Verdict: Home win
Best odds: 4/6
On Saturday afternoon, Atletico Madrid will welcome Villarreal to the Wanda Metropolitano stadium for a game that might be solely the third of the 2020/21 La Liga season for the hosts; the fifth for the guests.
Diego Simeone’s side had their opening two games of the marketing campaign (in opposition to Sevilla and Levante) postponed due to their involvement within the Champions League over the summer season, the place they had been knocked out by RB Leipzig within the quarterfinals after going past holders Liverpool within the previous round before the Covid-19 pandemic struck. Therefore, they began from round three the place they totally thrashed Granada at home, by 6-1. However, they played a disappointing 0-0 draw away to SD Huesca earlier this week.
With these 4 points, Atletico are presently in twelfth place, but with two games in hand over most of the league, they won’t be anxious about it simply but. However, with Real Madrid and Barcelona build up steam on the moment, they’ll’t afford to chill out in any respect.
As for his or her transfer business this summer season, the largest story with out a doubt was their acquisition of Luis Suarez from Barcelona. The skilled Uruguayan striker slotted in straight away, scoring twice within the Granada rout. Atletico are reportedly now in talks with Arsenal on two separate issues. They want midfielder Lucas Torreira on loan, but their willingness to pursue the deal to the end apparently relies upon on whether or not they manage to offload Hector Herrera before the window closes on Monday. Meanwhile, the Gunners are eager on Thomas Partey, whom Atletico don’t want to promote and have due to this fact pointed to his release clause set at €50 million.
Simeone has a few defensive issues to ponder for this game. Centre-back Jose Gimenez, closely linked with Manchester City before the Premier League club signed Ruben Dias from Benfica, won’t have the ability to play due to a optimistic Covid-19 take a look at, with fullback Sime Vrsaljko out via injury. The relaxation of the squad needs to be on the head coach’s disposal.
Atletico weren’t the one group unable to beat Huesca this early within the season. Villarreal had been held to a 1-1 draw in opposition to them at home within the opening round. A 2-1 overcome Eibar got here next, adopted by a heavy 4-0 defeat by the hands of Barcelona at Camp Nou and a 3-1 home win over Deportivo Alaves. The outcomes to date have the top 4 teams within the table with the identical tally, of which Villarreal are fourth on goal-difference.
Having appointed former Sevilla, Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal boss Unai Emery as head coach this July, Villarreal signed winger Tafekusa Kubo on loan from Real Madrid, the midfield pair of Dani Parejo and Francis Coquelin from Valencia, left-back Pervis Estupinan from Watford who spent last season on loan at Osasuna, and goalkeeper Gero Rulli from Real Sociedad. Strikers Karl Toko Ekambi (joined Olympique Lyon) and Enes Unal (Getafe) had been among the many notable departures, as effectively as winger Javi Ontiveros, centre-back Alvaro Gonzalez (Olympique Marseille) and left-back Xavi Quintilla (loan to Norwich City).
Emery has a quite painful left-back disaster going on on the moment; Alberto Moreno, Alfonso Pedraza and Estupinan are all doubts via health issues. It means 32-year-old Jaume Costa is probably going to start on Saturday. Coquelin has been dominated out via a hamstring injury and won’t have the ability to play alongside Parejo within the center of the pitch, which leaves the boss to decide between Vicente Iborra and Manu Trigueros.
Atletico have for a long time been the one side to even come close being within the race in opposition to Real Madrid and Barcelona for the La Liga title, and they’ll look to battle it out in opposition to the 2 giants as best they’ll. That implies that a game at home in opposition to some other group within the league will really feel like a must-win, and given the standard they possess, it’s exhausting to think about Villarreal stopping them.
Verdict: Home win
Best odds: 4/6