Atletico Madrid take on Sevilla at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in the La Liga on Saturday, March 7, 2020.
Los Rojiblancos are fifth in the La Liga table, coming off a frustrating 1-1 draw at bottom-placed Espanyol last weekend. However, Diego Simeone's men have won their last three home games, including a hard fought 1-0 victory over Liverpool in the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, and will be keen to get another one before they head to England next week.
Sevilla’s recent domestic results have carried them up to third place in the table and like their opponents, Julen Lopetegui’s men are also doing well in Europe, where they'll face AS Roma in the UEFA Europa League Round of 16. In the meantime, Sevilla will be looking to build on their momentum, coming off back-to-back wins over fourth-placed Getafe (3-0 away) and Osasuna (3-2 at home) in La Liga.
The last three meetings between these two sides have ended in 1-1 draws, with the most recent one being at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan in Seville on November 2, 2019, when Franco Vazquez opened the scoring for the home side, while Alvaro Morata restored parity in the second half.
Atletico Madrid Betting Preview
Diego Simeone's side were unable to find a much-needed winner, as Los Rojiblancos slipped to a frustrating 1-1 draw away to last-placed Espanyol. However, Diego Simeone remained full of confidence that his men can secure their objective of a top four finish, while they also hope to dethrone the reigning Champions League title holders on Wednesday.
After several weeks of disappointing results between September and October, marked by a run of four consecutive home draws, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano should once again be considered a fortress. Even though Atletico Madrid suffered a 1-0 home defeat to Barcelona in early-December, as well as a disappointing goalless draw against struggling Leganes last month, they remain one of the most consistent home teams in European football.
Cholo Simeone will have to rely on Atleti's defensive stability for this one (what a surprise, huh?) and whereas Stefan Savic and Felipe should continue as a center-back pair, Renan Lodi should play on the left. There are more doubts on the right-back spot, where Sime Vrsaljko could start at Kieran Trippier's expense.
Thomas Lemar is out injured while Thomas Partey is suspended due to yellow card accumulation, and while it's been a largely disappointing season for the French winger (Lemar), his Ghanaian teammate (Partey) has been in superb form of late. Marcos Llorente will most likely replace Thomas Partey in central midfield.
Felix returned to first-team action in the 3-1 home victory against Villarreal to score his first goal since the 2-0 Champions League win over Lokomotiv Moscow in December, and the Portuguese talent looks set for his first La Liga start since the goalless draw with Leganes on January 26.
Alvaro Morata (seven goals in 22 La Liga matches) has failed to score in his last eight appearances and even though he has been Atletico Madrid's top scorer in the La Liga this term, Diego Simeone's patience may not last forever, especially with Diego Costa back in first-team training over the past weeks.
Sevilla Betting Preview
Unlike previous years, Sevilla boast the second-best away record in La Liga, winning 50% (23 of 46) of their points on the road – 7W-2D-4L. For comparison, Sevilla have collected 26 points in 19 away games in 2016-17 – the only time they have finished in the top four in the last 9 La Liga seasons.
Julen Lopetegui's men are now unbeaten in five games across all competitions (2 wins, 3 draws). However, two of their four away defeats in La Liga have come in their last three away games as Sevilla suffered back-to-back away defeats to Real Madrid and Celta Vigo (both were 2-1), but they have bounced back with a 3-0 win away at Getafe.
Midfielders Fernando and Oliver Torres, who delivered two assists last weekend, are both suspended, though the former is also injured, and will miss out.
First-choice goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik remains doubtful and if the Czech is fit – he'll surely return to the starting XI, otherwise Yassine Bounou will remain in goal.
Sergio Reguilon and Sergio Escudero are competing for the left-back spot, while Diego Carlos will most likely return at center-back, where Sergi Gomez started alongside Jules Kounde against Osasuna last time out.
With Torres and Fernando both sidelined, Ever Banega and Joan Jordan are two of the players who can return in central midfield.
Youssef En-Nesyri, who scored a brace, including the late winner against Osasuna, joined Sevilla in the winter and the Moroccan forward should keep his starting spot, with Luuk de Jong (4 goals in 23 La Liga matches) failing to impress.
Sevilla's top goalscorer Lucas Ocampos (9 goals in 21 La Liga games) and either Rony Lopes or winter arrival Suso should start alongside En-Nesyri in attack.
Possible Starting Lineups of Atletico Madrid and Sevilla
Atletico Madrid: Jan Oblak – Sime Vrsaljko, Stefan Savic, Felipe, Renan Lodi – Joao Felix, Saul Niguez, Marcos Llorente, Koke – Angel Correa, Alvaro Morata. (4-4-2)
Sevilla: Tomas Vaclik – Jesus Navas, Jules Kounde, Diego Carlos, Sergio Reguilon – Franco Vazquez, Nemanja Gudelj, Joan Jordan – Lucas Ocampos, Youssef En-Nesyri, Suso. (4-3-3)
Sevilla have failed to win in their last 10 La Liga visits to Atletico Madrid (five draws and five defeats), but a victory here will put them five points clear of Diego Simeone's Rojiblancos.
Both teams have scored in each of their last six head-to-head matches, with Sevilla winning two of them. However, despite their unconvincing away form, Diego Simeone's men have enough quality and experience to be extremely solid at home.
Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in their last seven home matches in all competitions, winning six of them, and conceding just two goals in the process. They have lost only one home game during the entire 2018-19 campaign, as well as one so far in 2019-20.
With that said, we're backing Atletico Madrid to confirm their superiority on home turf. They need a result not only to return to the top four in the Spanish top-flight, but to boost their confidence ahead of a crucial second leg against Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool on Wednesday.