The reigning champion failed to defend its Europa League trophy despite winning the second leg away at Rubin Kazan and now tries to consolidate its position in Primera Division. Atletico Madrid has just one point more than its city rivals but with a match in hand, it can widen the gap by winning against Espanyol.
Match: Atletico Madrid vs Espanyol
Bet: Over 2.5
Odds: Pinnacle Sports 1.83
This appears to be a lopsided game with the visitors being the underdogs, but Espanyol is in the middle of an impressive streak of victories. Except for the scoreless draw away at Zaragoza, they have won the most recent five games and scored an average of 2.4 goals per game. Their defense was sharper in the last two matches, but only because the opponents were either employing a defensive tactic, or struggled to replace a high number of injured players.
Atletico Madrid is without a doubt the toughest opponent they have faced this year and in Spain’s capital it is extremely difficult to win points against them. Falcao scored in each of the recent four games except for the 0-2 defeat to Kazan which sealed their fate in Europa League and he is the main threat for the visitors. The hosts are once again fielding an offensive formation and will try to secure the 13th consecutive home win in the first half, by overpowering Espanyol’s defense.
The odds for a home win are abysmal and given Espanyol’s form it would be a mistake to back Atletico, despite their excellent record. A better choice is to wager on more than 2.5 goals to be scored with Pinnacle Sports, because both teams excel offensively and the visitors know that barricading themselves doesn’t work against Atletico.