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Jonathan Cordingley 23rd Oct 2009 - 6:43

Making money from Atlético

Great at home, not so on their travels - this is the mantra Atlético have been labelled with for many a year.

Take for example their fixtures last season with Barcelona; a 6-1 loss away and a 4-3 win at home. On the opening day of this season, things appeared to be no different as Los Colchoneros travelled to face William Hill Online sponsored Málaga and lost 3-0. Business as usual it seemed and one also had to consider the fatigue of the Atlético team after their midweek Champions League (qualifier) tie with Panathinaikos.

Next up for Los Colchoneros were Racing Santander at the Vicente Calderón in a match you would expect them to win comfortably. Alas, a 1-1 draw was the result and I now decided that the problem was far greater than expected.

After a little research I discovered that their upcoming Champions League opponents, APOEL Nicosia, were a well organised team that would no doubt play for a draw on their visit to Madrid. Hence a small wager was placed and a nice return entered my bank account after another home draw for Atlético.

After their usual thrashing in Barcelona there was further profit for your writer courtesy of a 2-2 draw with Almería in which Atlético conceded a 90th minute equaliser. Next Los Colchoneros travelled to Valencia to face a team with similar defensive frailties. Over 2 goals seemed the obvious bet and although Atlético salvaged a draw with a 93rd minute equaliser, my bet was won within half an hour. A slight upturn in fortune you might argue, especially away from home, but as they say in boxing “styles make fights” and I read nothing more into it.

Initially I was proved right to do so as Porto inflicted a 2-0 Champions League defeat on Atlético in Oporto, but then Los Colchoneros finally cost me money by defeating Zaragoza 2-1 at home.  An early goal provided the tonic Atlético needed before Zaragoza missed a penalty and hit the woodwork. Antonio López put Atlético two up with 67 minutes played, before Zaragoza were awarded another penalty, this time converted by substitute Ewerthon. This set up a tense finish, but Atlético held out and in my opinion were somewhat fortunate to win the game.

Corner turned? Not likely as Los Colchoneros 3-0 away to Osasuna last week with, bar Diego Forlán, a full strength team. Given that Atlético have a relatively small squad for a team competing in the Champions League and having travelled to London to play Chelsea midweek, tiredness should certainly be a factor when Los Colchoneros host Mallorca this weekend.

Atlético Madrid vs Mallorca

Fifth placed Mallorca (3/1) have lost just once in the last four visits to the Vicente Calderón stadium  and have only failed to score once in their last 24 league games. They have a proficient scorer in Aritz Aduriz (5 in 7) and have the advantage of a week’s rest.

While Atlético (7/10) have yet to lose at home this season and Mallorca have failed to win away, I feel these facts are about to change. Atlético manager Abel Resino is under real pressure and should Los Colchoneros get nothing from this weekend’s fixture he is expected to get sacked.

Recommendation: Draw No Bet- Mallorca (2/1)

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