Despite losing just once in league play, Atletico Madrid are five points behind Barcelona in the race to win La Liga. Atletico are 12-8-1 and dominating with their defense once again, but their defensive style has led to a lot of draws. They are looking to score enough to get the full three points this Sunday against Real Betis. Betis started the season strong, but they have since faded and they enter this match just outside a potential spot in the Europa League.
Don't miss the Spanish La Liga action from Estadio Benito Villamrin in Sevilla, Spain at 10:15 a.m. ET on Sunday, February 3, 2019. Catch every moment of the match live on beIN Sports.
La Liga Betting Odds at BookMaker.eu
Real Betis +264
Atletico Madrid +115
The new year has not been good to Real Betis. Betis have played four league matches since the calendar rolled over to 2019, and they have lost three of them. They lost matches to relegation threatened SD Huesca and Athletic Bilbao, and they just missed out on a point at home against Real Madrid after allowing an 88th minute goal. Their lone win during that time came at the death with a penalty kick awarded in the fourth minute of extra time in a 3-2 win over Girona.
Atletico have been getting the wins they have needed to keep pace with Barcelona in recent weeks. In the last two months, they are 6-1-0, and the wins are finally coming. Antoine Griezmann has been very good, and Atletico are averaging two goals a game in this stretch. Of course, the big story is still the defense though. They have secured a clean sheet in five of those seven games.
Betis may not have four players for this match, but none of the four have been definitively ruled out. Midfielders Joaquin and Javi Garcia are both questionable because of knocks and forward Cristian Tello is questionable because of a strained hamstring. Defender Junior Firpo has been dealing with a tricky hamstring, but he is listed as probable.
There are more concerns on the side of Atletico. Defender Stefan Savic is expected to be out for the next month due to a hamstring injury, and forward Diego Costa is out for another two weeks after breaking his toe in early December. Midfielder Koke will miss at least one more game with a strained hamstring too. Center back Diego Godin is questionable with a thigh injury, and midfielder Vitolo is questionable with a thigh injury. Forward Kevin Gameiro and defender Filipe Luis are probable, and new signing Alvaro Morata looks set to make his debut as well.
Player to Watch
Jan Oblak has been a big part of Atletico’s success. The star goalkeeper has had a tough time getting the respect he deserves though. Some say that he is a product of Atletico’s system, and he wouldn’t be nearly as impressive without Diego Simone’s tactics. However, they conveniently ignore how great he has been for Slovenia in international play. Oblak’s length leads to him tipping away balls that end up just past other goalkeepers, and he does not give up big rebounds.
Prop Bet: Atletico Madrid To Win To Nil +203
It’s tricky to call for a team to pitch a shutout on the road, but this is Atletico Madrid. Atletico are the kings of the clean sheet, and the offense has been performing well enough to call for them to win. They know they can get to within a game of Barcelona since the league leaders have a tough test against Valencia, and they will do their part.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
Betis haven’t been too impressive recently, so I’m going to call for Atletico to win this match by multiple goals. Griezmann will get one goal, and I think Thomas Lemar can break through and grab the other.
Spanish La Liga Odds: Atletico Madrid 2, Real Betis 0
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