Like so many times before El Derbi Madrileño will decide which way one trophy goes. Will that be Santiago Bernabeu or Wanda Metropolitan? The question is tough, and this game also be. Real started this season a bit slow, but they are catching the rhythm as time goes by. As for Atletico, they were oscillating, but still near the top of the standings. Several wins in a row made them an active competitor in La Liga again. This contest will take place in Saudi Arabia at King Abdulah stadium.
Real (+125) hasn’t lost in 15 straight matches, posting 10 wins and five draws. Some of those games in which they took just one point were not expected, like the latest one versus Athletic Bilbao at home, 0-0. Still, the positive trend in their performances is a tough defense. Until they defeated Valencia two days ago with 1-3, Zidane’s boys haven’t allowed a goal in three straight events. On the other hand, they didn’t score on two of them, but that isn’t diminishing their offensive qualities. The Los Blancos are not very reliable when it comes to high efficiency lately, but that is also a consequence of a schedule that forced them to play five away games in less than three weeks.
Atletico (+240) made a fantastic comeback in the last nine minutes against Barcelona. Diego Simeone’s team pretty much stunned the favorites and fought their way into the Super Cup finals, earning a chance to reach the first piece of silverware in this campaign. The Mattress Makers have five straight wins, and after a period of inconsistent games, they started pounding really good, and during this streak, they scored twice in each event. Also, in that interval, all the matches apart for the one vs. Barcelona saw a moderate efficiency, meaning two or three goals. But, that is something characteristic for Simeone and his side, as they nourish the same style of play over the last several years.
Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard are not going to play. But what is, even more, worrying for Real’s army of fans is Karim Benzema’s situation. The French striker will not play due to a leg injury. He’s been an irreplaceable part of this team.
On the other side, Diego Costa isn’t available, but Simeone has solid replacements for him. However, that won’t be the same without him on the pitch, as no one knows better to battle Sergio Ramos than him.
Head to Head
The first derby of the season ended without goals, and it took place at Wanda Metropolitan. However, Real still feels the slap in the face received this summer at the International Champions Cup, once Atletico won 7-3. Prior to that, they haven’t won during the regulations in five straight, and the efficiency was highly unstable.
Although it might seem a bit odd for many of you, we believe that Atletico Madrid has higher chances of winning the trophy on Sunday than Real. Not having Hazard is one thing, and Zidane’s guys already played without him for quite some time. The same applies to Bale. But without Benzema, we truly believe that there isn’t a person who can handle Atletico’s defense like the French. All others are young and inexperienced or in bad form. Also, Simeone is a master for these types of games, and his powerful defense will lead him to a trophy, The odds for Atletico to lift it are +110.
Pick: Atletico to win the trophy, +110
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.