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Dec 19, 2018
Dec 19, 2018

La Liga preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol

Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol odds

Inform your Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol prediction

Analysing the Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol stats

La Liga preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol

Part of the last set of La Liga fixtures before the Spanish league takes its annual winter break, title contenders Atletico Madrid host midtable Espanyol in our highlight game. Looking for value in Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol odds? Read on to inform your Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol prediction.

A close look at the Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol odds

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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 Espanyol who have roughly a 10% chance of winning.

Under 2 and 2.5 goals is also slightly favoured at 1.877* - this Total Goals figure suggests the number of goals in the game will be below the league average (The La Liga average is 2.55 goals per match this season).

Time: Saturday 22 December 15.15 UTC kick-off

Venue: Wanda Metropolitano

Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol statistics

• Atletico Madrid expected goals for per game: 1.22

• Atletico Madrid expected goals against per game: 0.96

• Atletico Madrid expected points per game: 1.52

• Espanyol expected goals for per game: 1.29

• Espanyol expected goals against per game: 1.38

• Espanyol expected points per game: 1.38

• Last six games: Atletico Madrid 3, Espanyol 2, Draw 1

Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol predicted lineups

Atletico Madrid predicted lineup:

4-4-2: Oblak; Arias, Savic, Godin, Saul; Correa, Koke, Hernandez, Niguez; Kalinic, Griezmann

The main injury news for Atletico is the continued absence of striker Diego Costa. Having undergone foot surgery in his native Brazil, it leaves Costa out of action for approximately two months.  

Croatian striker Nikola Kalinic will again deputise in Costa’s absence and should partner Antoine Griezmann in a 4-4-2 formation.

Having not scored in his first 11 games for Los Colchoneros, Kalinic scored three goals in his last four games.

Taking just six points from a possible 24 available on the road, Espanyol have won just once away all season – drawing three and losing the remaining four. Their only victory on their travels coming courtesy of a 2-0 win at now bottom Huesca.

Another big loss for Atletico is left back Filipe Luis. With the club confirming the hamstring injury that forced him off at the hour mark in their last league game against Real Valladolid, it will ensure that he’ll be out of action for around three weeks.

Spanish midfielder Saul Niguez, who normally occupies an attacking position in midfield, may well be asked to fill in at left back.

The 24-year-old who has been training in the position in recent weeks filled in as left back in Madrid’s recent draw away at Girona, due to a lack of other available options due to the fact that alternate left back Lucas Hernandez is also side-lined.

Espanyol predicted lineup:

4-1-4-1: Diego Lopez; Rosales, J Lopez, Duarte, Vila; David Lopez; Sanchez Roca, Granero, Darder; Iglesias

Although they opted for the more attack-minded 4-3-3 formation for the majority of the season, Espanyol coach Rubi may opt for a more defensive 4-1-4-1 formation for this game, given the overall strength of Atletico Madrid and his own side’s poor run of form.

In terms of injuries and suspensions, Rubi should have a full squad to pick from – with the exception of centre back Mario Hermoso who is absent with a stretched ligament, which he sustained at the beginning of the month.

Meanwhile, left back Didac Vila should return from suspension, after missing Espanyol’s last game, a 3-1 home loss to Real Betis, after picking up his fifth booking of the season against Barcelona in the game previous.

Inform your Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol prediction

The last game for either team before the Christmas break, Atletico come into Saturday’s game just three points off Barcelona who sit top of La Liga – and will see the fixture as another big chance to put the pressure on the champions, and Sevilla who occupy second place.

Unbeaten at home in La Liga this season, Atletico have the best home record in the division – having won six from eight, drawing two.

Scoring 15 goals while conceding just four in the process, Los Rojiblancos have the third-best home attack and second-best home defence in the division.

Taking just six points from a possible 24 available on the road, Espanyol have won just once away all season – drawing three and losing the remaining four

Unbeaten in 12 out of all competitions, Atletico edged a close-fought away tie at Valladolid 3-2 – thanks in part to a brace by their star player Antoine Griezmann.

While the prospect of traveling to Wanda Metropolitano can seem a daunting prospect for most clubs, Espanyol can perhaps draw confidence from the fact they actually completed the double over Atletico last season.

Beating them 1-0 at home and 2-0 away, Espanyol were the only team to come away from the red half of Madrid with all three points in 2017/18 – benefitting from a Stefan Savic own goal and a late strike from Leo Baptistao.

The first time Diego Simeone’s men had lost in La Liga, at their new 68,000-capacity stadium, was only a few days after their Europa League semi-final second leg victory over Arsenal. Fast forward to this season, and Espanyol sit in familiar territory by their own standards, occupying 11th place.

Taking just six points from a possible 24 available on the road, Espanyol have won just once away all season – drawing three and losing the remaining four. Their only victory on their travels coming courtesy of a 2-0 win at now bottom Huesca.

With both goals coming courtesy of Borja Iglesias, the Spaniard is perhaps Periquitos’ best chance of a goal this weekend – with his eight goals in 16 games making him La Liga’s fifth highest scorer.

With looking at Espanyol’s underlying performances as a whole however, there is little evidence to suggest that the team will experience any upturn in fortunes anytime soon.

Having scored just 18 goals in total all season, Blanquiazules only have an expected goals (xG) total of 20.66 – and have an expected goals against total (xGA) of 22.19 having actually conceded 23.

Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol: Where is the value?

Given their excellent home form, it’s not hard to see why the 1X2 odds make Atletico Madrid the heavy 1X2 favourites at 1.383*. However, it’s likely this won’t offer much value to bettors – so looking at alternative markets could be worthwhile.

With an xG total of 19.52, having actually scored 24 times, one could reasonably expect Atletico’s rate of scoring to slow down quite soon.  As a result, odds of 1.847* for Espanyol at +1 and +1.5 may provide the value bettors are looking for.

To make the most of our best value odds make sure to read more of Pinnacle’s expert betting advice.

Odds subject to change

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