Atletico Madrid will have plenty of backers as they bid to overturn a one-goal deficit in their Champions League quarter final second leg against Barcelona.
Barca are in their worst run of form since the autumn of 2014, having lost two of their last three fixtures, while Los Colchoneros have home advantage.
On top prior to Fernando Torres’ infuriatingly unnecessary sending off in the first leg at Camp Nou, they were unlucky not to avoid defeat even with ten men.
Currently 11/5 to win at Vicente Calderon, and 3/1 to qualify for the semi-final at the Blaugrana’s expense, they have one fairly major problem.
Despite being undeniably one of the finest managers around at the moment, Diego Simeone has lost all seven meetings with Barca since Luis Enrique succeeded Gerardo Martino in the dugout.
Such a return comes in stark contrast to the Simeone’s six meetings with the Catalans during their 2013/14 title-winning campaign.
During that season, the sides shared five draws, with Atleti winning the outlier and limiting their opponents to three goals across their six clashes.
With this in mind, odds of 23/100 about Enrique’s side reaching the last four of Europe’s elite club competition seem that much more understandable, while the 5/4 about them defeating their hosts begins to make greater appeal.
Barca’s weekend road defeat to occasional nemeses Real Sociedad, in which they failed to score, may have sewed seeds of doubt in the minds of some punters.
However, closer examination of the team sheet submitted to the Primera Division pencil necks at Anoeta reveals a far from full strength XI.
Jordi Alba and, more importantly, midfielders Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta each started the game on the bench, while Luis Suarez was suspended.
All four will return to the line-up at Vicente Calderon as Barca attempt to elongate their perfect record against Simeone’s Atleti under Enrique.