Atletico Madrid v Villareal Prediction: La Liga Match on 29.08.2021
The final weekend of August brings football fans a long list of exciting matches from across Europe as the top divisions begin to gather pace. A full round of fixtures is scheduled to be played in the Spanish La Liga. The matches are divided across Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, with the majority shown live on television. Atletico Madrid are the La Liga defending champions and a side out to protect their hard-earned crown from the challenge of derby rivals Real Madrid and Barcelona.
Can they do it? Lovers of Spanish football will have a better idea of what to expect from Madrid after their home match against Villarreal, which kicks off at 21:00 GMT on Sunday. Most respected pundits have split their predictions for the La Liga crown between Real Madrid and Barcelona, but the latter have been forced to release their star player Lionel Messi. At the same time, Blancos remain unconvincing and failed to defend their title last season. Atletico Madrid finished as deserving winners of the trophy and will be eager to sign off for August with three crucial points in the bag.
Atletico Madrid and Villarreal have produced some memorable contests over the years, including that special 4-4 draw in Madrid back in 2008. Games involving these teams are always competitive, with three of the last six meetings ending in a draw. The most recent clash produced a 2-0 away win for Atletico Madrid, and that’s something Villarreal will be desperate to avenge on Sunday evening.
Madrid off to the perfect start
There were question marks over Atletico’s ability to win a second La Liga title on the bounce. Were they fortunate last season? Would Real Madrid and Barcelona return stronger and battle it out between themselves for the La Liga trophy? Only time will tell, but there is no doubting that Atletico were the better team last season and started exceptionally well this term. The hosts have a maximum of six points on the board from their first two starts and have looked utterly convincing in each game. The pressure is now on the players to continue that winning run.
They opened the defence of their title with a win over Celta Vigo on the road on matchday one. That was a potentially tricky tie and one some pundits expected the champions to struggle in but they got the job done thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 final score. We didn’t see too much of the flair and skill of the Atletico team, but we did get a timely reminder of how determined and hard-working this outfit is. Madrid rolled up their sleeves and ground out a performance despite giving away a penalty and finishing the match with ten men.
Correa scored both goals in that 2-1 win over Celta Vigo, and the same player was on target again in another one-goal margin of victory on matchday two. Last week, they defeated Elche 1-0 on their home debut, with Correa on target on 39 minutes. It was just a little too close for comfort for many fans, but the team battled to get the job done and protect their 100% start to the campaign. Will they go three for three?
Back-to-back draws for Villarreal
Like their hosts, Villarreal are unbeaten in their opening two games of the season, but the visitors have recorded back-to-back draws, taking just two points from the first six available to them. That effort means they are much closer to the bottom of the league than the top, but all that would change if they were to cause an upset and grab three points from this match. An away win would rate as the upset of the weekend, and it would blow the league wide open, kick-starting Villarreal’s season.
They were handed what looked to be a winnable match on week one when hosting Granada, but Villarreal failed to live up to expectations and ended that game with just a point to show for their efforts following a 0-0 draw. They had the chances to win that game but lacked the composure in the final third of the field to turn opportunities into goals. Fans view that as two points dropped rather than one gained, and the match stats make it difficult to argue against that opinion. A big response was needed, but it wasn’t forthcoming.
Game two of the season produced another draw and another goalless performance by Villarreal. This time they finished 0-0 away to Espanyol last Saturday. Two clean sheets will provide the coaching staff with encouragement ahead of this game, but everyone connected to Villarreal knows they must be much better in the attack. They must turn chances into goals and draws into wins if they are to climb the table.
Atletico Madrid v Villarreal prediction
Atletico Madrid have a 100% record at this early stage but have been made to work for each of their six points. They will know the problems their opponents face but will also be well aware that Villarreal has yet to concede a goal. The locals will be expected to dig deep once again, remain patient and come away with the three points needed to remain level on top of the league,
Villarreal can take the positives from a pair of clean sheets, and despite starting the week down in 15th place in the division, it hasn’t been a bad start. That sturdy backline will be called into action once again and must stand firm against a confident Atletico attack, but it’s just as important that the attack starts firing and finally gets off the mark. The longer it takes to get their first goal, the more pressure builds.
La Liga odds
Atletico Madrid are priced at 1.795 with 22bet for the win on matchday three, with Villarreal trading at 4.98 and the draw 3.38. There are also over 100 pre-match and in-play betting markets available on this contest, including first goalscorer, total goals, half time/full time, correct score and handicap.
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