Atletico to struggle against Barca without Falcao threat

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A thumping 7-0 win on the opening day of the season suggests Barcelona are in for another sterling campaign.

With Gerardo Martino now at the helm, Barcelona are 8/11 to beat Atletico Madrid in the opening leg of the Spanish Super Cup in the capital.

It’s a strong price given Barcelona’s start, the addition of Neymar, and the fact Atletico have lost last year’s star man Radamel Falcao to Monaco.

Barca have won their last six against Atletico too, and have come away from their last three trips to the Estadio Vicente Calderon with a 2-1 winning scoreline, which can be backed at 7/1.

Atletico are 7/2 to win the home leg, as they make their first appearance in the competition since 1996 thanks to a memorable Copa Del Rey final win over city rivals Real last season.

Diego Simeone’s men got off to a strong domestic start themselves with a 3-1 win at Sevilla, but as they look to build on last season’s third place league finish, replacing Falcao with David Villa is not going to haul them any closer to domestic giants Barca and Real.

As the Catalan club add the much-heralded Neymar to a frontline already boasting Lionel Messi and Alexis Sanchez, the gap between the two sides is set to widen, and backing a bigger margin of victory for Barcelona may be the way to go.

Both teams have scored in their last seven meetings at Atletico, and a 3-1 Barcelona win is priced at 10/1.

However, the only Atletico player to score past Barcelona in the last five clashes is that man Falcao, and his exit to the south of France will give the Barca defence a much easier time of it.

With that in mind, a 3-0 away win at 12/1 will attract attention, and last year’s La Liga champions are 12/5 to win to nil.

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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing

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