Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for the head-to-head, team news, predicted lineups and fantasy football picks as the hosts aim to maintain their 100% start.
|Sunday 29th August 2021
|22:00 (local time)
Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal Preview
Atletico Madrid and Villarreal face off at the Wanda Metropolitano to round off the third gameweek of the new season in LaLiga. The defending champions are one of just two sides left with 100% records and will be hoping to lay down a marker for the rest of the league by making it three wins from three to start the season.
Having battled their way to a 2-1 win over Celta Vigo on the opening weekend, Atleti edged past Elche 1-0 at the Wanda Metropolitano on matchday 2. It wasn’t a vintage performance by any means but it’s the kind result which Diego Simeone’s side have produced time and time again over the years. They win ugly and they do it consistently and those are the kind of results which almost seem to give Cholo an extra sense of satisfaction.
After the dramatic end to last season and a busy summer for a number of key players, Atleti would have almost been forgiven had they started slowly but they’ve done what they’ve needed to do with Luis Suarez and Kieran Trippier, two key players last term, only being used off the bench. Simeone may decide this is the game where he will need to throw Suarez in from the off and the same may be true of Trippier unless there are any more concrete developments in terms of his potential departure for the Premier League.
Atleti do have a fresh attacking option in the shape of Matheus Cunha, a €26 million arrival from Hertha Berlin this week. Villarreal meanwhile could hand a debut, at least off the bench, to Arnaut Danjuma, a €20 million arrival from Bournemouth. Therefore in a summer of high profile departures from LaLiga, this game will offer a welcome contrast potentially featuring several of the bigger summer arrivals in Spain.
Villarreal come into this one having not scored or conceded a goal yet in LaLiga. Their home game with Granada and trip to Espanyol both finished goalless and despite some promising signs from the new strike pairing of Gerard Moreno and Boulaye Dia, they haven’t troubled the scorers as of yet. That won’t be a big concern for Unai Emery yet as he will know that he does have real quality in this squad and some very good players to come back, but if the top four is a serious goal this season, Villarreal will need to get out of this habit of drawing games as soon as possible.
Joao Felix is still missing through injury for Atleti. Hector Herrera and Santiago Arias are doubts.
Dani Parejo and Samu Chukwueze are still injured while Pau Torres isn’t back from holiday yet after his busy summer.
Predicted Atletico Madrid Starting Lineup:
Oblak – Hermoso, Gimenez, Savic – Carrasco, De Paul, Kondogbia, Koke, Llorente – Correa, Suarez
Predicted Villarreal Starting Lineup:
Rulli – Pedraza, Albiol, Mandi, Foyth – Moreno, Capoue, Trigueros, Moi Gomez – Dia, Gerard (4-4-2)
Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal Predictions
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Villarreal
Villarreal have been something of a bogey team for Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid through the years but that trend has reversed a bit in recent seasons. Indeed Villarreal have only managed 1 goal in their last 5 games against Atleti and that came in a defeat on this ground. With the Yellow Submarine yet to net this term in LaLiga, they may just get edged out here by the champions.