Atletico Madrid (-175) vs. Villarreal (+550) (Draw +280)
Atletico Madrid got an important draw in Italy (0-0) against Juventus midweek in the Champions League. With that result, Los Colchoneros finished first in their grouping and will move onto the Round of 16.
This Sunday, it’s back to domestic action for last year’s Champions League runners-up, as they host Villarreal at Vicente Calderon Stadium (1:00 p.m. Eastern).
Atletico is currently third in the table (32 points and a +15 goal difference), three points up on fourth-place Sevilla and two points back of second-place Barcelona. As a result, a win on Sunday could vault the team into second, while a loss could find them level with Sevilla by week’s end.
In the moneyline, Atletico is a heavy home favorite, listed at -175. Villarreal is at +550, and the draw +280.
Atletico and Villarreal have a fairly even La Liga history. Atletico has ten wins, while the “Yellow Submarine” has won eight (to go along with ten draws).
The most recent games between these two have seen some interesting trends develop. For instance, the last four goals scored by Los Colchoneros against Villarreal have either come in the first 15 minutes or the final ten. Atletico will be looking to get off to another quick start this Sunday and solidify its spot in the Champions League positions at the top of the table.
Meanwhile, Villarreal has some work to do if they hope to qualify for the next edition of the Champions League instead of the UEFA Europa League. Villa is currently sixth in the table on 24 points (W7, D3, L4) and a +9 goal differential.
A win on Sunday would go along way to realizing Villarreal’s Champions League hopes. However, Atletico has the best home record in La Liga, taking 19 out of a possible 21 points on the year. Don’t expect an upset this weekend.
(Photo credit: LauraHale (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons. Photo has been cropped.)