La Liga Tips: Atletico and Real prepare for huge Madrid derby

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The La Liga title race will take another significant twist this weekend, as Atletico and Real face-off in the third Madrid derby of the season.

Nothing could split the pair in the UEFA Super Cup or La Liga earlier in the campaign. How will things shape up this time around as both sides attempt to catch Barcelona at the top?

Castanets at the ready for this week’s Spanish football preview…

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid (3:15pm, Saturday)

Diego Simeone has had Real’s number in recent times. Atletico are unbeaten in their last five matches against Los Blancos, and have lost just once at home to them since February 2014.

Their more illustrious visitors may have improved under Santiago Solari. But the hosts are no slouches at the Wanda. They’ve lost just a single La Liga match there since moving in last year.

Our traders still reckon Real are the favourites at 21/10, against 27/20 for Atletico, although we think the Draw may be the way to go at 11/5.

Neither side will want to give anything away, while recent history suggests it’ll be tight. A 1-1 stalemate is 5/1, with Antoine Griezmann (8/5) and Karim Benzema (15/8) the likeliest scorers.

Don’t rule out the old boy, though. Alvaro Morata will be eager to inflict misery on his former employers and is an 11/5 chance to find the net for his new club.

Sevilla v Eibar (5:30pm, Saturday)

Minnows Eibar are having a pretty decent time of it in their fifth La Liga season. The Basque club sit nicely in the top-half of the table – but their record against Sevilla leaves a lot to be desired.

Jose Luis Mendilibar’s men have won just once in nine meetings against the Champions League hopefuls and suffered a 3-1 home defeat in the reverse fixture back in October.

The hosts are in decent nick at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan having taken both Barcelona and Real Madrid to task this season.

They’re 4/6 for another win here, with Ever Banega (7/2) to follow up his September brace against Eibar with a strike over the weekend. Wissam Ben Yedder is (10/11).

Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona (7:45pm, Sunday)

Eight wins in their last nine matches has propelled Barcelona to a six-point lead at the La Liga summit. Ernesto Valverde’s side are 4/6 to extend that run away at Athletic Bilbao.

The Catalan club struggled against the Basque boys earlier in the season with only a partially fit Lionel Messi. They’ll have no such issues over their talisman on Sunday.

Messi is in electric form in La Liga following a run of 12 goals in his last eight matches. Our traders go 4/6 about him scoring first and just 8/1 about another hat-trick for the Argentine.

It goes without saying Barca have goals running throughout the side – but we’ve said it anyway. And we make them 29/10 to Win with Over 3.5 Goals in the match.

Click here for the latest La Liga odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.