Eden Hazard

Real Madrid’s Eden Hazard, right, vies for the ball with Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni during the Champions League group D soccer match between Real Madrid and Inter Milan at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2021. Real Madrid won 2-0. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

  • It is Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid in Round 16 of La Liga on Sunday, December 12 at 3:00 pm ET
  • Real Madrid is top of La Liga with Atleti down in fourth, 10 points adrift
  • We preview the game, look at the odds, and offer some picks below

Real Madrid plays host to city rivals Atletico Madrid in Round 16 of La Liga on Sunday, December 12 at 3:00 pm ET at the Bernabeu. Los Blancos head into the first Madrid derby of the season with an eight-point lead at the top of La Liga, while Atleti is 10 points adrift down in fourth.

We list the odds, preview Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, and offer below the best picks for this La Liga Matchday 16 clash.

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Odds

Matchup Spread Moneyline Total
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid RMA -0.5 (+105) | ATM +0.5 (-127) RMA +106 | DRAW +250 | ATM +255 Ov 2.5 (-103) | Un 2.5 (-121)

Odds as of December 11 at Barstool

Real Madrid on the Charge

A summer overhaul at the Bernabeu left an air of uncertainty going into the new season, especially with the departure of their two most experienced defenders, Raphael Varane and Sergio Ramos, but it has been business as usual for Los Blancos. They have won 12 of their 16 games, have only been beaten once and their only two summer signings, Eduardo Camavinga and David Alaba, have both had positive impacts.

In addition to leading La Liga, Real has also performed well in the Champions League and secured their place in the knockout phase by virtue of winning Group D. Carlo Ancelotti’s men are certainly making the most of Barcelona’s demise – the Catalans are in crisis and down in seventh – and are re-emerging as the sole dominant force in Spanish soccer.

Nine Wins on the Bounce for Ancelotti’s Men

Los Blancos are on an impressive run and have won each of their last nine games across all competitions, including a fine 2-0 Champions League win over Inter Milan on Tuesday night and an equally impressive 2-0 win over fifth-placed Real Sociedad last weekend. With just three games to go before La Liga goes into their winter break – vs Atleti, Cadiz and Athletic Bilbao – Ancelotti will be demanding that his men retain their current levels of consistency and intensity.

While Gareth Bale and Dani Ceballos are still unavailable for selection, Ancelotti has an otherwise healthy squad to pick from, with Karim Benzema expected to be fit after missing the Inter game in midweek.

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Head-to-Head Stats

12-3-1 Record in La Liga 8-5-2
37 Goals For 27
15 Goals Against 16
1st La Liga Position 4th
W-W-W-W-W-W Form Guide (All Competitions) D-W-L-W-L-W
2.16 Expected Goals (xG) 1.59

Inconsistent Atleti

Diego Simeone’s men have struggled for consistency as they attempt to defend their La Liga title and will end up 13 points adrift of their city rivals if they lose this game, albeit with one game in hand.

Their surprise 2-1 home defeat by Mallorca last weekend saw them drop down to fourth, level on points with fifth-placed Real Sociedad, but they remain in close touch with the two teams above them: Sevilla is two points ahead of them on 31 points and Real Betis one point ahead on 30. While Atleti’s Champions League campaign has been a good one – in midweek their feisty3-1 over Porto was enough to see them qualify for the knockout stages – the reigning champions have dropped points in seven of their 15 league games.

Goals Aplenty for Simeone’s Team

One positive for Atleti, however, is that goals have been fairly easy to come by – not always something that can be said of a Simeone team – and their record of 27 goals is the second-highest in the league. In terms of head to heads, Real holds the upper hand and Atleti has not been victorious in this equivalent fixture in La Liga since winning 1-0 at the Bernabeu during the 2015-16 season. Worth noting though is that five of their last eight league meetings have finished level.

One downside for Atleti is that Luis Suarez is set to miss out with an injury picked up against Porto in the Champions League, while Kieran Trippier and Stefan Savic are again absent.

Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

Real Madrid will be looking to use the momentum built up over their recent run to sweep aside their inconsistent city rivals and make it ten wins on the spin. Atleti, meanwhile, will be hoping the derby day atmosphere will prove to be enough of a leveler that they can win against their city rivals for the first time in 12 attempts.

Simeone will have his men organized and motivated enough to make it a difficult 90 minutes for Real, but with the hosts still in plus money that, for me, is where the value lies.  Let’s not expect a goal-fest though – Atleti only concedes, on average, a goal per La Liga game.

Picks: Real Madrid to win (+106) / Real Madrid to win 1-0 (+650)

 

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Gary Gowers

Soccer
Sports Writer

Soccer





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