Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid -Spain La Liga Match Preview, Estadio Santiago Bernabu Madrid, Spain, 3 PM EST Saturday December 1, 2012
By Jason Green, Soccer Handicapper, Predictem.com
Match Odds: Real Madrid 1.66 / Atletico Madrid 6.50 / Draw 4.50
Moneyline: Real Madrid -225 / Atletico Madrid +550 / Draw +350
Over/Under: 2.5 goals
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Real Madrid won the La Liga title last season, but while they are in 3rd place so far this season they have some work to do to repeat as champions. They trail Barcelona by 11 points and surprising Atletico Madrid by 8 points.
Atletico Madrid has played well all season and they have really been en fuego lately winning their last 5 matches and in that span they have scored 9 goals and given 0. Even though they have fewer goals than Real Madrid and have conceded more they have a better record and 8 more points.
Real Madrid has given up the 2nd fewest goals in league play and they have scored the 2nd most, but they are coming off a shocking 1-0 loss to Real Betis in their last La Liga match.
While Atletico Madrid has been playing great and they already beat Chelsea 4-1 in the UEFA Super Cup they have not played Barcelona or Real Madrid yet and this match may show if they are for real. On the other side of the coin Real has played Barcelona 3 times with 1 loss and 1 win in the Super Cup and playing to a draw in league play.
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Cristiano Ronaldo has played well with the 2nd most goals in La Liga play and he and Gonzalo Higuan have combined for 19 goals. They will be facing a white-hot goalie of Thibaut Courtois, who has 5 clean sheets in a row.
Last season Real Madrid crushed Atletico Madrid 2 times in league play beating them 4-1 both at home and on the road.
The Real defense has only conceded 3 goals in their last 4 matches and their main concern in this game has to be Atletico Madrid striker Radamel Falcao, who ranks 3rd in La Liga play with 11 goals. If they can shut him down and I think they will Real will be in good shape.
Arda Turan and Ral Garca have combined for 7 goals this season for Atletico Madrid and I think one of them will score in this game. There is a good chance that the goal will come on the counter attack, as Real will come out strong on offense since they need the 3 points from a win.
Do not be surprised if Atletico Madrid plays a defensive match, as I think they will drop many of their midfielders back on defense. They will be more than happy with a draw, as it will still give them more of a 2-match cushion over Real Madrid.
Iker Casillas is coming off a clean sheet in his last match, but it was facing a lower club in the Copa del Rey. He will play well, but not keep a clean sheet.
Real definitely has the advantage in the midfield and they will take advantage of that and dominate the time of possession. Because of this they will get their chances to score, which they will do multiple times.
Atletico Madrid Recent Form
11/11/2012 Atltico Madrid 2 Getafe 0 (La Liga)
11/18/2012 Granada 0 Atltico Madrid 1 (La Liga)
11/22/2012 Atltico Madrid 1 Hapoel Tel-Aviv 0 (Europa League)
11/25/2012 Atltico Madrid 4 Sevilla FC 0 (La Liga)
11/28/2012 Atltico Madrid 1 Jaen 0 (Copa del Rey)
Real Madrid Recent Form
11/11/2012 Levante 1 Real Madrid 2 (La Liga)
11/17/2012 Real Madrid 5 Athletic Bilbao 1 (La Liga)
11/21/2012 Manchester City 1 Real Madrid 1 (Champions League)
11/24/2012 Real Betis 1 Real Madrid 0 ( La Liga)
11/27/2012 Real Madrid 3 Alcoyano 0 (Copa del Rey)
Jason’s Pick to Win the Match: With Atletico Madrid playing solid defense in the first half they will keep it close, but in the 2nd half Real will come through. I think after their first goal they will score 2 more and overall they will win this Madrid derby match by a scored of 3-1.