Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Betis

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Real Betis

Atletico Madrid will be bidding to make it four La Liga victories in a row when they welcome fellow top-four hopefuls Real Betis to Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday night.

Diego Simeone’s side are currently third in the table, six points ahead of fifth-placed Real Betis, with both teams battling to secure Champions League football for the 2023-24 campaign.

Atletico’s absence from European competition in 2023 was hugely disappointing for the club, while they saw their journey in the Copa del Rey come to an end in January when they lost to Real Madrid.

Simeone’s team are in excellent form in the league, though, remaining unbeaten since the start of January, winning seven and drawing three of their last 10 fixtures in Spain’s top flight.

Atletico have been victorious in each of their last three league matches, beating Sevilla 6-1 and Girona 1-0 before running out 3-0 winners over Valencia before the international break.

The capital outfit are now third in the table, just five points behind second-placed Real Madrid and six clear of fifth-placed Real Betis in the battle to secure Champions League football for next term.

There remains uncertainty surrounding Simeone’s future as head coach, but the team now have their eyes on second position in the table, which would represent a strong campaign, even considering the disappointment of their early exit from the Champions League and failure to qualify for the knockout round of the Europa League.

Real Betis, meanwhile, recorded a 1-0 victory over Mallorca before the international break, with Borja Iglesias scoring the only goal of the contest in the early stages of the second period.

The result moved Manuel Pellegrini’s side onto 45 points, leaving them in fifth position in the table, just three points behind fourth-placed Real Sociedad on the same number of matches (26).

The Seville outfit were knocked out of the Europa League by Manchester United in the middle of March, meaning that they only have the league to focus on for the remainder of the campaign.

Pellegrini’s team face a difficult trip to Wanda Metropolitano before back-to-back home games against Cadiz and Espanyol, and they have been in strong form in front of their own supporters this season, picking up 24 points from 13 matches, recording seven wins in the process.

Real Betis have lost each of their last three league games against Atletico, including a 2-1 defeat in the reverse match earlier this season, and they have not actually managed to overcome the capital giants since February 2019, while the Seville outfit are winless against Atletico in Madrid since December 2011.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:

Real Betis La Liga form:

Real Betis form (all competitions):

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Betis
This has all of the makings of a very entertaining contest, and we are expecting a close match on Sunday. Atletico’s recent form has been excellent, though, and Real Betis are missing some important players, so we are backing Simeone’s side to put another three points on the board.

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