Saturday, January 23, 2021

Prediction: Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 57/50

Bookmaker: Unibet

Atletico Madrid are set to welcome Sevilla to their Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Tuesday evening, in a game which is officially a part of the fourth round of the 2020-21 season in La Liga, even though some of the teams in the Spanish top flight already have 19 matches behind them.

Atletico Madrid

At the moment, Atletico look to be on the right track to repeat the success of 2014 and break the domination of Real Madrid and Barcelona in Spanish football, at least for a while. They sit at the top of the table with 38 points, one more than Real in second and no less than three games in hand on their city rivals. In fact, with 15 matches played, they have at least one game in hand on all the teams in the league apart from Elche in 18th place.

One of the reasons the Rojiblancos are in this situation is the fact that their game against Athletic Bilbao, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, had to be postponed due to bad weather conditions.

In the Champions League, Diego Simeone’s team finished second to holders Bayern Munich in Group A, ahead of RB Salzburg and Lokomotiv Moscow. They will now face Chelsea in the round of 16.

Team News

Simeone won’t be able to call upon Kieran Trippier. The former Tottenham Hotspur right-back has been banned for 10 weeks (suspended, pending appeal) for breaking betting regulations by advising a friend to place a bet on his move from north London to the Spanish capital.

Midfielder Hector Herrera and defender Jose Gimenez are out through injury, but Stefan Savic should take his place in the heart of defence again after serving a one-match suspension.

Atletico recently terminated the contract of striker Diego Costa and are reportedly working on signing Moussa Dembele from Olympique Lyon. Luis Suarez is certain to lead the attacking line, with either Joao Felix or Angel Correa by his side.

Sevilla

Sevilla’s season under Julen Lopetegui hasn’t been bad either. Having led the team to their record sixth Europa League trophy last summer, the former Spain and Real Madrid boss successfully navigated them through the Champions League Group E where they finished second to Chelsea, above Krasnodar and Rennes, and are scheduled to meet Borussia Dortmund in the round of 16.

In La Liga, Sevilla are in sixth place at the moment, with the same tally and three games in hand on Real Sociedad in fifth, two points less and two games in hand on Villarreal in fourth, and four points less with two games in hand on Barcelona in third. Providing they don’t drop points unnecessarily in those games, they are much closer to the top of the table than it seems at first glance.

To show their appreciation for his work, the club extended Lopetegui’s contract a few days ago and they now have him in the job until 2024.

Team News

Striker Carlos Fernandez, left-back Sergio Escudero and goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik are out through injury.

Youssef En-Nesyri scored a hattrick in Sevilla’s 3-2 win over Sociedad on Saturday, and with his form on such a level he’s likely to lead the line upfront again.

Conclusion

For all the quality they undoubtedly posses and the success they’ve had this season so far, Sevilla go to Madrid as the underdogs in this match. Simeone will likely be looking to stifle their attacking flair and not many goals are to be expected.

Verdict: Home win

Best odds: 57/50

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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