After three weeks off, La Liga comes back to life this weekend and we have a cracker of a game when Sevilla hosts Atletico Madrid this Sunday. Both Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are in the top three of La Liga, and they both pride themselves on their defense. Atletico Madrid have had the best back line
in Spain for a couple years now, and that has them in second place in the league with 34 points, while Sevilla is just behind them in third place with 32 points. Each club would love to get a win in order to keep pace with league leaders Barcelona.
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Sevilla vs. Atletico Madrid
- Date and Time: January 6, 2019, 10:15 a.m. ET
- Location: Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan, Sevilla, Spain
- US Television Coverage: beIN Sports
- Betting Line: Atletico Madrid PK -116, O/U 2 and 2.5
Sevilla shot off to a great start this season. They were at the top of the table through the first two months of the season, and although they surrendered their place to Barcelona after a loss at Camp Nou, they have continued to be among the best teams in Spain. Sevilla have not lost a match since that defeat, going unbeaten in their last four, and they have allowed only five goals during that time. However, they have fallen a bit further behind as four of those eight matches ended in draws.
Atletico Madrid know a thing or two about draws. Atletico have only lost once this year, least among La Liga teams, but they have played to a tie in seven of their 17 matches. They have allowed just 12 goals this season, yet their inability to win matches has kept them just behind Barcelona in the race for the league title. Atletico have managed to win each of their last three matches though.
Midfielder Maxime Gonalons is out for another two to three months for Sevilla after fracturing his ankle in mid-November. The southern club may be without the services of defenders Simon Kjaer and Aleix Vidal too. Both players are questionable to play with hamstring injuries. The absence of Diego Costa continues to affect Atletico, and they will be without their star forward for another month. Center back Jose Maria Gimenez is doubtful to play because of a strained calf muscle that has kept him out for a month, while midfielder Thomas Lemar and defenders Filipe Luis and Lucas Hernandez are both questionable.
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Matchup to Watch
Both clubs will put their emphasis on defense, so goals will be at a premium here. Sevilla’s Andre Silva made a smashing Spanish debut with seven goals in his first seven matches, but he has scored just once in his club’s last 10 La Liga outings and they have been frustrated on the attack. Antoine Griezmann has not had his most productive season either, but he has stepped up with Costa on the sidelines. He has seven goals and six assists in 17 appearances, and he has played a part in over half his team’s goals. There’s no doubt that Griezmann will be the focus of the attack, yet the status of Lemar may make his mission a solo one.
Spanish La Liga Free Picks
It’s not often that you see a flat two as the total in any soccer match, but I believe this match should have seen it. Only once in their last eight games has a Sevilla match had more than two goals, and Atletico has posted seven clean sheets on the year. This one will be low-scoring, and my money is on Atletico with Griezmann up top.
Spanish La Liga Prediction: Atletico Madrid 1, Sevilla 0
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