Time to start believing Atletico hype and extract some value

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Real Madrid’s latest La Liga slip-up against Sevilla not only compounded their Clasico defeat to Barcelona, but saw them slip to third behind their arch rivals and three points behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Yet, despite Atletico continuing to mix it up against Spanish football’s power couple with only eight games left to play in the league, they are still priced up as distinctive outsiders for La Liga glory.

Diego Simeone’s side are 4/1 shots for the title, behind rivals Real at 21/10, while holders Barca are the favourites to retain their crown under Gerardo Martino at 8/11.

Having talked up Atletico’s chances from as early as November here on news.Ladbrokes, we’d certainly be advising punters to finally believe the hype and back the unfashionable member of this triumvirate at such money-spinning odds.

A first Madrid derby win over their fierce rivals in 14 years at the Bernabeu earlier in the season set the tone for Atletico’s superb campaign and rather than fade, they’ve gone from strength-to-strength.

Two other draws against both title rivals have furthered their credentials and with Barcelona still to play on the very last day of the season, it may yet transpire to be a one-off winner-takes-all affair.

Diego Costa has been the Atleti poster boy, banging in goals for fun, but make no mistake this has been a total team effort from Los Rojiblancos under the guidance of their talented Argentine coach.

A Europa League trophy earmarked Simeone for greatness, yet people have remained reluctant to believe that any other team could possibly pierce the Real/Barca duopoly on Spain’s highest domestic honour.

Two games against Blaugrana in the Champions League quarters are sure to offer further clues, though at a huge 20/1 price to lift that trophy, Atleti are surely the best value bet in both competitions by a country mile.

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

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