Atletico Madrid host neighbours Getafe on the opening weekend of the new La Liga season, kicking off at 10:00pm local time on Sunday night. Last year’s runners up Atletico Madrid will hope to fight for the title once again, whilst Getafe were delighted with their campaign that saw them finish 5th.
Home Team: Atletico Madrid
If medals were given out to teams with the most impressive pre-season, Atletico Madrid will be at the front of the queue, following a streak of impressive results that saw them beat Juventus, and humiliate Real Madrid 7-3. However, Diego Simeone will know that pre-season virtually counts for nothing, and the season starts for real on Sunday. They were the closest challengers to Barcelona last year, and will aim to do so again, despite selling Antoine Griezmann to them this summer for a huge £108mil fee.
Atletico didn’t waste time with that money though, as they brought in Joao Felix as the replacement straight away. In other transfer news, Atletico Madrid did sell World Cup winning left-back Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich, and also saw Diego Godin go to Inter Milan. Once again though, they were quick to act as they bought Felipe from Porto, and Kieran Trippier from Tottenham. How will Atletico Madrid fare in their first competitive game of the season?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]
Away Team: Getafe
Getafe finished in 5th last year, and despite that being a great achievement, there is still a sense of ‘what if?’, as they were only two points away from obtaining a Champions League spot, which they held from February until the final game of the season. In the final five matches – where they had to face Real Madrid and Barcelona – they only earned 5 points from a possible 15, and had they won game extra, they would be preparing for Europe’s elite competition next month. Nonetheless, there is a lot to look forward to as a Getafe fan, as they have kept their whole squad despite interest for many of their players. Can Getafe surprise yet again?
Head to Head
In a remarkable head to head record, Atletico Madrid have been utterly dominant in recent years. Not only have they won the last 10 meetings, but they haven’t conceded a goal to Getafe since 2011. My mathematician equation tells me they haven’t scored in 1,170 minutes! Aside from one 7-0 victory, the other matches have been somewhat tight affairs finishing in either a 1-0, or 2-0 score line. It comes as no shock, that both games last season ended in a 2-0 winning result for Atletico Madrid. Can Getafe lift this curse?
Predictions and Betting Tips
Atletico Madrid are strong favourites at 4/9 to win, with Getafe priced at 7/1. For the sides to draw, that is at 16/5. Given Atletico Madrid’s superiority when these two teams clash, and their pre-season form, you’d expect them to get off to a winning start here. I am going to be somewhat ballsy, and suggest they win the match with BOTH teams scoring (11/4), and go for a 2-1 score line at 8/1.
New signing Joao Felix will be eager to impress on his competitive debut, and he is at 11/8 to score at any time or 7/1 to score a brace. Thomas Lemar is another one I can envisage getting on the score sheet, and he is at 7/4 to score at any time. Atletico Madrid are at 11/10 to win to nil, which seems a customary bet based on this history.
However, if you are feeling the trend may end, you can back Getafe to score a goal at 1/1 (EVENS), or even draw OR win in a double chance at 13/8. Finally, for the tipsters, even the bookmakers are not expecting this to be anywhere near a goal fest, so backing there to be more than 6.5 goals, seems to be at a record high of 25/1. Will you be the one that calls it?[geot exclude_country="US" ][/geot]