Atletico Madrid will look to continue their unbeaten start in their La Liga campaign as they host lowly Alaves at the Wanda Metropolitano. Diego Simeone’s side will be strong favourites against an Alaves side who remain in the relegation zone despite winning each of their past two matches.
Where and when: Wanda Metropolitano – 16 December, kick-off 19:45
Where you can see Atletico Madrid v Alaves: Sky Sports, bet365 live streaming
Last time: Atletico were held to a scoreless draw the last time the two sides clashes, at Alaves’s Mendizorrotza Stadium in January. The last time Atleti were at home, at the old Vicente Calderon, the game finished 1-1.
Atletico Madrid v Alaves Predictions and Preview
Atletico Madrid are yet to taste defeat in any of their 19 domestic matches this campaign and have won three league games in a row since being held by Madrid rivals Real last month.
Diego Simeone’s side will be favourites for this encounter due to the respective league positions of the two sides, yet there is evidence to suggest it could be a frustrating game for the hosts.
They have faced Alaves seven times since the turn of the century – including twice last season – and have won only once, back in 2006.
Both matches last season ended as draws, with Kevin Gameiro’s penalty in third minute of stoppage time remarkably cancelled out by an equaliser two minutes later from Manu Garcia in Madrid, with the return ending goalless.
Alaves manager Aberlardo Fernandez has won both his matches in charge so far to lift the club off the bottom of the table and into 18th.
The bookmakers have made the hosts heavy favourites for all three points with odds of 2/9, while an unlikely away victory is priced at an outlandish 20/1 – Alaves last tasted victory away in this fixture in 2003. Based on previous results, a draw at 32/5 represents strong value.
Atletico Madrid should welcome back Antoine Griezmann from injury to partner Kevin Gameiro in attack, while Sime Vrsaljko is likely to retain his place in the defence.
The visitors are likely to deploy a rigid 4-2-3-1 formation with Munir El Haddadi, on loan from Barcelona, leading the line.
A strong bet could under 2.5 goals at 22/19 – this fixture has only ever been played 10 historically, with the last nine matches producing two goals or less.
One to watch for Atletico Madrid: Griezmann should return for Atleti after he missed the win over Betis with an injury and is in-form with four goals in his last four games, and is available 4/5 as anytime goalscorer on Saturday.
One to watch for Alaves: Ibai Gomez is in remarkable form for the visitors, netting a late 20-minute hat-trick away at Girona before scoring in the following victory over Las Palmas to make it four goals in his last two games and he’s 23/2 to score anytime here.
Long shot: Atletico Madrid’s problem this campaign has been too many draws, with 11 in total across all competitions. For this game to be level at both half time and full time (as both games last season were) is available at a tempting 42-5.