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Jan 15, 2018
Jan 15, 2018

La Liga preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Girona

Girona vs La Liga top 6: Interpreting expected goals

The importance of Jan Oblak

Live Atletico Madrid vs. Girona odds

La Liga preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Girona

Atletico Madrid host Girona in this weekend’s La Liga game of the week. Girona have been a threat to La Liga’s the biggest sides and took a point from Atletico in their last meeting. Where is the value in the Atletico Madrid vs. Girona odds? Read on for the information you need to make your own Atletico Madrid vs. Girona prediction.

Atletico Madrid vs. Girona live odds

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Atletico Madrid vs. Girona: Interpreting expected goals

Matches against La Liga’s top 6 sides have had a familiar theme for Girona. Despite performing well and usually outplaying their opponents they have all too often come away with zero points.

Girona vs. La Liga top 6

Girona vs La Liga Top 6

Match

Expected Goals For

Expected Goals Against

Goals For

Goals Against

Expected Points

Actual

Points

Vs Real Madrid (H)

2.26

1.58

2

1

1.92

3

Vs Barcelona  (H)

0.91

1.29

0

3

1.01

0

Vs Atletico Madrid (H)

2.57

0.85

2

2

2.56

1

Vs Villarreal (H)

1.78

1.23

1

2

1.75

0

Vs Sevilla (H)

2.57

0.85

0

1

1.82

0

Vs Valencia (A)

1.67

1.59

1

2

1.44

0

Total

11.01

7.46

6

11

10.50

4

Girona have achieved just four points from games vs the top 6 despite an expected points total of 10.50.

The early match against Atletico Madrid was fairly typical of such matches with Girona outshooting their opponents with 2.57 expected goals for and 0.85 expected goals against. Despite these numbers, Girona managed to both score and concede two goals earning just a point from the actual 2-2 result.

If Girona are to get points from this game they need to be more clinical in attack and in goal. This is especially true against Atletico Madrid who tend to perform better than expected goals at both ends of the pitch.

How important is Jan Oblak?

As has often been the case this season, Jan Oblak could be the difference maker for Atleti on Saturday. The Slovenian goalkeeper has been impressive so far this season and is a key factor behind Atletico’s impressive defensive record.

Atletico Madrid expected goals against vs goals conceded

Atletico Madrid Expected Goals Against vs Goals Conceded

Season

Expected Goals Against

Actual Goals Conceded

Difference

2017/18

19.28

8

-11.28

2016/17

31.34

27

-4.34

2015/16

27.8

18

-9.80

Oblak is widely considered to be amongst the best goalkeepers in the world. During Oblak’s three seasons as starting goalkeeper Atletico Madrid’s defence have conceded less than their expected goals against. This suggests that Oblak has been a key part of the league’s best defence and deserves his reputation.

In contrast, Girona have conceded 28 goals from an expected goals against of 23.06 this season. This is part of the reason behind their underperformance against top sides. Whilst the Girona attack will have to beat the exceptional Oblak the likes of Griezmann and Diego Costa should find Bono in the Girona goal to be a little easier to score against.

The return of Diego Costa: Clinical Atletico Madrid

Atleti welcomed back Diego Costa in this January transfer window. Alongside strike partner Antoine Griezmann, the Spanish international striker is now a part of perhaps Europe’s most clinical attacking pair. The duo consistently convert more chances than they are expected to score and cannot be allowed shots near the Girona box.

Once again, Girona’s underperformance against La Liga’s top sides is due to their personnel rather than tactical deficiencies. Their attackers have underscored against the best sides. Add a Costa or a Griezmann to the team and Girona would be a real threat to the established order.

Simeone’s Atletico thrive in close games. Moments of quality from Oblak in goal or via their clinical attack ensure they are well placed to win games even if from they are outplayed at times.

Atletico Madrid vs. Girona odds: Where is the value?

Saturday’s will be played at the new Wanda Stadium. Atleti are yet to lose at their new home ground and Girona are not expected to taint that unblemished record.

With Girona’s ability to create chances and Atletico Madrid’s finishing skill some bettors may be anticipating a high scoring game. As a result, over 2.5 goals at 1.952* could offer value.

Atletico Madrid have a title challenge to maintain so will be motivated to win. With Costa back in the side after last week’s suspension and Antoine Griezmann returning to form, a bet on the Atletico Madrid -1.25 handicap at 1.833 could offer value if Atleti can turn home advantage into goals.

Odds subject to change

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