Leganes vs Atletico Madrid
For a side which seemed destined for the drop for much of last season before a remarkable unbeaten run, Leganes will not panic about being in the bottom three after just 10 matches.
Asier Garitano got the Real Sociedad job on the back of guiding the minnows to a third season in La Liga.
The man now trying to ensure their safety in the top flight is a familiar face to many us fans, particularly those who follow the English Premier League.
Leganes are only one point from safety will not trouble them too much at this stage, particularly after taking four points from their last three games, hot on the heels of a memorable win little over a month ago which provided one of the La Liga 2018 highlights so far.
After famously seeing off the champions, the visit of last season’s runners-up to the Estadio Municipal de Butarque will be another occasion when they respect but do not fear their opponents.
Atletico have not exactly been without problems themselves as shown by a surprise 4-0 rout in the Champions League last week.
They recovered from that to see off Real Sociedad and are currently fourth in the table within touching distance of the top.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone gestures during his clubs UCL clash against Dortmund
But as coach Diego Simeone has already intimated, big things are expected of Los Rojiblancos this term; that can add to the pressure.
A slip-up in this one will certainly not be expected nor tolerated by Simeone who rested Filipe Luis, Saul, Angel Correa and Antoine Griezmann – who is this observer’s favourite to win the 2018 Ballon d’Or – from their midweek Copa del Rey win at third-tier Sant Andreu.
Gelson Martins’ goal spared their blushes after which Simeone hinted that he expects opponents to raise their game, such has been his side’s progress under his stewardship.
With this being the early kick-off, Atletico could go top – however briefly – on Saturday lunchtime. It is a game they are clearly expected to win as the La Liga 2018 betting odds clearly illustrate.
One thing they must guard against, however, is complacency.
Leganes have already given one giant a bloodied nose for that approach!
It seems some time since the sides met in the Segunda Division back in the 2001/2 campaign, the season in which Atletico were promoted to the top flight.
The four meetings between these sides over the past two seasons have not been ones to write home about.
Indeed, they have only produced six goals.
Last September, this fixture saw Atletico huff and puff but were unable to break the deadlock in a goalless draw.
Granted, Atletico won the return fixture in February, 4-0, when the unplayable Griezmann scored the lot.
The previous season also resulted in a 2-0 home win for Atletico, courtesy of a Fernando Torres double.
But again, the match at Leganes ended without a goal.
That is a mighty achievement for this tiny club.
Remember, this is a side from cucumber country south of the Spanish capital.
A town of 185,000 where there are streets named after AC/DC and Scorpions and a side which, as recently as 2013, had no training ground and was playing at a pitch full of potholes.
Leganes are living the dream.
||Leganes vs Atletico Madrid
||Asian Handicap -1.00 Atletico Madrid @ 2.35
|November 3, 20:00 (GMT+8)
So what are the chances of a third successive goalless draw in this fixture?
Well, a correct score of 0-0 will actually pay out at odds of 6.00, so there is little to lose with a quick-fire bet on a repeat.
Likewise, a low-scoring encounter – Total Goals 0-1 – offers a payout of @ 2.30, while under 1.75 goal is available @ 2.21.
1×2 Atletico Madrid is offered @ 1.69 which shows an upset is unlikely, although the 1X2 draw @ 3.55 has a certain appeal.
If Leganes are to repeat their monumental victory over Barca the 1X2 odds on a home win are @ 5.00
The Double Chance on a Leganes victory or a draw comes out @ 2.08, which also suggests the hosts are not being ruled out completely.
Turning to Asian Handicap betting, + 0.75 Leganes @ 2.00 may be plumped for by die-hard home supporters but my prediction has to be an away victory.
The Europa League holders may have shipped four at Dortmund last time they played away from home, but Simeone will have made sure they now have their house in order at the back.
For that reason alone, I cannot see anything other than an Atletico victory.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:
| = €20 (Highly confident)
|| = €10 (CONFIDENT)
|| = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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