Every Thursday myself and three other tipsters deliver our best bets from the upcoming weekend’s games from across Europe’s top five leagues to our YouTube viewers. This week, we all agreed on one thing only, and that was an Atletico Madrid win away at bottom club Malaga. In fact, it was the only game from Spain that any of us chose to focus on. Bet on it at BMR’s green-listed bookmakers.
Real Madrid and Barcelona have been inconsistent of late and both are focusing on big upcoming Champions League games, while Valencia are falling faster than a lead balloon. That leaves Atletico as a model of consistency in La Liga and an intriguing betting option this weekend.
They could not be facing tamer opposition: Malaga are bottom of the table, seven points from safety and just 1/12 to go down with Green-Listed Bookmakers. Around seven years ago they had the financial clout to try to take on the likes of Real and Barca, but descended into anarchy as the funding was stopped. They now face a relegation to the second tier of Spanish football, and we are unlikely to see them in La Liga Primera again for a while if they cannot escape their problems. They have taken just nine points from 10 home games and have amounted to mere cannon fodder for the bigger teams this season.
Atletico beat them 1-0 at Wanda Metropolitano earlier this season, their fourth consecutive victory over Malaga, and they should be able to make it five in a row Saturday. Diego Simeone’s men are second in the table, nine points ahead of Valencia and 10 ahead of Real Madrid. They are no longer competing in the Champions League and can afford to focus on domestic matters, so they should be good for a creditable runner-up spot behind Barcelona this season. They have the league’s second best away record, with seven wins from 11 games on the road, and that should stand them in good stead for Saturday’s clash.
The odds are attractive: Marathon Bet has 13/20, Ladbrokes is offering 8/11, there is 8/13 on offer at Bet Victor and Stan James. Atletico are in fine form, having won their last two games to nil – a 3-0 victory over Las Palmas and a 1-0 against Valencia.
They are extremely strong defensively, led by the fearsome Diego Godin, and for more value on this game you could push it out to Atletico Madrid to win to nil. That is 5/4 with Bet Victor and 23/20 with William Hill, both of which are attractive prices. Atletico Madrid have conceded a mere nine goals in 22 games this season, an amazing statistic that even the best teams in Europe’s top leagues – Juventus, Bayern Munich et al – cannot come close to matching.
Another option would be Atletico and ‘under’ 3.5 goals as that covers you for a 2-1 Atletico win should they concede a surprise goal. That is even money with Ladbrokes and Coral and looks interesting as there are on average only two goals per Atletico game this season.
After their shock Champions League exit, Atletico are now in the Europa League and they look by far and away the best team in the competition. This is a side that regularly reaches the latter stages of the Champions League – they have twice finished runners-up in recent years – so they have more than enough nous, flair and experience to win Europe’s secondary competition. They are an enticing 4/1 with Betway and 7/2 with various other Green-Listed Bookmakers. Right now, only two teams look capable of stopping them.
Arsenal are the second favourites and may well finish outside the Premiership’s top four, so the Europa League represents another chance to qualify for next season’s Champions League. But they will be without new signing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as he is ineligible, while Olivier Giroud has moved to Chelsea, Alexis Sanchez has gone to Man Utd, and Theo Walcott is now at Everton, so they will have to rely on the misfiring Alexandre Lacazette for goals. Napoli are third favourites, but they are locked in a gruelling battle to win Serie A with Juventus. Aside from those two, Atletico should be able to pulverise the likes of Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Lazio, so silverware could be heading Simeone’s way this season and 4/1 is an interesting price.