Saturday, December 14, 2019

Prediction: Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid

Verdict: Atletico Madrid to Win to Nil

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: bet365

Without a home win after eight rounds, Villarreal face a daunting task on Saturday night as they prepare to host La Liga title contenders Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone’s men will be keen to maintain the league run and continue their unbeaten stretch extending to their last seven matches in all competitions.

Villarreal

It has not been the best of starts to the 2018/19 season for Villarreal. The Yellow Submarine has hit the deep waters of the La Liga standings with only eight points in as many league matches. With only two wins to their name, Villarreal will be hoping to grab their first home victory this season but that will be easier said than done.

A worrying piece of statistics for manager Javier Calleja has been the fact his team have managed to score only one goal at the Estadio de la Ceramica this season. What’s more, in four home matches this season, Villarreal only managed to grab one point. The Yellow Submarine has struggled dearly with maintaining their focus and composure early in the season. They tend to drop their guard down in the second period of the match which results in them losing four of their eight La Liga matches despite drawing at half-time. Low on morale, points and goals, the hosts will lay their hopes into the hands of Karl Ekambi who scored a goal in Villarreal’s last two matches.

Team News

Spanish midfielder Bruno is long way from being fit and will once again remain on the sidelines due to his knee injury.

The experienced midfielder Javi Fuego is also out of contention because of an ankle problem.

Atletico Madrid

Traditionally resilient Atletico Madrid travel to Villarreal looking to extend their positive start to the season. Los Colchineros are sitting in third place in the standings, level on points with Barcelona and only one point behind table toppers Sevilla after eight La Liga matches.

Diego Simeone’s men have suffered beating at Celta Vigo earlier in September but have since them gone on a seven-match unbeaten run and will be hoping to extend it at the Estadio de la Ceramica. Atletico Madrid are a formidable opponent that’s on a mission that goes well beyond just maintaining the fine run. Los Colchineros have lost their last three trips to Villarreal and will definitely be aiming to end the poor patch against the Yellow Submarine. Fresh and recharged following the international break, the visiting side will be hoping Antoine Griezmann will extend his fine form after getting directly involved in five of Atletico Madrid’s nine La Liga goals. The Frenchman is coming off from a successful week which saw him score a brace against Germany and launch another challenge on the coveted Ballon d’Or award.

Team News

 Attacker Diego Costa has been ruled out through a thigh injury.

Atletico Madrid are likely to be without defender Stefan Savic who suffered a contusion and Jose Maria Gimenez who is also experiencing thigh problems.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Villarreal have yet to record a home win this season
  • The Yellow Submarine scored only one goal in 4 home matches
  • Atletico Madrid were beaten in last three trips to Villarreal
  • Los Colchineros are unbeaten in last 7 matches in all competitions
  • Atletico Madrid conceded least goals in La Liga this season (4)

Conclusion

Villarreal will not be particularly happy with the timing of Atletico Madrid’s visit. The hosts are currently in a terrible run of form and are likely to suffer yet another home defeat when they welcome resilient Los Colchineros. Diego Simeone’s men need three points in order to remain in contention for the La Liga title and have all the assets and means to achieve their goal on Saturday.

Verdict: Atletico Madrid to Win to Nil

Best Odds: 9/4

Bookmaker: bet365

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