Last time these two teams met was in the most important game of the decade for both clubs, and Madrid emerged victorious. Atletico dominated the Europa League fixture and fully deserved the trophy at the end of a 3-0 victory that left no room for speculations. The teams meet again and Atletico is playing in front of its fans, which should act as an incentive for playing more aggressively than they usually do.
Bet: Over 3 goals
Odds: bet365 2.15
Another rock-solid reason for why the hosts should come out firing from the first minute, is that Bilbao is an equally offensive team with serious problems in the defense. They’ve lost the first match at home against Betis but what is more shocking is the fact that they’ve conceded five goals. Madrid is much more dangerous upfront, and should capitalize on the multiple breaches existing in the opponent’s defense, with players such as Falcao and Adrian leading the way.
Primera Division is the priority
Atletico Madrid finished the championship on the fifth place last season and will once again play in Europa League, but they have higher expectations for this year. The goal is to take advantage of Malaga’s recent struggles and cash in on the speculations that the Arabians owning the club are thinking about ceasing their financial support. In order to play among the best European teams in the Champions League, Atletico has to finish Primera Division at least on the 4th place.
This makes the confrontation with Athletic Bilbao a priority and dismisses the rumors that Madrid plans to rest key players for the upcoming match against Chelsea. There are four more days that players can use to rest ahead of that show, but meanwhile everyone focuses on winning this match. The hosts will start with a 4-4-2 formation having Falcao upfront alongside Adrian, but most of the passes will be looking for the Colombian striker. He found a way of defeating Bilbao in the Europa League final, even though their opponent’s offense was in much better shape so he should do short work of their current backline.
Despite all its recent struggles defensively, the visiting team is a force to be reckoned with in offense as they scored 9 goals in the last two games. The bookmakers set the line at over 2,5 goals as they usually do, but punters who are looking to maximize value should consider Bet365 and its 2.15 odds for the Over 3 goals to be scored. While enjoying better odds, they don’t risk anything more because in case exactly three games are scored, the amount wagered is returned.