Atlético Madrid (20-8-5, 68 points) were a very different team when it visited Villarreal (16-9-8, 57 points) on Dec. 12. That night, Atlético were pounded 3-0 at El Mádrigal and lost Jan Oblak and Tiago to long-term injuries. It was the club’s worst moment of the season and threw into serious doubts the prospect of Atlético playing in next season’s Champions League.
As we wind down April, Atleti have done a 180 and are now virtually assured of participation in the 2017-18 Champions League. Atleti have not lost away since Dec. 12 and have lost one league game in total since that night. Diego Simeone’s men are on a nine-match unbeaten run in LaLiga, too.
With that in mind, it could be argued that the Villarreal loss played a part in turning around los colchoneros’ season. Now, the mattress makers will get a chance to gain a measure of revenge against the Yellow Submarine in the latter’s final match at the Vicente Calderón - while trying to improve a pretty dismal record against sides in LaLiga’s top seven (2-3-5, 9 goals for, 16 conceded). Atleti bring into this match an 8-3-3 all-time Calderón record against Villarreal.
Location: Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid, Spain
Kick-off time: 21:30 Spanish time, 20:30 GMT/BST, 15:30 EST, 12:30 PST
SB Nation opposition blog: Villarreal USA
TV/streaming: beIN LaLiga (Spain), Sky Sports 3/Sky Go UK (United Kingdom), beIN Sports en Español/fuboTV (United States)
For listings in other countries, head over to livesoccertv.com.