Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid by Iker Leon

Tonight at 20:00 CET the match between Real Madrid and Atlético de Madrid will take place in Spanish Primera Division, being played in Santiago Bernabeu Stadium. The last encounter between these two teams was a couple of weeks ago when they played the final for Spanish Supercopa and it brings good memories for Atlético fans since they got the title. These two teams have played recently an unusual number of matches, having crossed their paths in four different competitions (La Liga, Copa del Rey, Champions league and Spanish Supercopa), what has given different results, what is something to take into considerations when reading stats.

I normally don’t play derbies since there is in my opinion a relevant portion of non-rational items around those matches, what normally drives to surprises against current trends. However I found interesting to put some time on this match and try to find value ideas when reading the stats and analyzing specific items impacting the teams at this point in time.

I will start by the straight result, and here I find that market is moving too much on Real Madrid side. The general feeling in Spain is that Real Madrid will take revenge at home from losing Supercopa title, and certainly that is a possible outcome. However there are several factors that provide value going against Real Madrid.

The first one is the physical situation of Cristiano Ronaldo. He has been put for a couple of weeks and although Ancelotti can’t stop saying how recuperated he is now, reality is that he won’t be in best shape, and that reduces a lot the offensive potential of the whites, specially having lost also Di Maria. And that departure along with Xavi Alonso going to Bayern, makes Ancelotti having to modify the way they have been playing recently. He can only count with three pure mid-fielders; Illarra (who has played very little), Kroos (just landed to the team) and Modric (the only that had some minutes, but always complementing Xavi Alonso, who now is gone). Ancelotti is a great coach, but that does not eliminate the fact that all those changes could potentially have a relevant impact on how the team performs, especially with such a well organized team as Atlético de Madrid. In my view the current odds are not reflecting this.

Additionally we have Arbeloa (who has played little so far) replacing Carvajal, Marcelo coming from a transatlantic trip and Coentrao coming back from an injury. That impacts also defence and should be reflected in odds, however we see that the market is providing 63% probabilities for Real Madrid for a straight win.

Therefore the value is with Atlético and 1.78 odds on +1 Handicap at Pinnacle sounds a nice bite. In my view the value is more on the straight wing for Atlético, since current odds are only awarding them with 17% probabilities, so for the ones out there with a strong heart the 5.68 odd at Pinnacle represents a nice shot (bear in mind that win rate for Atlético vs. Real Madrid with Simeone is above 27% – and this time Real Madrid is not well prepared).

As said before, derbies are always some kind of lottery and therefore time will provide us with the final result. But with facts and stats in mind, it looks like (again) the psychology of the market has pushed the odds in one direction harder than it should and therefore value is arising in this match.