La Liga Betting Preview: Villarreal to score first against Atletico Madrid

With the home side needing to win to guarantee survival, Phil Kitromilides our Spanish expert is backing them to back a strong start against Atletico
A match with potentially huge consequences at both ends of the table sees Europa League champions Atletico Madrid search for the win which could see them qualify for next season's Champions League, and relegate a Villarreal side who began this season playing in Europe's premier club competition.

Yet Atletico's potential qualification for the Champions League is not in their hands, with the team from the capital needing to beat Villarreal, and hope that Malaga slip up at home to relegation bound Sporting Gijon. Unlikely but not impossible.

The Yellow Submarine conversely know that their survival is in their own hands with a victory guaranteeing their top flight status. A home win can be backed at 13/10 (2.30) with 188Bet, while a victory for Atleti is offered 39/20 (2.95).

There is however, little to make backing an away win appealing. Atletico will be struggling to shake off the after effects of their tremendous Europa League victory over Athletic Bilbao in midweek, and while they retain an outside chance of Champions League qualification, they will be perfectly content with defending their title won on Wednesday night.

Furthermore, their form on the road has been atrocious with only three wins away from the Vicente Calderon all season.

Bearing all this in mind, backing Villarreal to claim a win might well appeal, but the side from Castellon have been the architects of their own downfall this season, missing numerous chances to pull clear of the relegation zone.

They will however be highly motivated for this game, much more so than Atletico, so backing the home side to score first at 4/5 (1.80) looks like an excellent bet. They have scored first in two of their last three home matches, and will be desperate to make a good start for the reasons mentioned above.

For a value bet try backing Villarreal half/time full time at 33/10 (4.30). If the home side manage to score early then a demotivated Atletico team may well feel that their season is already over, allowing for some healthy returns from a small investment.


Villarreal to score first at 4/5 (1.80) with 188Bet
Villarreal half time/full time  at 33/10 (4.30) with 188Bet

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Phil Kitromilides is a sports broadcaster working on radio and TV in London and Madrid, you can also follow Phil on Twitter.