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Saturday sees this term’s sixth and probably final episode of the series between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, with the Meringues seeking their first win over their neighbours.
Atletico Madrid’s results against Real Madrid, arguably the biggest club in the world, are nothing short of remarkable – the Mattressmakers have not lost to the Meringues in normal time of their last seven meetings, although they did give way in extra time of last season’s UEFA Champions League final after being seconds away from clinching victory.
It is not often that one can side with Real Madrid at odds against but, in light of Atletico Madrid’s wonderful record in the Spanish capital’s biggest derby, one cannot pull the trigger on the Meringues. The state of the Spanish Primera Division title race is such that a draw would be a decent result for Real Madrid and it would probably extinguish Atletico Madrid’s chance of retaining the championship.
Normally one leaves it until the end of an article before launching into exotic markets but the smartest play in the Spanish Primera Division grudge match between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid is betting on a red card, which bookmakers are likely to quote at odds of around 1/1 2.00 +100 1.00 1.00 -1.00 . Update: The price is better than we expected, so we’re all over the 5/4 2.25 +125 1.25 1.25 -0.80 with WilliamHill.
Spanish Primera Division administrators have appointed David Fernandez Borbalan to referee Atletico Madrid versus Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon. Fernandez Borbalan is a UEFA Elite Group referee who, when he officiates in city derbies such as Atletico Madrid against Real Madrid, has a tendency to send off at least one player. One has trawled through the record books and found that Fernandez Borbalan has shown a red card in each of the last five city derbies that he has refereed, including one game between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid. Not since April 2012 has Fernandez Borbalan controlled a city derby in any competition that ended 11 versus 11 and even that match – Valencia against Levante – had seven yellow cards. Fernandez Borbalan was in charge of Atletico Madrid’s Spanish Supercopa de Espana second leg versus Real Madrid at the Vicente Calderon in August when nine players received cautions and one player, Real’s Luka Modric, was sent off for his second indiscretion, meaning that the cards points market made up at a massive 115.
Anyone who has seen this term’s five games between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid will testify that it is a miracle that only Modric has received his marching orders. Overall, referees have brandished 45 yellow cards and one red card in those five matches, which equates to a card points average of 79.17. Surely given those numbers and the historical data of Fernandez Borbalan one can expect at least one player to go for an early bath in Saturday’s Spanish Primera Division showdown that Atletico Madrid simply has to try and win.
Elsewhere on the Spanish Primera Division program, one likes the look of high-flying duo Villarreal and Sevilla at home to Granada and away to Getafe respectively.
Villarreal’s 18-game unbeaten run across all competitions came to an end when it lost 2-3 at Barcelona on Sunday but the Yellow Submarine did not go down without scaring the living daylights out of Barca, leading 1-0 and 2-1. Next up for Villarreal is a Spanish Primera Division home assignment against Granada on Saturday. Granada’s Spanish Primera Division away record of one win, four draws and six losses is the top flight’s third worst behind those of Sociedad and Espanyol. And, as one has highlighted time and time again, Villarreal beats teams below it on the Spanish Primera Division ladder and comes up short versus its superiors. Villarreal is attractive at odds of 33/100 1.33 -303 0.33 -3.03 0.33 with Coral, SkyBet and Totesport to take care of business versus Granada.
Sevilla will play its second Spanish Primera Division match in Madrid in the space of five days when they back up from facing Real Madrid on Wednesday to tackle Getafe on Sunday.
The reverse Spanish Primera Division fixture resulted in a 2-0 home victory for Sevilla and Getafe has been beaten on its own pitch by Real Madrid (0-3) and Villarreal (0-1) in recent weeks. Indeed, Getafe has played the other Spanish Primera Division sides in the top six, failing to score a single goal in those five games, losing four of them. So Sevilla makes one’s Spanish Primera Division short list at odds of 21/20 2.05 +105 1.05 1.05 -0.95 with several bookmakers, including Bet365 and Bwin, to complete a league double over Getafe.
Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid – Red Card
7th February 15:00 GMT
Odds: 5/4 2.25 +125 1.25 1.25 -0.80
Where to Bet: WilliamHill