A modicum of the shine had been taken off Atletico Madrid’s La Liga victory even before the farcical misorganisation that robbed them of the chance to raise the trophy, with Diego Costa and Arda Turan both succumbing to injury.
Both men are doubtful at best to participate in the Champions League final against Real Madrid, a factor that makes a 3/4 bet on under 2.5 goals in Lisbon well worth a wager.
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Chelsea target Costa is Los Palanganas’ top-scorer this term with 36 in all competitions and both he and Turkish star Turan are key creators for Atleti.
Only Koke and Gabi have averaged more key passes per game in the Primera Division in 2013/14 than the doubtful duo.
As a result Los Rojiblancos will be shorn of a sizeable amount goal threat for their duel with capital city rivals Real.
Atleti’s La-Liga best defence do battle with the division’s most ruthless attack in Lisbon and without Costa and Turan to occupy their adversaries keeping it drum tight will be an absolute necessity for the La Liga Champions.
After all their indefatigable pragmatism in six matches against Barcelona this term has done much to bring them to the verge of this dream double.
In the absence of two of their more creative players it would be no surprise to see them opt for the grind in Lisbon.
The last five games they’ve played without Costa have all limboed the 2.5 goal line, as have the previous seven in which Arda didn’t start.
Real are 91/100 favourites to win the Champions League inside normal time, with Diego Simeone’s side 14/5 underdogs to add ‘old big ears’ to their seasonal haul.