Alaves are actually operating in their fifth straight season at this level of football, but they only just stayed up last term, finishing 16th, three points clear of the relegation zone.
El Glorioso will be relatively pleased with their start to the 2020-21 campaign, winning four, drawing six and losing six of their 16 matches to collect 18 points, which is enough for 13th spot in the table.
The Basque side are just three points clear of the bottom three but only one point off ninth-placed Cadiz, which is an indication of how the division stands heading into the next set of fixtures.
Pablo Machin‘s side have only lost two of their eight home league matches this season and picked up a point against Atletico in the corresponding match during the 2019-20 campaign, meaning that they will enter the contest in a relatively confident mood.
Atletico, meanwhile, will enter this weekend’s contest off the back of a 1-0 win over Getafe on Wednesday night, with Luis Suarez scoring the only goal of the match in the 20th minute.
Simeone’s side have beaten Elche, Real Sociedad and now Getafe in the league since losing 2-0 at Real Madrid on December 12, and the Red and Whites are in a very strong position in the table.
Real Madrid are second and would actually go one point above Atletico with a victory over Celta Vigo on Saturday night, but the latter would then have three games in hand over their bitter rivals.
Indeed, a record of 11 wins, two draws and one defeat from 14 matches has left Simeone’s team at the summit, two points clear of second-placed Real Madrid with two matches in hand.
Barcelona are 10 points off the top and have played a game more, meanwhile, meaning that it would take some collapse from the current leaders to allow Ronald Koeman‘s side to join the race at this stage.
Alaves La Liga form: WDLLWD
Alaves form (all competitions): DLWLWD
Atletico Madrid La Liga form: WWLWWW
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): WLWWWW
Alaves will be without the services of experienced midfielder Tomas Pina on Sunday through suspension due to the booking that he picked up in the 1-1 draw with Osasuna on Thursday.
Rodrigo Battaglia will be back from a ban of his own, however, and should take Pina’s spot in the side.
Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Mendez, Battaglia, M Garcia, Rioja; Joselu, Perez
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Gimenez, Felipe, Hermoso; Vrsaljko, Llorente, Koke, Saul, Carrasco; Felix, L Suarez
We say: Alaves 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Alaves are certainly capable of making it a difficult 90 minutes for Simeone’s side, but we are finding it very difficult to back against the leaders, who are very much on the title charge. Atletico ran out 2-0 winners in their last away match against Sociedad, and we are predicting the same scoreline in this contest.
Top betting tip
Source: | This article originally belongs to Sportsmole.co.uk