La Liga: Atletico Madrid aiming to sink in-form Yellow Submarine
Atletico Madrid face a tough trip to the Estadio El Madrigal for a La Liga clash with an in-form Villarreal, though they will be confident of continuing their impressive domestic form against a side who has beaten them just once in seven previous meetings.
Diego Simeone’s Atleti have enjoyed a successful start to their campaign, with only Barcelona having overcome them so far, though they contest Marcelino’s high-flying Yellow Submarine, who are so far unbeaten domestically.
Villarreal are 9/5 with Coral to secure their fifth consecutive La Liga victory this season on home soil, while Atlei are 31/20 to extend that superb record over their opponents with a third successive away triumph.
Only a single point separates these two sides at the moment, with the hosts narrowly sitting in third position, though both can boast the fact that they can look down the table at defending champions Barcelona.
Simeone will have plenty of in-form forwards at his disposal at the weekend, with former Chelsea misfit Fernando Torres finally finding his feet at his boyhood club, while former Villarreal marksman Luciano Vietto prepares to gun down his old teammates and Antoine Griezmann hopes to maintain his rampant run.
The latter French international attacker has now netted 18 goals in La Liga this calendar year, with only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi bagging more, and Simeone has lauded his forward, who is 5/1 to open proceedings.
“He [Griezmann] is in excellent shape, has grown so much and he is a key player for the team. His future will depend just on him,” declared the Argentine coach.
Simeone also praised the positive effect El Nino is having, stating: “Torres is in really good shape. He came in really well prepared from the pre-season where he worked really well.
“He needs to have a lot demanded of him and we’re demanding a lot of him, in line with his quality. Last year he did well and he is giving us options up front which is what we need.
“I’m happy with the competition in the squad and the enthusiasm the players have to be part of it. The quality of minutes played is more important than the amount. Hopefully they give us options. These days it’s hard to have a squad with so many good players.”
Torres, now 31 years of age, has bagged two La Liga goals so far this term and is 7/4 to add a third anytime on Atletico’s latest travels, having struck five times in nine career outings against Villarreal.
New recruit Vietto switched his loyalties this year, arriving from Villarreal in the summer, and, having netted in this fixture for his former club last season, the Argentine attacker is 15/8 to strike anytime for his new club.
In a similar situation, Atleti-owned Leo Baptistao could be in line for an appearance against his parent club and is 7/4 to net anytime in familiar surroundings.
Betting tip: Fernando Torres to score anytime @ 7/4