Villarreal VS Atletico Madrid Prediction
Matchweek 15 in Spanish La Liga ends on Monday night, 12 December 2016, when Villarreal takes on visitors Atletico Madrid at the “El Madrigal”. Their clash is certainly one of the very intriguing round 15 fixtures and fact that both sides compete for a top 4 position makes it even more meaningful to the overall La Liga situation. Although Villarreal and Atletico have been engaged within both major UEFA competitions in the midweek, their focus will fall entirely on the domestic scene for around two months, since they’ll be involved in different draws earlier on Monday.
Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid – Team News and Match Preview
Hosts from Villarreal will take part in the 2016-17 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 draw as the Group L runner-ups, which was influenced by their 2-1 victory over Steaua Bucuresti on Thursday night. Four nights later “The Yellow Submarine” is keen to reach top 4 of Spanish La Liga, which can happen if Fran Escribá’s men scoop the full set of points against Atleti. They’re currently on two points behind its opposition as Villarreal have won 23 points in 14 games, but only four of them were in last 5 La Liga rounds. Moreover, Villarreal didn’t score in its previous three La Liga fixtures and last time they have scored was on 6 November, when Villarreal won 2-0 vs Real Betis at home.
In that period “The Yellow Submarine” had to sail on two other directions, except in the Spanish La Liga. Villarreal has made a final run to qualify for the UEFA Europa League 1/16 finals, but Fran Escribá’s side also began its Copa del Rey quest, where they can feel certain after a 0-3 success vs Toledo in first leg of their Round of 32 two-legged tie.
Atletico Madrid participates in the 2016-17 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 draw as one of the group winners, although they have lost 1-0 from Bayern München on Tuesday night. “Los Colchoneros” have already been certain for the top Group D position and after five wins in five Champions League games, Atletico Madrid had a protocol journey to the “Allianz-Arena” in Munich. For some reason Diego Simeone used serious number of first-team players but to be objective, there’s almost a week between both Atleti’s games and everyone in the squad had enough time for rest and recovery.
Couple of hours after Atletico Madrid will already know its opponent at the Champions League 1/8 finals, Diego Simeone’s men must take the first step in order to improve their domestic performance. Atleti has already been thrown out from top 4 after a 3-2 victory of Real Sociedad against struggling Valencia on Saturday afternoon, but they can even drop to the sixth position, if Athletic Bilbao beat Betis on Sunday night. Contrary to all expectations Atletico can acquire more quality with the summer signings and respectively to become more competitive to Real Madrid and Barcelona, Diego Simeone’s squad remains in shadow of its rivals and gap between them and their city rivals Real, who’re topping the league, is from 12 points. Atletico will strive to reduce that difference to 9 points, since Real Madrid have already played their 15th La Liga fixture, when Sergio Ramos netted another stoppage time header and thus brought the three points to its club against Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday night.
H2H Balance and Stats: Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid
Last seven encounters between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid have all been far from productive and we can easily describe them as low scoring. With overall number of 7 goals scored in their last 7 games, making an average of 1 goal per game, Villarreal and Atleti have been involved in some of the most boring games for the neutral supporters.
Most recent match facing both sides was at the “Estadio Vicente Calderón” in Spanish capital, which has ended without any goals scored – 0:0 on 21 February 2016. In fact it was the only goalless fixture from the aforementioned seven games, but we must also underline that only one of them has ended with two goals – 1-1 draw at the “El Madrigal” in November 2013. So generally five from the last seven matches between Villarreal and Atletico Madrid have ended with a narrow success for either of them – 3 for Atleti against 2 for Villarreal. Otherwise, we have a really balanced head-to-head record in matches of both teams and this contains 12 victories for hosts Villarreal, 11 for “Los Colchoneros” and 7 draws in period of 30 games (1998-2016).
Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid – Betting Prediction and Possible Lineups
Atlético Madrid slipped at home last weekend, when they had some momentum after three consecutive wins in three different tournaments, but the goalless draw against Espanyol came as a huge disappointment. Few days later Atleti lost in Germany, so this makes two matches without scoring for Diego Simeone’s men. Definitely a good reason why the Argentine should consider some rotations up front. Atletico started with Carrasco and Griezmann on top of a 4-4-2 formation, but this time we expect Kevin Gameiro back in the starting lineup, while Yannick Carrasco can be moved on the wing.
Meanwhile Filipe Luis is still injured, so he can once again be replaced by young Frenchman Hernández at the left-back. Experienced Juanfran is set to return on the right-back position at the expense of Sime Vrsaljko and we also have contention between Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic, who can both claim for a centre-back position next to Diego Godín.
Augusto Fernández and Alessio Cerci are other players who’re sidelined due to injuries, but their presence is not so vital anyway.
Fran Escriba also has some injuries in the crew, as “The Yellow Submarine” remains without Alfred N’Diaye, Samu Castillejo and Roberto Soldado, while Mateo Musacchio and Denis Cheryshev are both doubts. Castillejo’s absence looks as the most worrying right now and it opens position on the right side of Villarreal’s midfield, where Mexican Jonathan dos Santos is one of the options and expectations are he should cover that zone.
Final conclusion, Betting Odds and Prediction
Atletico Madrid have been backed by the bookies as favourites for winning game on Monday night, but after last few La Liga rounds and ineffective attacking efforts of Villarreal, we can definitely anticipate more dedication by the home side. Same goes for Atletico and club from Madrid is also eager to put an end of its goal drought.
Our betting prediction is pretty much related with attacking capabilities of both sides and their motivation to avoid expansion of their not so delightful form. “Both teams to score – Yes“. We can also find decent values offered by different operators on the suggested betting market. Of course, we recommend the greatest odds from all and you can easily check that.
Venue: “El Madrigal”, Villarreal.
Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández.
Possible starting lineups of Villarreal and Atletico Madrid
Villarreal CF: Sergio Asenjo – Jaume Costa, Víctor Ruiz, Alvaro González, Mario Gaspar – Roberto Soriano, Bruno Soriano, Manu Trigueros, Jonathan dos Santos – Nicola Sansone, Cedric Bakambu. (4-4-2)
Atlético Madrid: Jan Oblak – Juanfran, Jose Gimenez, Diego Godin, Lucas Hernández – Koke, Gabi, Saúl Ñíguez, Yannick Carrasco – Antoine Griezmann, Kevin Gameiro. (4-4-2)