Atletico returned to winning ways at the weekend with a narrow victory over mid-table Eibar, though they have it all to do if they’re to overturn their heavy defeat from the first leg with no away goals to fall back on. However, they’re better equipped than most to avoid conceding away goals themselves, with 16 clean sheets in their last 18 at home in the Champions league and just one goal conceded in their last five at the Vicente Calderon across all competitions.
Real Madrid geared up for the second leg with a 4-0 stroll away at relegated Granada, and will expect to get an away goal that would all but send them through after scoring 15 across their last four fixtures, especially with Ronaldo in red hot form and having been rested at the weekend. However, six of the last eight matches between these two sides have featured two goals or less, and with fewer than three goals in eight of Atleti’s last nine at home in the Champions League, and exactly one goal in four of their last five at home across all competitions, an open game certainly doesn’t come naturally to the hosts.
Since 2013/14 Atleti have hosted either Barca, Juve, Real or Bayern six times in the Champions League, winning five and keeping a clean sheet in each, with all of these games seeing two goals or less. Despite Zidane’s side scoring at least twice in each of their last five away fixtures in the Champions League, Atleti’s recent return to defensive solidarity on home soil leaves us backing under 2.5 goals at $2.22, especially as just one goal from Real would virtually knock them out, so they’ll have to keep things tight in the early stages to stand a chance of attacking later on.