Atletico Madrid travel to Villarreal on Sunday evening looking to keep their grip on top spot in La Liga (8pm kick-off UK time).
Diego Simeone’s side remain three points clear at the top of the league, while Villarreal are facing a mountain of a task to qualify for the Champions League.
How to live stream Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid online:
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Where to watch Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: beIN Sports
Scoreline prediction: Villarreal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
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Villarreal vs Atletico Madrid build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
By the end of November, Villarreal had got themselves into a good position for Champions League football, moving into fourth ahead of a tight chasing pack having lost just one of their opening 10 games. But it wasn’t a secure position, with Unai Emery’s side being held to too many draws. And draws are the reason Villarreal find themselves now down in sixth, 11 points behind fourth-placed Sevilla. Despite losing just three times in the league (only Atletico have lost fewer) Villarreal have 13 draws, more than anyone else. They go into this match without a win in their past six in La Liga, naturally consisting of five draws, though they have recent enjoyed victories in the Europa League over Red Bull Salzburg.
Atletico are going through a bit of a rough patch of late and have seen their lead at the top of the table cut short, having looked so comfortable at the start of the year. Diego Simeone’s side are now just three points clear of second-placed Real Madrid, albeit with a game in hand, and have won just one of their past four league games. A win against Granada has been accompanied by draws with Celta Vigo and Levante and a defeat against the latter too. They were also beaten in midweek in the Champions League, losing their last-16 first leg against Chelsea.
- Villarreal (vs Red Bull Salzburg): Rulli; Costa, Albiol, Torres, Estupinan; Trigueros, Capoue, Parejo, Pedraza; Moreno, Alcacer.
- Atletico Madrid (vs Chelsea): Oblak; Savic, Hermoso, Felipe; Llorente, Saul, Koke, Lemar; Felix, Correa; Suarez.
Villarreal remain without Francis Coquelin, Vicente Iborra and Alberto Moreno, the latter a long-term injury, but could return to a stronger XI following slight rotation in midweek. Ruben Pena and Mario Gaspar remain doubts for the hosts.
Jose Gimenez and Yannick Carrasco are expected to miss out for Atletico, as is the suspended Kieran Trippier.
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Players to watch:
- Villarreal: Everyone knows that Atletico can defend but every team will have to believe in themselves and their players to breach that back line in order to win. For Villarreal it will be possible if Gerard Moreno continues his excellent form. The Spanish striker is Villarreal’s top scorer in La Liga this season with 14 goals, a tally only bettered by Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi across the rest of the division. But what makes Moreno that much more dangerous this weekend is his current form. Moreno has scored in each his past five La Liga appearances, netting six goals, and will be looking to become the first Villarreal player to score in six consecutive league matches.
- Atletico Madrid: Diego Simeone’s side have not been in good goalscoring form of late, netting just three times in their past four games. And while they have the likes of Suarez in attack, Marcos Llorente has been their biggest threat in recent weeks. The Spanish midfielder, who has played a variety of positions, has been directly involved in all three goals that Atletico have scored in their past four matches, and in four of their past five. In the 2-1 win over Granada, Llorente had a goal and an assist, before getting the equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Levante. Overall in La Liga, he has eight goals, second only to Suarez among the Atletico squad, so if Simeone’s side are to break their two-match scoreless streak they’ll need Llorente on form too.
La Liga 2020/21 recent form:
- Villarreal: DLDDD
- Atletico Madrid: LDWDW
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