High-Flying Atletico Madrid Faces Villarreal Test in La LigaPublished February 21, 2016 by Florin P
Atletico Madrid chases vital points in its quest for a Primera Division title (7:30 p.m UK Time).
Atletico Madrid and Villarreal are almost certain to play in the Champions League next season, but both teams have higher expectations. The hosts are secretly hoping to snatch the title from Barcelona and Real, while the visitors try to secure direct qualification to the most prestigious European competition.
Tough Games Ahead for Atletico Madrid
The home side has the best defensive in the Spanish first division, allowing just 11 goals overall and 6 in front of their fans. Confidence is at high levels but Atletico Madrid can’t afford to take this match likely because Villarreal is deadly on counterattacks. They are also known for making each goal count and it is hard to win a game if you allow them to take the lead.
Atletico Madrid is also trying to make a deep run in the Champions League and players can consider themselves lucky to be pit against PSV. Winning on the road would greatly simplify their mission and that’s why resources need to be smartly divided ahead of Tuesday’s clash. Just a couple of days later, Atletico Madrid takes on its city rival at Bernabeu, in a match they can’t afford to lose.
Few Goals Scored by Villarreal
The visitors haven’t lost a match in La Liga since November 2015, but they were unable to win back-to-back games recently. The lack of success is the direct consequence of Villarreal having a hard time scoring goals both at home and on the road. The starting formation featuring just two strikers doesn’t help either but manager Marcelino will stick to it for this match.
Even though the stakes are not as high in Europa League, Villarreal is one of the teams taking this competition very seriously. They will take on Napoli on Thursday after facing them just a couple of days ago and the Italians are a hard nut to crack. Everything suggests a low-scoring match, so odds of 3/5 offered by bet365 Sports on the Under 2.5 goals market are fully justified.