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Villarreal v Atletico Madrid – Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

Villarreal face Atletico Madrid at Estadio de la Cerámica on Sunday evening to end the La Liga season.

Villarreal v Atletico Madrid

Villarreal face Atletico Madrid at Estadio de la Cerámica on Sunday evening to end the La Liga season. The Yellow Submarine have sealed a fifth-place finish whilst Atleti are hoping to leapfrog Real Madrid into second place after a brilliant season half of the season. The reverse fixture saw Villarreal win 2-0 in Madrid back in August.

Villarreal Form

Villarreal lost four successive matches from round 19 to 22 and sat eighth in La Liga at that stage. Their last 15 matches have seen them win 10 times and take 32 points, the second most in La Liga across that time. A run of five wins in six included winning 3-2 at Real Madrid in April. However, successive defeats harmed their chances of a top four finish.

Quique Setien’s side again responded well to a dip and five wins followed in the next six matches with 17 goals scored. A 5-1 home thrashing of Athletic Bilbao saw a brace from Nicolas Jackson. A 94th minute winner from Gerard Moreno sealed a 2-1 victory at Girona. Another Nicolas Jackson brace brought a 2-0 home win against Cadiz. They went into last week’s match with a five point gap to the top four but a 2-1 loss at Rayo Vallecano confirmed a Europa League place.

Villarreal Team News

Setien will have to make do with left back Alfonso Pedraza due to suspension. Veteran centre back Raul Albiol hasn’t played in a month due to a knee injury and he remains highly doubtful for this match. Forward Jose Luis Morales is another doubt with a hamstring strain and this one may come too soon.

Experienced defensive midfielder Francis Coquelin is still out with a long-term knee injury and versatile young forward Diego Collado is ruled out. Giovani Lo Celso netted from the bench in the defeat last weekend and is set to replace Alex Baena in the lineup. Experienced striker Gerard Moreno will hope for just a second start in seven matches although Nicolas Jackson could be preferred again.

Villarreal Motivation

Whilst Villarreal can’t finish any higher or lower than fifth, they will play to win this match. They tend to have high possession numbers under Quique Setien and will take the game to Atletico at home.

A draw would not be a bad result either as they won’t want to send their fans off with a final day defeat.

Atletico Madrid Form

Diego Simeone’s side had an indifferent start to the season, losing five of their first 17 matches, sitting 13 points behind the log leaders and being knocked out of European competition completely. Since the 20th of January, no side in La Liga has taken more points than Atletico Madrid. They’ve won 15 of the last 20 points and have scored a league-high 44 points during that run.

A run of 10 wins and two draws in 12 matches saw ended by losing 1-0 at Barcelona in April. They immediately got back to winning ways with three successive wins including five goal hauls against Real Valladolid (5-2 away) and Cadiz (5-1 at home). A shock 1-0 loss at already-relegated Elche followed. After beating Osasuna 3-0, they let a 3-0 lead turn into a 3-3 draw at Espanyol. On Sunday, Simone’s side beat Real Sociedad 2-1 at home.

Atletico Madrid Team News

There are half a dozen players who may be unavailable for this match for Diego Simeone. Rodrigo De Paul is suspended in central midfield and both Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente are major doubts in the engine room. Saul Niguez could play down the right flank again.

Left back Reinildo is out long-term after knee surgery. Forward Memphis Depay and goalkeeper Jan Oblak are two other doubts. Ivo Grbic is set to play in goal for the eighth successive match. Antoine Griezmann is set to play as a false nine with Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa left on the bench again.

Atletico Madrid Motivation

Atletico are one point behind Real Madrid going into this match. They will play to win and hope that their city rivals drop points against Athletic Bilbao.

Simone’s side have been much more attacking and adventurous in recent months and they will take the game to Villarreal and look to score goals.

Key Stats

Villarreal have won their last 4 home matches

Villarreal have scored 17 goals in their last 6 home La Liga matches

Villarreal are winless in 4 home matches vs Atletico Madrid (DLDD)

Atletico have won 15 of their last 20 matches, scoring 44 goals

Atletico’s Griezmann has scored 4 goals in his last 5 matches

Atletico have won just once in 4 away matches (LWLD)


This should be an exciting match to end the Spanish league season. Both sides should score and you can get excellent value on a draw considering Atletico’s four-match unbeaten run at Villarreal.

Best Bet: Atletico Madrid win/draw double chance + Over 1.5 goals at 1.83
Value Bet: Draw at 3.55
Correct Score Tip: Villarreal 1-1 Atletico Madrid at 6.75
Goalscorer Tip: Griezmann anytime goalscorer at 2.65

James is a football analyst who writes about the tactics of the PSL and English Premier League. He holds the UEFA A coaching licence and has previously worked for several clubs in analysis roles.Twitter:

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