Sevilla v Atletico Madrid – Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium at 19:30 live on Sky Sports 1
The opening weekend of La Liga action failed to spark with exactly half of the first 10 fixtures ending in stalemates, just two matches breaking the Over 2.5 Goals barrier, four finishing goalless and a total of 12 goals plundered across the week one games.
Sevilla were one of the culprits thanks to their 0-0 draw with Malaga last Friday night. Unai Emery’s charges made the early running but failed to make their pressure count with Kevin Gameiro wasteful when well placed. Their Andalusian neighbours managed to get a foothold in the game and with Steven N’Zonzi suffering a needless second yellow card in the second-half, Los Rojiblancos were forced to batten down the hatches.
Now Sevilla head back to their Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán base for the highlight of week two – a showdown with Atletico Madrid. It’s a fixture the hosts haven’t enjoyed in recent years and it’s now five years since Los Rojiblancos tasted victory when entertaining the capital club (W0-D2-L3). But Emery will be hopeful his new-look side can compete against their highly-fancied visitors.
Atleti opened with a 1-0 win over newly-promoted Las Palmas in Madrid and although the result doesn’t immediately send fear into their La Liga rivals, the Mattress Makers were full value for the points. The Canary Islanders competed well at the Vicente Calderon but Diego Simeone’s side were always in charge and never looked in grave danger.
The 2013/14 champions are genuine title contenders again following an influx of top-class signings over the summer with the club addressing last season’s weaknesses. Atletico now offer searing pace and strength in forward areas, which should enable Simeone’s swift counter-attacking approach to reap rewards more often and the visitors deserve maximum respect on Sunday.
Since Simeone arrived in the Spanish capital, Atleti have returned impressive W35-D18-L16 figures from their away league fixtures. Across the past two campaigns the travellers have W7-D3-L2 at top-seven rivals and so a play on the scratch 0 Asian Handicap at 1.92 looks an enticing offer this weekend.
Unlike Atletico, Sevilla have tended to struggle when faced with the league’s leading lights. Emery’s wonderful W32-D9-L7 home record in La Liga isn’t quite so impressive when highlighting results against top-seven teams – W4-D5-L3 – and delving even deeper, Los Rojiblancos have W1-D4-L3 when entertaining sides that finished above them in the final standings during the same span.
Throw in Atletico’s rock solid record at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán, their almost fully fit and reshaped squad plus Sevilla’s need for time to blood their new faces and the Mattress Makers look well worth siding with on Sunday.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Atletico Madrid 0 (Draw No Bet) at 1.95
Prices correct at time of writing.
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