MX23RW : Monday, September 20 03:15:10| >> :120:16011:16011:
Jan 24, 2021 at 8pm UK at Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Felix (23'), Suarez (54'), Correa (72')
Vrsaljko (30'), Savic (76')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Racic (11')

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Valencia - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Valencia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In the not-so-distant past, a La Liga clash between Valencia and Atletico Madrid would have been considered a mouth-watering encounter between two titans of the Spanish game. This season, Javi Gracia's side will primarily be looking to come away from the capital with their dignity intact.

League-leaders Atletico, who have only been bested by eternal rivals Real Madrid in the league this season, will come into this tie eyeing up their seventh league win on the bounce as they chase their first La Liga title since 2014.

Match preview

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone pictured in January 2021© Reuters

On paper, it has been smooth sailing for Atleti in the league this season. Fourteen wins, one defeat, 33 goals scored and seven goals conceded makes for fine reading.

However, in typical Atleti fashion, Diego Simeone's men have made life hard for themselves. Largely due to the team's commitment to defensive solidity, Atleti have occasionally struggled to kill games off, often winning matches by just a single goal.

Still, this is what fans of the game have come to expect from Simeone and, clearly, this is the style that the Argentine feels is most effective.

Against Eibar earlier this week, Simeone's side were forced to come back from an early goal scored by Los Armeros goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.

In a show of resilience and graft, the goals eventually came for Atleti, with Luis Suarez bagging a brace before the end of the 90 minutes.

Coming into this tie, Simeone will be quietly confident of securing the points, considering Atleti have not lost to Valencia in any of their last five league encounters.

Lee Kang-in in action for Valencia on November 8, 2020© Reuters

In comparison to Atleti's season, Valencia's own campaign has been consistently miserable, with the team currently languishing in 14th place and surrounded by outfits that once dreaded playing them.

It is a testament to how difficult this season has been for Los Che that Gracia will likely be rather pleased that his side has not yet been beaten in 2021.

Of course, the New Year has also only afforded them five points so far so it would be wrong to claim that normal service has resumed.

Coming into this tie, Gracia will likely be targeting a point, which is not an unrealistic goal considering that Atleti tend to maintain narrow leads.

Despite their poor run of results, Los Che have proven to be a capable attacking side this season, with Maxi Gomez, Carlos Soler and Denis Cheryshev all looking particularly sharp.

There is a sense, undoubtedly shared by all Valencia fans, that one of these days Gracia's side will suddenly click and get back to winning ways. However, that would be a tall order against Spain's best side.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form: WWWWWW
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): WWWLWW

Valencia La Liga form: DLLDWD
Valencia form (all competitions): LDWWWD

Team News

Valencia players celebrate Carlos Soler's goal against Real Madrid on November 8, 2020© Reuters

The big news for Atleti is that Kieran Trippier's suspension has been sustained, meaning the England international will be out for eight games.

Simeone will also be without Mario Hermoso, who is out with an ankle injury. Koke could return to the starting XI after the skipper served his one-game suspension.

As for Valencia, aside from the injured Jasper Cillessen, Gracia has a fully-fit squad to choose from.

Following his lengthy injury layoff, Kevin Gameiro could lead the line again for Los Che, while Goncalo Guedes is also likely to be reinstated in the starting XI.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Gimenez; Vrsaljko, Koke, Lemar, Llorente, Carrasco; Correa, Suarez

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Correia, Diakhaby, Gabriel, Gaya; Cheryshev, Soler, Racic, Guedes; Gomez, Gameiro

SM words green background

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Valencia

There is a real sense that we are witnessing peak Simeone at the moment. The manager has Atleti working like a well-oiled machine and we cannot see Valencia throwing a spanner in the works. We are going for 2-0 with goals from Suarez and Marcos Llorente.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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