Atletico Madrid are 11/10 favourites to take their third successive away win over Celta Vigo on Wednesday evening, but the value call may well be on the hosts.
Celta are 12/5 shouts to take three vital points in their battle to avoid relegation from La Liga – they are second bottom, two points adrift of safety – while a draw is priced at 23/10.
And given that Atletico seemingly have little at stake having already secured their spot in next season’s Champions League while also being eight points adrift of second-placed city rivals Real Madrid with just four games remaining, a bet on the outside chance of a home win looks appealing.
Diego Simeone insists his side will concentrate on gaining at least the point they need to guarantee a top-three finish (and entry straight to the Champions League group stages).
But forthcoming ties at home to Barcelona and against Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey final might look more enticing to some of his players.
Given the success of Atletico’s season, it is easy to overlook that their away form has not been as outstanding as their record in Madrid.
The 26 points taken by Diego Simeone’s men on the road, while invaluable for their Champions League push, are similar to the 24 points that Celta have collected at home.
Celta’s current three-match unbeaten run as they fight for their Primera Division lives also contrasts favourably with Atletico’s recent record of scoring just one goal in their past three away games.
Three of Celta’s last five home wins in the league have been by a 2-1 scoreline – incidentally the same result that the Vigo side inflicted on Atletico’s local rivals Real in this season’s Copa del Rey. A 2-1 home win is priced at 10/1.
Having scored under a goal a game this season, Abel Resino’s men could still struggle to break through an Aletico defence which is the meanest in La Liga – conceding just 27 goals this season.
A Celta win with less than 2.5 combined goals can be backed at 6/1, but I’ll be playing it a bit safer by taking the 12/5 that the men from Vigo give their survival bid a real shot in the arm with a priceless victory.