Saturday, 6 May 2017

Atletico Madrid - Eibar

PICK: Eibar team totals over 0,5 @2,21 PINNACLE 4/10

36th round of Spanish Primera will be on schedule on this weekend, and one of the matches will be on Saturday at 16:15, when 3rd placed Atletico Madrid will host 8th Eibar on their Vicente Calderon.

Atletico is coming to match after disappointing defeat against Real Madrid in Champions league semi finals. With result 3-0, they are without chances in second leg, but we know Simeone... He won't let anyone to win easily on Vicente Calderon. They were in pretty fine form in second half of the season, but in last 3 matches, they lost twice. Once against Real Madrid as mentioned, and once at home against Villarreal. Between those two matches they trashed Las Palmas on Canary Islands, but match there was solved in first 20 minutes and besides, there are more and more rumours about the problems between coach and players. Simeone called up 18 players for the match against Eibar. Surprise on the list is 22 years old defender of B team - Rafa Munoz, but on the other hand it isn't that surprising as they are without several defenders: Juanfran, Gimenez and Vrsaljko are injured, while Savić is suspended for the match. List of defenders is pretty short now, as only Godin, Filipe Luis, Lucas Hernandez and already mentioned Rafa Munoz are available.

Eibar is sitting on comfortable 8th place, and once again they have shown that they are decent mid-table team. With 4 points more than Espanyol and 7 less than Real Sociedad, it's almost clear that they will finish on 8th place. Their next match will be against Gijon at home, and this Gijon will be probably already relegated till the next round. What I'm trying to say is, that there is no pressure on Eibar, and they are coming on Vicente Calderon totally relaxed, prepared to fire up things in Madrid. Right full back Capa will miss the match, but all the important players: Pedro Leon, Inui, Enrich, Kike, Lejeune, Ramis,... are fit. Good news for Mendilibar are that Escalante is coming back to the squad after suspension, and midfield of Eibar will be stronger with him for sure.

All in all, odds simply surprised me. It's true that they are facing one of the toughest defences in Europe in last years, but fact is that Atletico is 3rd, with 2 points above Sevilla who just played draw with Real Sociedad. That means that Atleti will stay on 3rd place after this round no matter what. First match in Eibar finished with 0-2, but Eibar missed some really good chances. Moreover, Atletico's lineup was almost the strongest one (without Oblak and Carrasco), while Eibar missed Kike and Ramis. I believe that Simeone would like to finish the battle for 3rd place as soon as possible, but Sevilla will face Real in Madrid in next round, while Atletico will play against Betis so... Kike said that he expect strong lineup of Atletico and that we won't see too many rotations of Simeone, but I disagree with him. Defence will be without Savić, Gimenez, Juanfran, so we'll see at least 2 changes. In midfield, I expect that Simeone will rest Carrasco, who has just returned from injury. His replacement might be Gaitan. In attack, I am pretty sure that we'll see El Nino from the start as he was on the bench in midweek. I am not saying, that Atletico's squad won't be strong, but I am saying that it won't be as strong as it could and that players will be thinking about revanche to their town rival as well. Eibar likes to play with high pressure, they are highly motivated against bigger teams - they played extremely good against Barcelona, even if they lost 1-4 (everyone who have watched the match knows what I am talking about)., they are dangerous on wings, and used to take lots of shots. In my opinion, there are 50/50 chances for Eibar to score, so odds represents value for me!

FT: 1-0

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