Atletico Madrid and Barcelona need extra time to find winner

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One match against Barcelona is all that separates Atletico Madrid from their first European Cup semi final for 40 years, but how long that match lasts is not a finite certainty.

There have been four meetings between these two La Liga-title chasers this season and as yet there hasn’t been a victor in any.

Diego Simeone’s hosts are the 23/10 outsiders to win for the first time in the season’s tussle, while a Barca victory is more expected at 5/4. A draw, which has occurred in all four meetings this term, is available at 12/5.

It’s not just the four draws that have developed over the course of the season though, as the final scores of the stalemates point to an obvious punt too.

Meetings between the two have either finished 0-0 or 1-1 and Ladbrokes customers can snap up 3/1 on either of those outcomes bearing fruit again, in our coupled correct score market.

The really tempting bet though, all things considered, revolves around the winner by what means market.

Seeing as another 0-0 or 1-1 score will send the tie to extra time, it seems far too long a price that additional minutes or even penalties will be needed to decide a winner.

Atletico are 22/1 to win by either the spot kick method or in extra time, while the Blaugrana are also a 22/1 chance to progress in a shootout. However, they are favoured to prevail in extra time at 16s.

It could well be that the additional period is the undoing of the hosts, who have six of the 10 most-used players in La Liga this term.

Meanwhile, the admission from Los Colchoneros skipper Gabi that his side haven’t prepared for a penalty shootout suggests it’s Lionel Messi and co who should be sided with should any tiebreaking occur.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.