When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >

Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal: Expect a Low-Scoring Game Between Two Managers Who Can Tend Toward Caution

Written by: Greg Lea
Updated October 14, 2022
13 min read
  • Atletico Madrid will hope to mount a challenge for the La Liga title this season
  • Villarreal’s objective will be to contend for one of the four Champions League spots
  • Expect a low-scoring game between two managers who can tend toward caution 

Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal Odds

Odds in the read are the best odds available for this matchup at the time! Click on the odds, sign up and place your bet!

Atletico Madrid Vs Villarreal Betting Picks Odds

Play Fantasy Sports Here!

🔥 Claimed by 99 people this week!



Bet $5, Get $200 in Bonus Bets Instantly

21+ | T&Cs apply

Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal Pick

Diego Simeone and Unai Emery are not known for being particularly attack-minded, so one goal could be enough for either team to triumph in the capital – and we fancy the hosts to do so.

Back Atletico Madrid to win to nil

If you are looking to find out more about how to bet on soccer, check out our guide.

Keeping Pace at the Top of the Table Will Be Tough for Atletico

A few years ago, shortly after Diego Simeone had led Atletico Madrid to the Champions League final for the second time, there was a sense that the Argentine would move on soon. The year was 2016, and Simeone had already achieved plenty with the Spanish capital’s second side: a Europa League gong in 2013, a Copa del Rey the following year, a La Liga title in 2014 and two appearances in the biggest game in European club soccer (they were defeated by their crosstown rivals Real Madrid on both occasions).

Chelsea, Manchester United and Inter were just some of the clubs linked with Simeone, who appeared to take an active step towards the exit door when he negotiated with the club to reduce the expiry date of his contract from 2020 to 2018. The idea seemed to be that Simeone would remain with Atletico until after they had both moved into a new stadium and come out of a transfer ban. Once both of those things had happened, he would seek pastures new.

Yet four years on and Simeone remains in Madrid. He has just entered his 11th full season as Atletico boss and may yet extend his current deal, which ends in 2024. Simeone is the best-paid manager in world soccer – one of the reasons why he has not changed jobs. Another is that his style of play suits Atletico perfectly, but would not necessarily go down well with other big clubs across the continent.

The objective for the Colchoneros this term will be to keep pace with Real Madrid and Barcelona at the top of La Liga, but that will be difficult. Atletico finished 15 points adrift of top spot in 2021/22 and have arguably not sufficiently strengthened their squad to close that sizable gap. A 3-0 victory over Getafe last weekend at least meant they got their campaign off to a good start.

Villarreal Set Eyes on Top-Four Finish and Champions League

Last season was one of mixed success for Villarreal. A seventh-place finish in La Liga was, on the face of it, slightly disappointing given the goal had been to qualify for the Europa League at a minimum. Unai Emery’s side will instead take part in the Europa Conference League this term after finishing three points short of the top six..

Yet Villarreal’s exploits in the Champions League must be taken into account before making an overall judgment on the campaign. Their run to the semi-finals provided the club’s fans with memories that will be remembered for a long time, not least the deserved aggregate defeat of Bayern Munich in the last eight. They also pushed Liverpool hard in the semis, with Jurgen Klopp’s side advancing thanks to a comeback in the second half of the second leg.

Emery is something of a European specialist, so Villarreal will be taking the Conference League seriously this term. Domestically, they are one of several sides that will be looking to challenge for fourth place, with Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid likely to make up the top three.

Villarreal ran out 3-0 winners against Real Valladolid on matchday one, a result that will give them confidence ahead of a tricky trip to the Metropolitano on Sunday. It has been a quiet summer at Villarreal, but Emery will hope that continuity helps his side to make progress this season.

Atletico Madrid Should Edge Tight Contest Short on Goals

Both of these teams scored three goals on the first weekend of the season, but when they go head-to-head on Sunday we can expect a tighter affair. Simeone and Emery are not defensive managers per se, but both have a tendency towards caution in big matches. They appreciate the importance of clean sheets and routinely produce disciplined, diligent and well-organized teams.

Under 2.5 goals is therefore a wager we considered, but the sportsbooks also believe that is a distinct possibility and the odds are thus not particularly attractive. Instead, consider backing Atletico to win to nil. Simeone’s side are strong in front of their own fans at the Metropolitano, while Villarreal ranked halfway down the away table last term.

Atletico will still be aware of the threat their opponents pose, particularly through the likes of Gerard Moreno and Yeremy Pino, who remains at the club despite being heavily linked with a summer transfer. They will therefore feel their way into the game – a goalless first half is another wager worth considering – but taking everything into account we would recommend a win and a clean sheet for Atletico.

Other Soccer Games Happening This Week

La Liga: Real Sociedad vs Barcelona

Premier League: Newcastle vs Man City

Premier League: Manchester United vs Liverpool

Bundesliga: Bochum vs Bayern Munich

Bundesliga: Union Berlin vs RB Leipzig

MLS: San Jose Earthquakes vs Los Angeles FC

MLS: Real Salt Lake vs Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS: Minnesota United FC vs Austin FC

Liga MX: Atlas vs Puebla

Liga MX: Juarez vs Mazatlan

Play Fantasy Sports Here!

Logo #1



Bet $5, Get $150 in Bonus Bets

21+ | Terms and conditions apply

Logo #2



$500 Bonus Bet

21+ | VA only | Gambling problem? Call 1-800-532-3500

How to Watch Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal

Teams Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Time Sunday, 21 August 2022, 13.30 PM EST
How to watch ESPN+
Image for Greg Lea


Greg Lea

786 Articles

Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts. Email: [email protected]

More info on Greg Lea
We've been featured on:
espn logo
reuters logo
cbs-news logo
forbes logo
entrepreneur logo
entrepreneur logo
We only list licensed sportsbooks

© Rebel Penguin ApS 2024 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)

We support responsible gambling. 21+ Only. Gambling problem? Call 1-800-Gambler.

WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.

Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.