Real Madrid vs Atletico Prediction: Los Blancos to edge out city rivals

 | February 03 | 

6 mins read

mack sochon la liga tips

The fourth Madrid derby of the 2023/24 season takes place on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu as Real and Atletico renew hostilities, this time in La Liga.

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

  • Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score @ 5/6
  • Real Madrid to win and over 1.5 goals @ EVS

Truth be told, the big derby in the Spanish capital hasn’t always lived up to the hype with tight, cautious games often the way of things during the Diego Simeone era. This season though, Madrid derby viewers have been treated to some all action affairs with 18 goals spread across the three meetings.

Atleti lead the head-to-head two to one having claimed 3-1 and 4-2 victories over their rivals in La Liga and the Copa del Rey at the Civitas Metropolitano. Real Madrid were 5-3 winners in the Super Cup, with the two cup meetings both settled in Extra Time.

Those two defeats across town are in fact the only matches that Real Madrid have lost this season. While they were the better side for long periods in the recent Copa del Rey clash, it’s certainly true that Atleti have given their defence more to think about than any other opponent at home or abroad this term which sets things up very nicely for Sunday’s showdown.

Both Carlo Ancelotti and Diego Simeone opted to rotate in midweek. Atletico Madrid were in action on Wednesday and Simeone took quite a big risk by resting the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Koke and Rodrigo De Paul for the visit of Rayo Vallecano.

Those players did feature in the Second Half and they helped Atleti scrape a 2-1 win thanks to a 90th minute goal from Memphis Depay who is proving a useful back-up forward with goals in each of his last three matches.

Atletico have been outstanding at home this season, but defeats in four of their last five away league games ensure they are 10 points behind their city rivals heading into this fixture. That helps explain why they are such clear underdogs for a derby that Diego Simeone’s side most likely need to win if they are to stand any chance of competing for the title.

Real Madrid have been much more consistent and have reeled off six straight wins in La Liga to regain top spot from Girona who they host next weekend. Los Blancos have the opportunity to take firm control of the Spanish title race if they can win both games.

Ancelotti’s side are at a slight disadvantage in that they had to play on Thursday night but the Italian also took the opportunity to rotate his team with the entire midfield changing from the late win at Las Palmas last weekend. They were too strong for Getafe, with a brace from Joselu, who took Rodrygo’s place in attack, sealing a 2-0 victory in what could have been a tricky fixture.

It wasn’t quite the perfect night for Ancelotti though, with Antonio Rudiger going off injured. Given their current shortage of central defenders, he’s the one player that Real Madrid really can’t afford to do without right now, especially with the club resisting the urge to bring in a new defender in the January transfer window.

Team News

Rudiger has been included in the matchday squad with Ancelotti suggesting he will be assessed on the day of the game before a final decision is made. Aurelien Tchouameni, who filled in for the German in central defence on Thursday, is suspended so it feels likely that Real Madrid will take a risk on Rudiger even if he’s not 100% fit.

With Eder Militao and David Alaba out long-term, the only alternative would be to use a full-back, most likely Dani Carvajal, in central defence which wouldn’t be ideal against a strong Atletico Madrid forward line.

Up front, Rodrgyo is likely to replace Joselu despite the Spaniard scoring twice against Getafe while Toni Kroos and Eduardo Camavinga are both expected to return in midfield. Jude Bellingham is fine to play despite Getafe reporting him to La Liga for alleged comments made to Mason Greenwood on Thursday night.

Atletico Madrid are missing the injured Jose Maria Gimenez, Cesar Azpilicueta and Thomas Lemar. They also have a doubt over centre-back Reinildo who has only just returned from a long-term injury but has made some important contributions over the past week.

The other big question for Diego Simeone will be whether to stick with in-form Memphis Depay up front or recall Alvaro Morata who missed the derby against Rayo but is fit for this game.

Match Odds

Real Madrid are the clear favourites at 7/10 to win while you can back Atletico Madrid at 18/5 and the Draw at 3/1.

With four or more goals in all of the Madrid derbies so far this season, punters may want to look to the goals markets here. Over 3.5 Goals is available at 13/8 if you fancy that trend to continue while Both Teams to Score is priced at 8/13.

You can back Real Madrid to score Over 1.5 Goals at 4/6 while Atletico Madrid are available at 2/1 to do likewise having fired in 10 goals against their rivals in the three meetings so far this term.

Jude Bellingham leads the field in the goalscorer markets, with the Englishman priced at 11/8 to score anytime and 9/2 to score first. He has only managed one goal so far in 2024 but he’s still getting into lots of attacking positions and it’s also worth noting that Bellingham appears to have taken over penalty duties after converting from 12 yards in Real Madrid’s last home game against Almeria.

Both sides have a number of goal threats and you can also back Vinicius Junior to score anytime at 7/5 while Rodrygo is available at 9/5 to score in the game. As for Atleti, Alvaro Morata is priced at 2/1 to score anytime on his return to the Santiago Bernabeu, while Antoine Griezmann is 9/4 to score anytime.

Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score @ 5/6

The open nature of the meetings so far this season does point to this game producing goals, particularly given Atleti have serious ground to make up in the title race and need to target three points rather than settle for one.

You also have to factor in Real Madrid’s defensive selection issues. Should Rudiger fail to make it, that really would offer encouragement to the visitors who have one of the best strike pairings in Europe right now, with Alvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann scoring 37 goals between them in all competitions this season.

As a result, I’m backing Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams to Score at 5/6, a bet that has comfortably landed in all of the meetings so far this term.

Over 2.5 goals and both teams to score at 5-6

Real Madrid to win and over 1.5 goals @ EVS

Real Madrid are having the more convincing campaign overall and they’ve their full quota of midfield and attacking options for this game with the sole exception of the suspended Tchouameni. This is also the first derby at the Santiago Bernabeu this season, with Atleti’s two wins both coming at home where they’re very strong.

Real Madrid have dropped just two home points this term while Atleti have lost more than they’ve won away in La Liga. Therefore, the hosts certainly justify their status as favourites to win this match and I’m backing Real Madrid and Over 1.5 Goals at Evens.

Real Madrid and over 1.5 goals at evens

Check out the rest of our Football Betting Tips here.

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