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Atletico Madrid—Villarreal GAMETHREAD

Our last match in the league until Sept. 18?

RCD Espanyol v Villarreal CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid host Villarreal today in the ending match of Jornada 3. In case you missed it, La Liga announced today Villarreal’s scheduled home match with Alaves will be postponed in a row over releasing players for the CONMEBOL qualifiers, so our next match after today will be versus Atalanta on September 14 (a Tuesday).

Historical data: Hard to realize now, but when Villarreal first made it to the Primera, Atleti were not actually that successful a side. But even in the Simeone era, Villarreal has played the mattress-makers pretty tight for the most part. Our record in Madrid is 2-3-4 since Simeone took over (4-5-10 overall) but we haven’t won away since April 2017, Roberto Soriano scoring the only goal.

Last year these two clubs drew 0-0 in this fixture.

Villarreal connection: Rodri, Luciano Vietto and Diego Godin have all moved on, so I guess not.

Predictions: Jamie Kemble, Zach and I all choose 1-1; Raul and Sidarth say 0-0; Rahul picks Atleti, 2-1; Robin says 2-0 to Atleti. And the prediction model says chances of a home win, away win, and draw are really close, and the most likely scoreline is 0-0.

Could we possibly get a repeat of November 2007, when Villarreal won a 4-3 thriller with two goals from a sub (Nihat)? Don’t count on it.

THE TEAMS:

Villarreal: (4-4-2) Rulli; Foyth, Albiol, Mandi, Estupiñan; Yeremy, Capoue, Trigueros, Alberto Moreno; Boulaye Dia and Gerard.

Bench: Asenjo, Jorgensen; Mario, Paco, Iborra, Danjuma, Dani Raba, Coquelin, Ruben Peña, Pedraza, Cuenca, Nikita.

Atleti: (4-4-2) Oblak; Trippier, Gimenez, Savić, Hermoso; Llorente, Koke, Lemar, Carrasco; Suarez, Correa.

Bench: Lecomte; Kongdobia, Rodrigo, Saúl, Renan Lodi, Felipe, Cunha, Vrsaljko, Giuliano, Camello.

Interesting to see Estupiñan coming into our lineup; I’m not enamored of starting Alberto Moreno ahead of Danjuma but I expect we will see him at some point.