Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Prediction: Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 5 Dec 2019

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Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

Villarreal will take on Atletico Madrid at the Estadio de la Ceramica, more commonly known by its old name of El Madrigal, on Friday in the 16th round of the 2019/20 La Liga season in what should be a very interesting contest.

Villarreal

Having always fought for the European places in the Spanish top flight in recent years, Villarreal will have been thoroughly disappointed with last season’s 14th-place finish. To make matters worse, they haven’t done much to improve on that this term, despite signing the likes of midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa from Fulham, and defenders Raul Albiol from Napoli and Alberto Moreno from Liverpool.

They enter this clash against Atletico from the 13th place, with no more than 18 points to their name from 15 games. But worst of it is probably the fact that they are currently on a terrible run of form, losing four of their last five outings and taking only a point against Athletic Bilbao at home in that span. The 4-1 triumph over Alaves which preceded the spell seems like it happened years ago at the moment.

Team News

Moreno is out of this game with a thigh problem, but they will likely miss former Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla, who sprained his ankle. Middfielder Bruno Soriano the club captain, has been injured since the start of the season but his now back in full training, and he has a remote chance of making an appearance.

Atletico Madrid

Much like Villarreal, Atleti haven’t had a great campaign so far, though the meaning of that is very different and has a lot to do with what is expected from this club. They are in sixth place with 25 points at the moment, trailing not only their great rivals Barcelona and Real Madrid, but also the likes of Sevilla, Real Sociedad and Athletic Bilbao, and for a team aspiring towards the La Liga title, that can be described as hugely underwhelming. Their form has been patchy recently, with one win, one defeat and three draws in their last five league games.

Atletico’s Champions League campaign is, however, going significantly better. After five group-stage rounds they are in second place behind Juventus in Group D, with qualification to the knockout stages looking very likely as they face last-place Lokomotiv Moscow at their Wanda Metropolitano stadium in the final round.

Team News

Manager Diego Simeone won’t be able to count on defender Stefan Savic who is absent with a hamstring injury, and also striker Diego Costa, whose neck problem is set to keep him out of action until February. Defender Sime Vrsaljko is getting closer to a return following a knee ligament injury suffered almost a year ago, but he still isn’t ready to play. Forward Borja Garces and defender Jose Gimenez are back in training after their respective injuries, but they’re still likely to sit this one out.

Conclusion

If they are to catch up with the teams above, Atletico simply must take advantage of the current poor run of form by Villarreal and steal all three points from El Madrigal on Saturday. The difference in quality between the two teams is on their side, and despite playing away from home, it feels this is a game which they shouldn’t want to regret by dropping further behind in the race.

Verdict: Away win

Best odds: 13/10

Bookmaker: William Hill

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 four different football blogs.

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