Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Prediction: Atletico Madrid vs Valencia

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions, La Liga 23 Jan 2021

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Verdict: Atletico Madrid win

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Unibet

Looking to widen their buffer at the top of the table this weekend, Atletico Madrid will welcome Valencia to the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday night.

Atletico Madrid

Starting with the hosts, managing to come from behind and snatching a 2-1 win away at Eibar earlier in the week, the mood in Atletico Madrid’s camp should be at a real high. Despite crashing out of the Copa del Rey thanks to a shock 1-0 loss away at lower-league Cornellà on January 6th, Los Colchoneros have continued on a real La Liga romp so far this season. Building off of both Barcelona’s and Real Madrid’s continued slip-ups, Diego Simeone’s men already find themselves holding a seven-point buffer at the top of the table. Now seen as the leading contender in the La Liga title chase and with a Champions League knockout tie against Chelsea on the horizon, Atletico have lost just one of their 17 top-flight matchups in the 2020/21 campaign. In fact, along with winning each of their last six La Liga contests on the spin, it should be noted that Simeone’s high-flyers have collected a remarkable 39 points from just their previous 14 appearances.

Team News

Atletico Madrid once again look like they will be without Mario Hermoso due to an ankle injury this weekend.

However, in a boost for the league leaders, influential midfielder Koke could return to the starting XI after the skipper served his one-game suspension.

Valencia

As for the visitors, while Valencia might have been disappointed to have only snatched a late point at home against Osasuna earlier in the week, the Bats do appear to have found some mild signs of life. Turning to one-time Watford boss Javi Garcia last year in an attempt to steady the ship at the Mestalla, the Bats’ top priority this season is to simply make sure they do not lose their La Liga status. Managing to forge themselves a three-point buffer over the drop zone and desperate to start looking up the table, it should be noted that Valencia are enjoying a five-match unbeaten run across all formats. Never the less, while a pair of those wins might have come against lower-league opposition while on Copa del Rey duties, Garcia has seen his squad take points off of both Cadiz and Real Valladolid since returning from Spain’s festive break.

Team News

While Valencia will once again be without number one keeper Jasper Cillessen this weekend, Javi Garcia has a full squad to choose from in the capital.

Key Factors to Consider

  • When Sunday’s opponents last faced off back in November, Atletico Madrid picked up a 1-0 win on the road.
  • In fact, Atletico are unbeaten in each of their last 12 straight meetings against Valencia, a run that stems back to 2014.
  • The Bats are unbeaten in their last five straight contests across all formats, collecting three wins and two draws.
  • However, Valencia have managed to record just a single win in their last seven La Liga matchups away from the Mestalla.
  • Atletico Madrid have won each of their last seven straight La Liga contests on home soil.

Conclusion

While Valencia might have found themselves enjoying a recent bounce since returning from Spain’s festive break earlier in the month, there is no doubt that the Bats will face a stern test this weekend. Continuing to show some extended issues on the road, a high-flying Atletico will be confident of extending their buffer at the top of the table on Sunday night. Enjoying a remarkable La Liga run this season, it should also be noted that Diego Simeone’s men have continued to catch the eye on home soil. Winning each of their last seven top-flight matchups in the capital, we’re backing a similar fruitful night for Atletico this weekend.

Verdict: Atletico Madrid win

Best Odds: 1/2

Bookmaker: Unibet

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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