Prediction: Correct Score – 1-1
Atletico Madrid will aim to keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of the La Liga table as they take on high-flying Sevilla at the Estadio Roman Sanchez Pizjuan on Sunday afternoon.
Diego Simeone’s men are enjoying another excellent season and sit second, only three points behind the reigning Spanish champions. Elsewhere, Sevilla are enjoying an extremely positive campaign of their own and are only two points behind their weekend opponents in third.
Pablo Machin will be desperately hoping for a positive result this weekend. A victory against Atleti really could fire los Rojiblancos into the race for the La Liga crown – a title they have not won since 1946. However, a defeat could all but rule them out of the race. Their form this season though suggests that they could potentially push all the way until the final few weeks having only lost six games in all competitions so far this season, with only three of those coming in league play. As a matter of fact, they have not lost in La Liga since a 4-2 reverse at the hands of Barcelona way back in October eight games ago. This is their longest unbeaten run in almost four years.
A massive reason behind their success so far this season has been their goalscoring prowess. Sevilla have plundered 30 goals in only 17 games in 2018/19 – more than every other club in the league besides Barcelona. This then could be a viable weapon to employ this weekend as they come up against an extremely stubborn Atletico defence.
The hosts have quite a few key names restricted to the sidelines for the visit of Simeone’s men. Gabriel Mercado and Franco Vazquez are both suspended, whilst Simon Kjaer and Maxime Gonalons are also ruled out with long-term problems. However, Jesus Navas and Aleix Vidal could return to action having recovered from a calf and hamstring injury respectively.
As always, the capital outfit are really assembling a charge for the league crown. They come into the game at the Estadio Roman Sanchez Pizjuan having only lost one game in the league – that being a 2-0 loss to Celta Vigo at the start of September. Simeone’s troops also come into the game in extremely confident form having chalked up three consecutive La Liga victories, the latest being a 1-0 win over Espanyol before Christmas. Despite that, there is a quite distinct reason as to why they are not topping the league ahead of Barcelona; far too many draws. Los Colchoneros have already played out seven stalemates in La Liga – only Valencia and Athletic Bilbao have more with ten each.
However, it could be argued that those draws are of use to them. Of the seven, five have come on the road. This could suggest then that they are extremely tenacious and hard to beat away from the Wanda Metropolitano. Another draw, whilst not the worst result as it would maintain the gap between the two teams, could see Barcelona begin to edge away should they pick up a victory.
Diego Costa and Felipe are both still suffering from long-term problems so will not feature against Sevilla. Meanwhile, Thomas Lemar could return to action having returned to training following his achilles injury. Jose Gimenez is still a slight doubt.
Key Facts To Consider
- Atletico Madrid and Sevilla have an identical head-to-head record (W17, D15, L17)
- The last match between the two ended 5-2 to Atleti in February 2018
- Sevilla have only won one out of their last 15 La Liga games against Atletico
- As a manager Diego Simeone has only ever conceded 15 goals in 17 games against Sevilla
- Antoine Griezmann has had a hand in 13 goals in 17 games against Sevilla
This game will certainly be a battle with both teams really pushing for honours in La Liga. They are both in good form as well so it will be likely that they will both be on the scoresheet. However, Atleti’s recent penchant for draws away from home could see Machin’s men stifled. A draw then could be a good bet for the final result.
Prediction: Correct Score – 1-1
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