Atletico Madrid will look to this match as an opportunity to steady themselves at the top of the standings as they are only three points ahead of second placed Real Madrid.
Villarreal continues to struggle to find a balance between their domestic campaign and their European hopes. Following a 4-1 aggregate win over Salzburg, they are in the round of sixteen of the Europa League, but their form in La Liga has been patchy. In their last five La Liga matches, Unai Emery’s men are winless and were held to a 1-1 draw at Athletic Bilbao in their last outing. They occupy the final European position, but the likes of Real Betis and Levante are closing them down. Villarreal have won only one of their last seven games at the Estadio de la Ceramica, showing that they are struggling at home. They are at home on a three-match winless streak and have been beaten 2-1 by Real Madrid.
As they head to the Estadio de la Ceramica for a Spanish La Liga clash against Villarreal, league leaders Atletico Madrid will look to get their season back on track. The race for first place is heating up, and Atleti will be willing to keep the chasing pack at bay. Atletico Madrid has struggled in recent weeks, and they come into Sunday’s match having lost 2-0 at home to Levante in their previous La Liga match. In midweek, they were also defeated 1-0 by Chelsea in the Champions League.
For the first time this season, Diego Simeone’s side has gone three games without a victory in all competitions. They are still in first place in Spain, but their lead has been reduced to three points due to recent struggles, despite the fact that they still have a game in hand. A glimmer of hope for Atletico ahead of Sunday’s match is their good away form, with just one loss on the road this season coming against rivals Real Madrid. With five wins in their last six away matches, they head to the Estadio de la Ceramica and will be confident of getting the best of an erratic Villarreal side.
Villarreal – The hosts already have Mario Gaspar and Vicente Iborra on the sidelines through injury but midfielder Francis Coquelin is set to the duo by the side having sustained an injury. Nonetheless, there is a good rapport at the midfield between Parejo and new signing Etienne Capoue from Watford and they would continue to uphold the central pitch in the absence of Coquelin. Paco Alcacer should appear in front of goal alongside Gerard Moreno, who has fourteen goals in the league this season.
Possible Villarreal XI: Asenjo; Costa, Albiol, Torres, Alfonso; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo, Gomez; Alcacer, Moreno
Atletico Madrid – Atletico Madrid are without defender Jose Gimenez after being left out the Champions League squad that took on Chelsea due to an injury he picked up against Levante. Stefan Savic, Felipe and Mario Hermoso would form the back three for Simeone’s side in his absence. They will also be without Kieran Trippier, who is currently on the sidelines due to a gambling law breach. Hector Herrera is likely to be absent, as, despite contracting COVID-19, he is yet to return to the squad, although Yannick Carrasco is also sidelined with a foot injury.
Possible Madrid XI: Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Llorente, Saul, Koke, Lemar; Correa, Suarez, Feli
- Atletico Madrid have seen over three goals in four of their last five away matches.
- Diego Simeone’s side has gone three games without a victory in all competitions.
- Villarreal are undefeated in five home games in La Liga and also against Atletico Madrid in all competitions.
- Thirteen games out of sixteen across all competitions between both teams have seen under three goals.
The Yellow Submarine have not won in six LaLiga games, placing them four points behind European qualification. Meanwhile Atletico are in much need of three points as they could use some to boost their morale having lost woefully to Chelsea. However, both teams have a record of four draws in the last five matches and as such might be the theme of the last match on Sunday.