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Villarreal at Atletico Madrid: La Liga Preview

Emery needs a win, can he get it against Diego Simeone?

FBL-EUR-C3-DRAW Photo by OZAN KOSE/AFP via Getty Images

Welp. Right about the time we really need a league win, we get the defending champs. Ain’t that just our luck? Buckle up and save your hot takes. We aren’t favored in this one, and we have our work cut out for us.

Our Opponents

Atletico Madrid got better over the summer. I’m particularly impressed by the addition of Rodrigo de Paul, who hasn’t fully been worked into the rotation yet but will be. They’ve also added Matheus Cunha, a less than traditional 9 who will have some work to do in buildup I imagine.

They’ve started out well, results wise, beating Celta Vigo in a bit of a wild match to start the year and then squeaking buy Elche, but this is not a team playing its best football yet so I feel like we have a decent shot at pulling a result if we can get our act together.

Villarreal

We’ve had a decent bit of news this week on the roster front. Ontiveros was loaned out to Osasuna, and Sofian Chakla’s time at the club has come to an end with his move to OHL in Belgium. We’ve also been linked with another wide player, Brekalo from Wolfsburg, though that hasn’t gained a ton of momentum.

None of this has done anything to make us healthier. We’re gonna have to hang in here until after the international break from the sounds of things. By that point, hopefully, we’ll get Parejo back, Pau will definitely be back from his rest, and perhaps Samu will be healthy and Danjuma fully worked into the side. I fully expect- and in fact insist- that this team be a whole lot better after the break, but I’m keeping my expectations low for this one.

Prediction

We can’t possibly go three matches in a row without scoring to open the year, can we? 1-1 draw is my hopeful prediction, though if Atleti bags multiple goals in this one I think we’re sunk.