Before Atletico and Real Madrid contest the 2014 UEFA Champions League final on Saturday, plenty of fans will be offering a wager or two on more than just the outcome.
With the help of Oddschecker.com, here are some of the latest odds and best tips for a hugely significant Madrid derby.
Meet the Favorite
Real Madrid are the current favorite at 10-11 odds. That's perhaps understandable, given the wealth of attacking talent at manager Carlo Ancelotti's disposal.
The experienced Italian strategist can call on Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Angel di Maria. Those banking on that quartet to deliver should be thankful Ancelotti withdrew Ronaldo prior to Real's final La Liga fixture of the season as a precautionary measure, according to John Drayton of The Daily Mail.
Ronaldo and Bale recently missed training, but Ancelotti remains confident they will be available and fully fit to torment the local enemy, per an Associated Press report, cited in The Guardian.
By contrast, Atletico boss Diego Simeone is sweating on the fitness of star striker Diego Costa. He is currently seeing if horse placenta can cure his hamstring injury, according to Liam Prenderville of The Daily Mirror.
There are plenty of stars in this match and plenty of storylines among them to keep fans waiting anxiously.
Most intriguing bet: 1-0 Real Madrid win
Strangely, a 1-0 Real Madrid win is the joint most fancied correct score at 11-2 or even. Some punters may be wary of that bet, given the fact a CL final hasn't been decided by that score since 1998, per UEFA.com.
However, that could actually appeal to the superstitious punter. It was, after all, the year Real lifted the trophy, courtesy of a clever finish by Predrag Mijatovic to beat Juventus.
But for those who prefer to risk their capital on something more logical, such as a form guide, recent meetings between Atletico and Real seem to support a 1-0 scoreline.
The last three winners have claimed victory without conceding. Atletico won by a single goal in La Liga, back in September 2013, while Real triumphed in the 2014 Copa del Rey semi-final, 5-0 on aggregate.
Given that finals tend to be tight, deeply intense encounters, a single-goal win for the favorite could be a preferred bet for many.
Back Koke or Gabi for an Assist
Those indulging in betting on match statistics should be enticed by two Atletico players. Midfielders Koke and Gabi offer long, but still intriguing odds to set up a goal for a teammate.
Koke is priced at 7-2, while skipper Gabi is at 11-2. The interesting thing here is how the numbers appear to slightly devalue the creative output of both players.
If the oddsmakers don't respect Koke, a player like FC Barcelona pass master Xavi certainly does. He has dubbed the 22-year-old "the conductor of Spain's orchestra for the next 10 years," per Sky Sports analyst Adam Bate.
Both he and Gabi have shown they can produce a defence-undermining pass. One of them should be backed to do the same in the final, because Atletico's creative onus will be on them.
This is a bet a shrewd punter shouldn't miss.
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