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Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Predictions, Picks, and Preview – UEFA Champions League Semifinals First Leg – May 2, 2017

Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Predictions, Picks, and Preview – UEFA Champions League Semifinals First Leg – May 2, 2017

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Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid Preview

Where: Santiago Bernabeu Stadium – Madrid, Spain

When: Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 2:45 PM ET

Line: Real Madrid -140 vs. Atletico Madrid +335draw +235; total 2.5 – view all Champions League lines

TV Broadcast: Fox Sports 1


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Betting on Real Madrid (-140)

Real Madrid survived arguably their biggest challenger for the Champions League this season in the quarterfinals as they saw off Bayern Munich, 6-3 in aggregate. After a prolonged Champions League scoring drought, superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo exploded for five goals over the two legs, including a hat-trick in their second-leg extra-time win.

Ronaldo was once again on the scoresheet in Real’s 2-1 win against Valencia over the weekend. Gareth Bale will not line up in the opposite wing due to injury, but Isco has been a capable replacement in the prolific Real attack. Meanwhile, the Real defense will get a much needed boost from the return of center-back Raphael Varane, who came back to the lineup against Valencia.

Real have once again been very reliable at home in this season’s Champions League. They’ve won four of their five games at the Bernabeu, extending their run to 35 wins in their last 41 Champions League home games (35-4-2).

Real are obviously very familiar with facing their city rivals, not just in their La Liga meetings, but also in their Champions League matchups. They’ve faced each other in each of the past three years in the knockout round, twice in the Champions League final. Real won both finals, although they’ve won just one of their four matches against Atletico in 90 minutes.

Betting on Atletico Madrid (+335)

As expected, Atletico Madrid made their way to a third Champions League semifinal in the last four seasons as they ended Leicester City’s Cinderella run in the competition. After winning the first leg 1-0, they picked up a 1-1 draw away from home to secure qualification.

There was absolutely nothing surprising from Atletico’s approach over those two games against Leicester. Their M.O. of defending incredibly well and getting enough goals has once again served them very well in the Champions League this season. However, for some reason Diego Simeone just hasn’t been able to solve the riddle that is Real Madrid in Europe, either in a one-off or over two legs.

It should be noted, though, that Atletico have had terrific success at the Santiago Bernabeu over the last few years in La Liga. They have won three of the last four in enemy territory, and managed to snatch a late draw in this year’s fixture.

Antoine Griezmann has scored in his last two visits to the Bernabeu, and is having another stellar season in Europe. He has five goals and two assists in 10 Champions League games to date.

Atleti will be without the services of speedy forward Yannick Ferreira Carrasco, but they still have a few more options up front to compensate for his loss. Kevin Gameiro is one such option, and he scored twice in Atelti’s impressive 5-0 road win against Las Palmas over the weekend.

Writer’s Prediction

Atleti get another positive result at the Bernabeu as they score a 1-1 draw (+235) and more importantly get a crucial away goal.

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Brad
Written by Brad

Sports Betting Tips, News, and Analysis