Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal predictions and match preview for Sunday’s LaLiga fixture. Read on for analysis, team news and predicted lineups as two teams who started well last weekend meet.
|Sunday 20th August 2022
|19:30 (local time)
Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal Preview
This match kicks off a really tasty double-header on Sunday night in LaLiga as four of last season’s top seven meet. Villarreal have serious hopes of challenging for a Champions League place this term and were impressive winners on the opening weekend, but the same could certainly be said of Atletico Madrid.
Away to Getafe, many expected a tough early test for Diego Simeone’s side but they produced some excellent football at times with a sense of clarity to their attacking play that was rarely evident last season. The combination play of Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix was the highlight with the former netting twice while Felix assisted all three goals in the 3-0 win, raising hopes that this could be the season where he truly breaks through and establishes himself as an elite level performer.
There was also a return to midfield for Marcos Llorente and he’s one player to look out for this season after he was largely used as a right-back or right wing-back last term. After reaching double figures for both goals and assists in LaLiga 2020/21, he could feel like a new signing for Atleti this term if he can get back to his best.
It has been a very busy opening week of the season for Villarreal. On the pitch, they won 3-0 at Real Valladolid last weekend with Álex Baena, who spent last season on loan in the second tier at Girona, the surprise star with two late goals. They backed that up with a 4-2 Conference League win on Thursday with new signing Jose Luis Morales bagging a brace in a team which featured plenty of rotation.
Off the pitch, plenty has been happening too. Giovani Lo Celso has returned on loan for another season but Paco Alcacer, Boulaye Dia and Pervis Estupinan have all departed over the past few days. They are believed to be trying to find ways to finance a move for Almeria striker Umar Sadiq and the approximately €18m they have received from Brighton for Estupinan will help with that, although it may be that we need to see a bigger asset such as Yeremi Pino or Arnaut Danjuma also leave before anything happens on the Sadiq front.
Team News & Possible Lineups
Possible XI: Oblak – Reinildo, Witsel, Savic – Carrasco, Lemar, Koke, Llorente, Molina – Felix, Morata (3-5-2)
Coach: Diego Simeone
|Alberto Moreno, Trigueros
Possible XI: Rulli – Pedraza, Torres, Albiol, Foyth – Coquelin, Capoue, Parejo – Jackson, Gerard Moreno, Pino (4-3-3)
Coach: Unai Emery
Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Villarreal
These were arguably the two most impressive sides on matchday one so a good contest is expected here. Overall though, with home advantage and perhaps slightly more energy in their team, not least after a free midweek, Atleti might just edge this to make it two wins from two to start the season.
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