Preview - Villareal vs Atletico Madrid March 19 2018

Started by Harry85, Mar 17, 2018, 08:56 AM

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Match Day 29
Villareal vs Atletico Madrid
Monday, March 19th, 2018
01:30 am (GMT+8 Timing)
Stadium: Estadio de la Cerámica

Last five matches form: L W L L W
Average goals per match: 1.4
Average goals against per match: 1.1
Top Scorer: Carlos Bacca (9)

Atletico Madrid:
Last five matches form: W L W W W
Average goals per match: 1.7
Average goals against per match: 0.4
Top Scorer: Antoine Griezmann (16)

One of the pick of the games on Match Day 29 in La Liga comes in Villareal as second placed Atletico come calling.

Plenty to play for from the home teams point of view as they bid to hold onto their Europa League spot with the teams beginning to stack up behind them in the race for sixth position.

Atletico have already all but sewn up a Champions League spot for next term, and whilst their loss to Barcelona makes winning La Liga a mighty tall order now, they won't have given up all hope of closing the eight point gap.

Villareal will be boosted by the return from suspension of Mario Gaspar to the back four. Nicola Sansone is expected to take up some of the goal scoring burden following the recent departure of Cédric Bakambu.

Kevin Gameiro is unlikely to make the squad in time for Atletico, but his absence in attack will be more than offset by the return to the side of Diego Costa.

Not many sides have managed to break down Atletico's often impenetrable defence with Diego Simeone's men having recorded an impressive eight clean sheets on their travels already this season.

Villareal have lost two of their last three at home, to Alaves and Girona. Atletico are a class above those two sides, and on current form can be expected to come out on top, with yet another shut out a distinct possibility.

 Prediction: Villareal 0 - 2 Atletico Madrid


Half time: 0 - 1
Full time: 2 - 1
Shots: 17 - 8
Shots on target: 5 - 2
Corner Kicks: 5 - 4
Possession: 62% - 38%

A busy night for referee David Fernandez, with eight bookings, a sending off and a penalty award. Pablo Fornals, Alvaro Gonzalez, Rodrigo Hernandez, Carlos Bacca and Nicola Sansone were the quintet who saw yellow for Villareal. Antoine Griezman, Jose Gimenez and Diego Costa were booked for Atletico with Vitolo being shown a straight red.

Villareal had enjoyed marginally the better of the opening exchanges, but it was Atletico who took the lead in the 19th minute. Antoine Griezmann being brought down in the area by Jaume Costa and the referee pointing to the spot. Griezmann rose from the turf to confidently despatch the penalty. 0-1.

The visitors nearly doubled their advantage in the 23rd minute with what would have been a magnificent goal. A flowing passing move down the left-hand side culminating in a Koke effort striking the post.

No further goals in the opening period, so Atletico headed into half-time with a slender lead.

Atletico adopted their "break us down if you can" approach in the second half, and for a long time Villareal couldn't. Then in the 82nd minute, an initial corner was blocked, but when Àlvaro Gonzàlez fired the ball back in, Enes Ünal got his head to it for the equaliser.

Villareal and Ünal weren't done just yet though, and it was again a set piece which proved Atletico's undoing. Daniele Bonera's shot following a free kick from the left was badly scuffed to the far post, but Villareal's luck was in, as there was Ünal to prod home in the 91st minute.

The red mist descended on Vitolo just two minutes later, with the substitute receiving a straight red for violent conduct.

Final score 2-1.

A big win for Villareal which in combination with Sevilla's earlier defeat to Leganes sees the Yellow Submarines move up to fifth in what is an increasingly tight battle for the Europa League spots. Any title dreams are now surely over for Atletico who face an impossible task in trying to reel in Barcelona.

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