but what is more important is that the numerous absentees in their backline are going to provide the hosts with plenty of opportunities to score. Suarez is the only player missing from their rotation and he doesn’t play a critical role so his absence will go unnoticed.
One way to tackle this match would be the straightforward one of backing the hosts to win or even cover the spread of an Asian handicap. The odds are decent for the second type of bet, but those who expect the hosts to score a few goals should better wager on the totals market. Over 3.5 goals to be scored is the kind of bet that can more than double your investment without taking big chances, but risk-averse players could also settle for the 2.5 line.