This week’s highlight La Liga fixture, third-placed Atletico Madrid host Alaves in fourth spot. Will Atletico make a real statement in the title race? Can Alaves continue to outperform expectations? Read on to inform your Atletico Madrid vs. Alaves prediction.
A close look at the Atletico Madrid vs. Alaves odds
The 1x2 odds make Atletico Madrid the clear favourites, with the odds implying the home side have around an 89% chance of winning the game, compared to Alaves who have roughly a 10% chance of winning.
Under 2 and 2.5 goals is also slightly favoured at 1.900* - this Total Goals figure suggests the number of goals in the game will be slightly below the league average (La Liga average is 2.52 goals per match this season).
Time: Saturday December 8 12:00 UTC kickoff
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano
Atletico Madrid vs. Alaves statistics
- Atletico Madrid expected goals for per game: 1.08
- Atletico Madrid expected goals against per game: 0.98
- Atletico Madrid expected points per game: 1.39
- Alaves expected goals for per game: 1.02
- Alaves expected goals against per game: 1.30
- Alaves expected points per game: 1.19
- Last four games: Atletico Madrid 2, Alaves 0, Draw 2
Atletico Madrid vs. Alaves predicted lineups
Atletico Madrid predicted lineup
4-4-2: Oblak; Arias, Savic, Hernandez, Saul; Koke, Thomas, Hernandez, Lemar; Kalinic, Griezmann
Given his impact from the bench last weekend, Angel Correa could be rewarded with a place in the starting 11, while Thomas Lemar, the €70m signing from Monaco in the summer, could find himself in danger of being dropped to the bench for an underwhelming performance against Girona.
In terms of injuries, Diego Costa will fly to Brazil this week to undergo an operation to help him recover from a longstanding foot injury, and although his appearance is doubtful for Saturday’s fixture, Atletico have not confirmed how long he will be out of action for.
Adding to Los Colchoneros’ injury problems, defensive options Filipe Luis, Juanfran, Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez all remain sidelined too.
Atletico also host Sant Andreu in the second leg of the last 32 of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night, ahead 1-0 on aggregate – Diego Simeone is expected to once again make wholesale changes to the starting 11.
Alaves predicted lineup
4-1-4-1: Pacheco; Aguirregabiria, Laguardia, Navarro, Duarte; Pina; Ibai, Mubarak, Manu Garcia, Jony; Calleri
Despite playing a flat 4-4-2 for the overwhelming majority of the season, Alaves manager Abelardo Fernández has been known to drop one striker to give himself an extra option at the back against the bigger teams in La Liga. Most notably employing a 4-1-4-1 in Babazorros’ last game, a 1-1 draw at home to Sevilla.
Alaves’ only expected absentee is centre-back Rodrigo Ely, who has missed the last five matches with a knee injury.
However, Alaves travel to Girona for their Copa del Rey last 32 second leg tie on Wednesday. Drawing 2-2 all in the first leg, Abelardo Fernández may be tempted to field a full strength squad – which could have a knock-on effect for Saturday’s game.
Inform your Atletico Madrid vs Alaves prediction
Separated by just one point in La Liga, few could have predicted how close these two teams would be at this stage of the season.
In very familiar surroundings, Atletico Madrid currently occupy third place – having gained 25 points from 14 games.
Seeing Saturday’s game as further opportunity to prove their title credentials, Los Colchoneros have yet to lose any of their seven games at home this season – winning five, drawing two and conceding just four goals in the process.
In contrast, second from bottom this time last year with just 9 points, Alaves have experienced a meteoric rise in fortunes since the appointment of Abelardo Fernández on December 1 2017 – who has a 52.27% win percentage as manager.
Often leaving it late in games to grab vital goals, Atletico have scored only once this season inside the opening 15 minutes – making only 23 shots
Eventually finishing in a very respectful fourteenth place last season, Alaves currently sit fourth with 24 points from 14 games.
Unbeaten at home this season, all four of Babazorros’ La Liga defeats have come away from home this season – having been beaten at Barcelona, Levante, Eibar and Leganes.
Given Simeone’s tendency to place more emphasis on his team’s defensive responsibilities rather than the necessity to score goals, Atletico’s ability to grind teams down combined with their devastating counter attacking options, mean that Alaves will need to ensure they stay competitive for the whole 90 minutes if they want to come away with a result.
Often leaving it late in games to grab vital goals, Atletico have scored only once this season inside the opening 15 minutes – making only 23 shots.
From the 76th minute onwards however, they’ve taken 40 shots and scored four times, their busiest and most lethal period in front of goal this season - with Simeone’s men scoring late against Girona and Barcelona in recent weeks.
Worrying for Alaves, this is when they also conceded the majority of their goals – with five goals being scored, and 42 shots being taken against them, after the 76th minute so far in La Liga this season.
Owing to the nature of counter attacking football however, if Alaves are able to turnover Madrid’s forward advances quick enough, they may well stand a chance as this period is also when Madrid’s defence is at its most vulnerable – with Los Rojiblancos conceding 34 shots and three goals during this period.
Alaves haven’t beaten Atletico in La Liga since 2002/2003, and in that time, they’ve been relegated all the way down to Segunda División B and come back up again
Due to Alaves being outside Spain’s top division for a number of seasons, meetings between Atletico and Alaves have been scarce in recent years.
Playing each other only four times in the past 13 campaigns, Atletico won both fixtures by one goal last season – drawing 1-1 at home and 0-0 away the season previous.
As a result, Alaves haven’t beaten Atletico in La Liga since 2002/2003, and in that time, they’ve been relegated all the way down to Segunda División B and come back up again.
Atletico Madrid vs Alaves: Where is the value?
Given their home form and general dominance over Alaves in recent seasons, it’s not hard to see why the 1X2 odds make Atletico Madrid the heavy 1X2 favourites at 1.354*. However, it’s likely this won’t offer much value to bettors.
Looking at expected goals against (xGA), Alaves have an xGA of 18.31 but have conceded just 14 goals all season – a statistic that just isn’t sustainable for this season’s surprise package.
Furthermore, Alaves have only been involved in one 0-0 draw so far this season, coming in their second game of the season, at home to Real Betis – while Atletico haven’t been involved in a single 0-0 all season.
So, taking all of these considerations into account, Over 2 and 2.5 at 1.980* looks like a sensible bet.
Alternatively, there have been 27 yellow cards (including one red from a double booking) in the last four meetings between the two sides – so cards betting could be another option for bettors.