Atletico Madrid vs Levante
After battling it out last Wednesday night over at the Ciutat de Valencia, Atletico Madrid will face Levante anew on Saturday this time at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium.
Both teams were held to a 1-1 draw in the last time out, and that drew mixed reactions from Atletico Madrid and Levante.
For Los Rojiblancos, the additional three points would have extended their La Liga table lead to at least nine points instead of six. However, they still have a game in hand which plays into their favour.
As for Los Granotas, they were more than happy to split the points with Diego Simeone’s boys, and they are now 11th at the standings with 28 points to level with Athletic Bilbao.
With Champions League on the horizon for Atletico Madrid, it is highly likely that Diego Simeone will choose to rest some of his players ahead of their much-awaited clash against Chelsea, who are back in business after going undefeated in their last five fixtures.
Especially with how the previous game turned out, this gives Levante a prime opportunity to not only do everyone a favour by cutting into Atletico Madrid’s lead but to also enter into the Top 10 as well.
Here at SBOTOP, let’s examine how these teams will fare in the second game of their mini-series.
Almost but not quite for Levante
Los Granotas almost had Atleti’s number in their most recent contest. But even with the draw, team manager Paco Lopez has some takeaways ahead of Sunday.
Levante were relentless in their pressing early on, and that led to them gaining important balls en route to their goal during the 17th minute.
In the said sequence, winger Jorge de Frutos used his speed to race down the pitch and then he had the foresight to find a cutting Enis Bardhi who scored off of a cool finish.
This would’ve been a victory for Levante if only they maintained their guard up until the end.
In the 37th minute, Marcos Llorente punched in the equaliser after his shot took a heavy deflection off of Rober Pier and the ball flew past Levante’s goalkeeper.
And then comes the second half, Atletico Madrid were the more assertive team on the attack, which almost saw them steal the game if only Saul Niguez’s goal wasn’t called for an offside.
Against the second-best offence in the league, Levante should be wary on giving Atleti chances to create attacking opportunities and La Liga 2021 highlights.
Levante have yet to keep a clean sheet this season, which is a troubling sign for them and an encouraging one for the hosts.
Atletico Madrid need to rediscover their defensive identity
Atletico Madrid may have been dealing with COVID-19, but that shouldn’t give them a free pass for their shaky defence lately.
Los Rojiblancos have already conceded in six straight league fixtures, which is quite uncharacteristic for a Diego Simeone-mentored squad.
With the ban of Kieran Trippier, Diego Simeone had to shift his formation to a 3-1-4-2 – to which several opponents have it already scouted.
Levante exposed Atletico Madrid’s giant hole at the right flank with their new formation, and that adds more burden to the back trio of Stefan Savic, Felipe, and Jose Gimenez.
Atleti have also become over-reliant in their attack to mask their defensive problems as they would find themselves falling behind in their games against Eibar, Valencia, Celta Vigo, and Levante.
Furthermore, Luis Suarez may need to score more goals to compensate for the absences of Joao Felix, Moussa Dembele, Thomas Lemar, and Hector Herrera.
Atletico Madrid and Levante have locked horns in 22 occasions prior to this weekend.
The hosts have the major edge in the overall head-to-head with 14 triumphs, while the visitors have won four times along with four draws.
|Atletico Madrid vs Levante||Atletico Madrid Asian Handicap -1.00 @ 1.97|
|February 20, 23:15 (GMT+8)|
Once again, the La Liga 2021 odds are favouring Atletico Madrid to win. But can Levante prove us wrong again?
The 1×2 market has Los Rojiblancos priced at 1.55 to win, while Los Granotas are pegged at 6.00 and a replay of last game’s result is set at 3.90.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, perhaps Diego Simeone’s side has already learned their lesson from last Wednesday.
Levante have always been a tough nut to crack and we don’t expect anything less from them this weekend.
But even with their depleted rotation, Atletico Madrid’s superior depth and quality should be more than enough for them to grab their 18th win of the season.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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