Red Bull Salzburg v Atletico Madrid: Simeone to get the point he wants

This game looks tailor made for Atletico Madrid with a stalemate enough for them to go through and they are worth backing to secure it, says Jamie Pacheco.

Red Bull Salzburg v Atletico Madrid
Wednesday December 9, 20:00,
Live on BT Sport

All or nothing for Salzburg

Salzburg have done pretty well to get themselves into this position given they're up against a side who can lay claim to be the best club side in the world at the moment and one who made two finals in three years a few years ago.

Not that they've had any great campaign themselves. Five games have yielded just four points and their current goal difference sits at -5 after a 6-2 home defeat to Bayern did plenty of damage to it.

That they're even still in with a chance was thanks to their 3-1 win at Lokomotiv Moscow last week. It means that they now need a win to leapfrog Atletico into second place with Bayern having already secured top spot a long time ago.

They're not coming into this match with any great momentum after losing 1-0 at the weekend to Admira Wacker. Mind you, they did rest lots of players with an eye on this match.

Jekyll and Hyde of European football

Talk about Jekyll and Hyde. On the home front Atletico are doing great, top of the table on 26 points from 10 games and in an excellent position to pip Spain's Big Two to La Liga for the first time in years. There is a long way to go, however.

But in Europe they can (like Salzburg) consider themselves fortunate to be one good result away from a Last 16 spot because they've been poor. A thrashing at the hands of Bayern in Germany is perfectly excusable, back-to-back draws against Lokomotiv, less so.


That said, the 1-1 draw they secured against Bayern last week has put them in the driving seat here. Yes, Bayern didn't play their best side by a long chalk but it means Atletico only need to avoid defeat in this one to be in the next round.

Clear pick on the match winner market

I think the first thing we can do here is rule out the home win that Salzburg desperately need at 3.45.

Considering they've never won back-to-back matches in the Champions League before, I don't think they're going to change that against a side like Atletico, with all their experience, who actually thrive on this sort of pressure.

But I'm not too keen on Atletico at 2.2, either. Not only because they're not a team who would go out of their way to win games they don't need to but more to the point, because they've been so disappointing in this competition thus far.

Atleti have drawn all of their last three in the CL and with the stalemate the biggest of the three prices, that's the one to go with, at 3.7.

Good price on low-scoring game

It's not often you get a chance to back under 2.5 goals at odds-against in a match involving Atletico.

This is after all the team who's become famous over the years for the 1-0 win where they go a goal up and then defend resolutely, at times cynically, till the final whistle.

Proof of the low-scoring nature of their results is that only one man has kept as many clean sheets in this competition (since his debut) as the wonderful Jan Oblak. It's 26 and counting with only Marc-Andre ter Stegen able to match him.

Yes, this was 3-2 in Madrid a few weeks ago but I can't see that happening again and it has all the hallmarks of a slow burner.

Or a match that never lights up all.

It's 2.26 on unders and that will do me fine.


Felix better value than Suarez

Just because we're on 'unders' doesn't mean the goalscorer markets aren't worth a look.

Mergim Berisha got two in Moscow last week, his eighth and ninth of the season, and he's 21/10 to get another here.

For Atletico Luis Suarez is evens to score while Joao Felix is a far more attractive 13/8, especially after getting a brace against these very opponents in Madrid.

He's on 11 goals already this season.

If like me, you think this could be low-scoring, it may be better to chance them both on the first goalscorer market instead. It's 7/2 the Uruguyan and 5/1 the Portuguese wunderkid.

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