By 90Min
January 04, 2019

Second place Atletico Madrid face third place Sevilla as they look to close the gap on leaders Barcelona in La Liga on Sunday.

Los Rojiblancos sit just three points adrift of Barca going into matchday 18 following their win over Espanyol last time out. 

Meanwhile, eight match unbeaten Sevilla have enjoyed a successful campaign so far and sit two points adrift of their opponents.

Aiming to upset the odds, a win for either side could kick start a serious title challenge. 

Here's 90min's breakdown of the clash.


Where To Watch


When Is Kick Off? Sunday 06 January
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:15 (BST)
Where Is it Being Played? Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium
TV Channel/Live Stream? Eleven Sports 1
Referee? TBC

Team News

Sevilla manager Pablo Machin could give late fitness tests to Aleix Vidal and Simon Kjaer, whilst Franco Vazquez is serving the first of his three match suspension after his red card at Leganes last time out. 

Long term absentee Maxime Gonalons is not expected to return until February following an ankle injury.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Simeone could be without several first team regulars including duo Jose Gimenez and Diego Costa. The latter required foot surgery and has missed Madrid's last five league games, whilst Gimenez sustained a knee injury in early December. 


Predicted Lineups


Sevilla Vaclik; Mercado, Carrico, Gomez; Navas, Mesa, Amadou, Escudero, Promes; Silva, Ben Yedder.
Atletico Madrid Oblak; Arias, Savic, Godin, Saul; Correa, Partey, Hernandez, Koke; Kalinic, Griezmann. 

Head to Head Record

These sides have met on 27 occasions in La Liga, with Madrid boasting 12 wins to Sevilla's seven, whilst eight have ended in stalemate.

Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Last season's corresponding encounter saw Antoine Griezmann bag a hat-trick on the way to an emphatic 5-2 win.


Recent Form

Having finished seventh last term, Sevilla have proven their darkhorse credentials. A 3-0 win over giants Real Madrid on matchday 6 would have undoubtedly been the highlight of Machin's debut campaign at the Los Hispalenses - as well as sitting above their illustrious rivals.

Sitting three points off the summit, Atletico Madrid are currently on a 14 match league unbeaten run - their only league defeat coming at Celta Vigo on matchday three in an otherwise faultless campaign.

MB Media/GettyImages

 Although Simeone's outfit have scored just 25 goals in 17 outings, their defence has been formidable - keeping a league record eight clean sheets thus far. 

Talisman Griezmann leads the club's goal-scoring charts once again with seven goals and six assists so far, as his side look to dethrone the 25 time league champions.

Here's how each side has faired in their past five fixtures:


Sevilla Atletico Madrid
Leganes 1-1 Sevilla (23/12) Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol (22/12)
Sevilla 2-0 Girona (16/12) Real Valladolid 2-3 Atletico Madrid (15/12)
Sevilla 3-0 Krasnodar (13/12) Club Brugge 0-0 Atletico Madrid (11/12)
Valencia 1-1 Sevilla (08/12) Atletico Madrid 3-0 Alaves (08/11)
Sevilla 1-0 Villanovense (05/12) Atletico Madrid 4-0 Sant Andreu (05/12)

Prediction

The implications of this mouthwatering fixture could determine the respective campaigns of these decorated teams. 

Whilst Griezmann has been firing on all cylinders, his opposite number Wissam Ben Yedder has notched eight goals in La Liga - just one-off his entire tally last term.

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

But with both sides demonstrating defensive nous above their attacking exploits, the tie could be decided by just a single goal.

Prediction: Sevilla 1-1 Atletico Madrid

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HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)