Diego Simeone has worked miracles at the Vicente Calderon and his team will be tough to beat on Saturday night
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Atletico Madrid were 100/1 at the start of the season to win La Liga although they have made a mockery of such odds with a fantastic campaign which has seen the Mattress Makers finish a full three points ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Considering Atleti have just a fifth of the wage bill compared to the “Big Two”, it truly is an incredible achievement and we can’t write off the so-called underdogs in this Lisbon clash considering the spirit that has been shown by this formidable team.
The bookmaker odds don’t reflect which team won the Spanish championship and which side finished third, with Atletico as big as 10/3 with Coral free bet to win the Champions League final in ninety minutes.
While there are concerns over the fitness of top scorer Diego Costa and creative midfielder Arda Turan, substitutes Raul Garcia and Adrian proved to be able replacements and this team is less about the individual components and more about collective teamwork.
“I never thought for a moment the team would not do it,” Simeone said after that 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp and it will be the same mentality shown for the derby clash.
“They always have a response. The bigger the challenge is, the more determined they are to achieve it. To become champions against Barcelona is a great feeling.”
Defensively, there has not been a better team in Spain this term and the pressure will be heaped on the shoulders of Real Madrid who will be out to make the campaign a success rather than a failure buoyed only by a Copa del Rey success.
William Hill offer 17/10 about Atletico lifting the trophy and their talented defence can keep the shackles on Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale, especially when you consider they won at the Bernabeu earlier this term.
Maybe a long season will catch up with Simeone’s team and Real had the big game players to defeat Atleti and Barcelona en route to winning the Copa del Rey, with Ballon d’Or holder Ronaldo able to singlehandedly win matches on his own.
Winner offer 19/20 about a win for Real Madrid in ninety minutes, with Carlo Ancelotti having previously enjoyed success with AC Milan in this competition, with Ronaldo available at 10/3 to score first while Bale is a 7/1 chance to break the deadlock.
With those players, the temptation is to back plenty of goals but this could be a cagey encounter and Winner have a perfectly fair 3/4 about Under 2.5 Goals in this contest.