This could be one of the most open La Liga title races in years, and Atletico Madrid are a team that everybody is expecting big things from this campaign. There are still teething issues with this new look Diego Simeone side, but they can eradicate any fears that they aren’t up for a title fight with an impressive victory in their next league game against Valencia.
The home side will go into the game as the overwhelming 0.68 favourites to get the win with BetXChange. Those odds come as little surprise to those that follow Atletico Madrid, as they have been consistent throughout the season. However, while they may be difficult to beat, they are also having trouble in front of goal and the absence of Antoine Griezmann is being felt. They have only managed to score seven goals in their eight La Liga fixtures so far, and they have drawn their last two games 0-0. The squad has star power in the final third in Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata and Joao Felix but finding the right blend is proving difficult for Simeone. He, however, would be thrilled with the defensive performances as they have only conceded four goals so far this season, and that is the league’s lowest. They haven’t conceded in their last three games in all competitions; however, their only win in that time came in the Champions League at home against Lokomotiv Moscow.
Valencia have been a strange side to assess so far this season as they have already parted ways with their manager and haven’t been consistent. They shocked Europe by beating Chelsea in the Champions League, but they haven’t been able to maintain that European form domestically. They will go into the game in slightly better form than Atletico as they have won twice in their last three outings in all competitions. The only defeat during this period came against Ajax in the Champions League. They will have aspirations of finishing in the top four again this season, and they certainly have the squad to achieve that. A win in this fixture would see them into the top six and could even see them end the weekend as high as third if results go their way.
Head to Head
Atletico Madrid holds a commanding advantage in the overall record between the sides. They have won on 16 occasions compared to Valencia’s nine wins. There have also been 12 draws between these two sides. Atletico average 1.4 goals per game in this fixture, while Valencia average one goal per game. The last meeting between the two in Madrid ended in a 1-0 win for the hosts.
These two sides are two of the biggest in Spain, and each have their own teething problems at this early stage. However, if Atletico are going to be serious contenders for the La Liga title then they can’t afford any more slip-ups. Simeone’s side will get the win here, but it won’t be a breathtaking performance.