Welcome to our preview of this top of the table La Liga fixture between the title challenging Atletico Madrid and Villareal. After a few seasons in the doldrums, Villareal will be looking to win here to re-establish their Champions League credentials, while a victory for the visitors will keep them ahead of their bitter city rivals and at worst within touching distance of Barcelona.

Recent Form

Villareal LWLWLW
Atletico Madrid WLWWWW

Previous Meetings

La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 13 May 2012 Villarreal 0 – Atlético de Madrid 1
La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 15 Jan 2012 Atlético de Madrid 3 – Villarreal 0
La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 5 Mar 2011 Atlético de Madrid 3 – Villarreal 1
La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 24 Oct 2010 Villarreal 2 – Atlético de Madrid 0
La Liga ‎(LIGA)‎ 17 Apr 2010 Villarreal 2 – Atlético de Madrid 1

Here we note that Atlético de Madrid do not have a great record at Villareal. Apart from last years victory, they have come away with nothing from this fixture since 2010. However this years team seems much better than the 2010 vintage that lost to Villareal twice in the space of 6 months.

Goals Scored

Atletico Madrid have scored 30 goals so far this season, whereas Villareal have scored 20.

Goals Conceded

Atletico Madrid have conceded 8 goals so far this season, while Villareal have conceded 12.

Team and Selection News

Diego Costa is currently playing as well as any forward in La Liga, and will undoubtedly lead the Atletico line for this fixture, alongside the former Barcelona man David Villa. The only significant absentee for Atletico is Arda Turan, who will be out with a minor injury. Jose Dorado, Bojan Jokic and Francisco Farinos will be missing for the home side, who are unlikely to make too many changes to the side that won by one goal to nil at Elche.

Conclusion

[DAP hasAccessTo=”6″ errMsgTemplate=”SHORT”]This will be a big test for Atletico, given that Villareal have been one of the most consistent outfits in the Spanish league so far this season. Nonetheless, if one looks at the strength of the two teams on paper, it is quite clear that Atletico is considerably the more formidable outfit, and I expect them to win this match with some comfort, especially given the excellent form that they’ve shown in La Liga so far this season. Look for Koke to boss the midfield for Atletico.[/DAP]