There are two fixtures from Spain’s Copa del Rey on Thursday and our Football Bet of the Day for Thursday 18th January focuses on the standout clash, a Madrid derby, as Real Madrid make the short trip to neighbours and rivals Atletico.
Real Madrid won the Copa del Rey for the 20th time last season, but their title defence could come to an end in the last 16 on Thursday as they face a tough trip to Atletico.
In recent seasons, these El Derbi Madrileno fixtures have been entertaining affairs and both teams have scored in each of the last five meetings between these two city rivals. The goals markets could be one way to approach this game, but Los Colchoneros have real appeal as underdogs here as they have a few advantages that could give them the edge.
The fact this game is taking place at the Metropolitano Stadium is the most obvious of these advantages, as Diego Simeone’s men have been close to perfect at home this season. Atleti are yet to be beaten in front of their own fans, winning 12 of their 13 games across all competitions - including a 3-1 win over Real back in September.
Both teams are coming into the game after competing in the Spanish Super Cup in Saudi Arabia, but Los Blancos had to remain in the Middle East for a little longer.
The two teams met in the semi-finals as Real triumphed 5-3 in extra time after a pulsating 3-3 draw in 90 minutes. Carlo Ancelotti’s men then thumped Barcelona 4-1 in the final on Sunday, but that means they have a quick turnaround coming into Thursday’s meeting.
Atletico know they can hurt Real as they have already beaten them this season, and they led the Super Cup meeting 1-0 and 3-2 before ultimately falling short. Revenge may well be on the minds of the hosts on Thursday and they have had four extra days to prepare for this fixture.
They also have a bit more time off before their next La Liga assignment as they play Granada on Monday, while Real take on Almeria on Sunday.
Both sides will probably name their best elevens for Thursday’s game but Real are the more likely of the two to rotate, as they are involved in a fierce title tussle with Girona in La Liga, while Atleti are probably resigned to battling for a top-four finish as they are 11 points off the pace. ,
That gives further encouragement that the hosts could win this game inside 90 minutes, although Atleti’s home record and the fact Real have a far more hectic schedule to deal with means we don’t have to rely on the visitors resting a few players to make backing a home win worthwhile.
Atletico have won two of their last three home games with Real, and have only lost one of their last five. The fact Simeone’s side have already beaten their city rivals at this ground this season, and they came close to overcoming them in the Super Cup, suggests they can get the job done in 90 minutes on Thursday, and the 13/8 on an Atleti win in this Copa del Rey clash has real appeal.
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