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Villarreal-Atlético Madrid: Preview

Atleti face Villarreal in a crucial showdown

Club Atletico de Madrid v Villarreal CF - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Villarreal and Atlético Madrid will face each other at Camp El Madrigal on Monday night as the two teams battle for Champions League position in La Liga.

Villarreal are in fifth with 23 points, two points behind the visitors from Madrid. The Valencian side have won just once in the last five league games, losing three and drawing once. Villarreal have also failed to register a goal in the last three league games.

Meanwhile, the Madrid side are on 25 points, three points behind Barcelona in second and two points behind Sevilla in third place. Atlético were held to a goalless draw last week against Espanyol which denied them the third spot. A win in this game could take Atleti into fourth place, overtaking Real Sociedad.

Head-to-Head

Games between these teams have been competitive, with the spoils shared nearly equally over the previous 30 games. Villarreal have won 12 of these 30 meetings, drawing seven and losing 11.

Villarreal have been superior at home against Atlético, with eight wins, four draws and three losses. The last six meetings between the two teams have seen two wins to each side and two draws.

Neither team has scored more than once in any of the last six head-to-head contests. The total number of goals recorded during this period is six, with three to each team.

Prediction

The two teams will surely produce a fascinating encounter and just like their previous games, emotions will be high. Both teams are of equal strength in terms of the playing squad and the managers in each dugout will be vary of the other’s threat. So the game will be extremely cagey and we expect a low turnout on goals as seen in the previous six meetings.

Atlético are a slightly better side on the basis of form, but El Madrigal is Villarreal’s fortress. So the pick for this match is to back the yellow submarines to avoid a defeat, therefore a draw will serve Villareal fine but for Atleti it'll make cementing the top four a struggle. A win for Atleti is extremely important here.