Usually, Villarreal is a very entertaining side to follow even on their travels as they more or less always score. If one team can contain them, it is the Atletico Madrid side taking them on in the capitol Sunday evening. Villarreal has scored in every single away match this season. Not least after the break, they seem really up for the task.
They have scored in the second half in their last 13 matches, an astonishing run. A run which won’t necessarily end at the Wanda Metropolitano but just how are they going to break down Atletico? Atletico Madrid had a big win over Liverpool in midweek and now return to La Liga action. They are fourth, two places above Villarreal who can move past Atletico with a win. Atletico may have done what not a single English Premier League side has achieved, all is not well in La Liga though.
They are in the final Champions League qualification spot but 13 points behind league leaders Real Madrid. Their season is now about ensuring they qualify for the Champions League next season as well. One problem they have had is the number of games they have drawn, ten so far. Current league form isn’t that good with only one win in their last five league games. That was a 1-0 home win over Granada. Not exactly a terrifying form.
Scoring is another problem and 19 of their 24 games in La Liga this season have had under 2.5 goals scored in them. Nine of 12 at home. For Villarreal avoiding defeat could easily be just as important as winning. The away side are on a four-match unbeaten league run. 10 from 12 points were secured in their past games. All three wins against sides outside the top ten in the table.
Away form is inconsistent with five wins coupled with six defeats. Under normal circumstances, we would look for goals when Villarreal is taking part, but something happens when they stop up against Atletico in Madrid.
12 of their last 14 encounters had less than three goals. The two exceptions both coming with Villarreal at home. Atletico Madrid could do with repeating their Champions League, but they don’t score many goals. Being able to shut down Liverpool though speaks volumes for their defensive skills though and we go hunting for under 2.5 goals.