Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
In their effort to continue their perfect start to the La Liga season, the defending champions have Atletico Madrid face a tough test on Sunday because they are welcome Villarreal to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano.
Diego SimeoneThe men of Celta Vigo and Elche are already at the top of the La Liga table while their guests got off to a relatively slow start and are aiming for their first league win of the season on Sunday.
Prediction for this match
With 58 points from last season’s 23 opening games, which coincided with difficult campaigns for Barcelona and Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid appeared to be on their way to the La Liga title, but a slight decline in form heated up the battle for the top spot.
Given the pressure, Simeone’s men had to win their last three games to triumph and they did what it took for the 11th time and the first time since 2014.
With giants Barcelona and Real Madrid continuing to struggle, Los Colchoneros will enter the new season with the aim of retaining the title and they got off to a successful start as Angel Correa Double pack secured a close 2-1 win in a tough away game against Celta Vigo.
Correa was back on the scorers list the last time when he met the winner in a 1-0 win for Simeone’s men and they celebrated back-to-back wins at the start of the season.
With their two main title rivals already losing points, the Madrid-based riders want to continue their strong run to immediately establish themselves on the summit, but they face a difficult test on Sunday.
Villarreal recently had an impressive season when they triumphed in the Europa League with a penalty shoot-out win over Manchester United after taking Red Bull Salzburg, Dynamo Kiev, Dinamo Zagreb and Arsenal en route to the finals.
A seventh place finish in La Liga may have disappointed a bit though Unai Emery, which has added a third Europa League to its trophy cabinet, and the Yellow Submarine will try to make it into the top six this time around.
However, they did not get off to the ideal start as, although they dominated much of the game, they were kept goalless against Granada on Matchday 1.
Emery’s men then traveled to face the newly promoted Espanyol and a similar game resulted in an identical result when the Yellow Submarine scored another point after failing to break the impasse.
After two rather disappointing results, Villarreal will cause a certain surprise on Sunday to put their first league win of the season on the table.
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As he nears a return, Atletico become Madrid’s attacker Joao Felix remains out of action with an ankle injury for the time being.
Star striker Luis Suarez has also struggled a little for his fitness and doesn’t have to start a La Liga game this season, but Angel Correa has stepped up in impressive fashion, achieving all three of his goals so far to scoop six points for Los Colchoneros.
Diego Simeone seems to be using a slightly different system this season, with Saul Niguez, Koke and summer signature Rodrigo De Paul form an impressive trio in midfield in front of a back three.
They also score with a lot of quality on the flanks Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente offers attack threat from full-back roles.
Villarreal will have to do without key midfielders Dani Parejo by injury, d. H Manu Trigueros and Etienne Capoue should align in the middle.
Elsewhere, wingers Samuel Chukwueze falls out injured while central defender Pau Torres remains on vacation after a long season that ended with the Spanish team at the Olympic Games, after Villarreal’s extended Europa League run and Spain’s 2020 Euro.
The signature of the winger Arnaut Danjuma from Bournemouth was recently confirmed and he was supposed to come straight in the side to ignite a battered attack.
The line is led by Gerard Morenowho continues to look for his first goal of the season after hitting the net 23 times in La Liga last season.
Atletico Madrid possible starting line-up:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Kondogbia; Llorente, Saul, Koke, De Paul, Lemar; Correa, Carrasco
Villarreal possible starting line-up:
Rulli; Foyth, Mandi, Albiol, Pedraza; Pino, Trigueros, Capoue, Danjuma; Moreno, Dia
Probability: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Villarreal
While Villarreal doesn’t have to be broken up this season, we believe Atletico Madrid have enough to score a crucial goal to seal their third straight win.
Emery’s men will have a hard time threatening Simeone’s strong line of defense, and Los Colchoneros should have plenty of chances to fight their way through the Yellow Submarine’s lines, with one goal likely to make all the difference.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com forecast less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data