Villarreal will visit the capital to close matchday 25, and the Yellow Submarine will face an Atlético Madrid side intent on gaining momentum.
Diego Simeone’s side relieved some of the pressure built up by recent poor results by shutting down Liverpool on Tuesday night. The 1-0 win is the most important of the season to date, and A Stadium Called Wanda is expected to be near full capacity for another important fixture on Sunday night.
Atlético, we cannot forget, are locked in a fight to finish in the top four this season and could go third with a win. A draw would not really suit either side, while Villarreal would leapfrog Atleti if they collect three points. Javi Calleja’s men can be confident of picking up something from their visit to the capital — the visitors have lost only three of the past 13 encounters with Atleti.
The hosts welcomed João Félix, Héctor Herrera and Kieran Trippier back to training this week, while Thomas Lemar picked up a muscular injury and is not in Sunday’s squad.
Possible XI Oblak; Vrsaljko, Felipe, Savić, Lodi; Thomas, Saúl, Koke, Vitolo; Correa, Morata.
Prediction 2-0 Atlético. I am feeling overconfident. Sue me.
It’s no secret that Villarreal do not defend well — they have conceded 32 times in 24 games. But a fiery attack spearheaded by Santi Cazorla and Gerard Moreno has helped the team stay in contention for a European place despite keeping just one clean sheet since Dec. 6 — when Atlético visited La Cerámica and left with a goalless draw.
This is a great chance for a healing Atlético to find form following such a huge midweek win. Then again, it would be a very Atleti thing to drop points and start the cycle all over again. Either way!
My record on the season 18-16
Date Feb. 23, 2020
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time 9:00 a.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST
Opposition blog Villarreal USA
Available TV/streaming Movistar LaLiga (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), beIN Sports HD 3 (Saudi Arabia), SuperSport 7 Africa (Ghana), Sportklub 3 (Croatia), QQ Sports Live (China)