After back to back goalless draws in La Liga, Atletico Madrid will be hoping to firstly score, and secondly win when they take on an in form Valencia side on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Valencia come into this match on the back of consecutive wins against Athletic Bilbao and Alaves, meaning they will be in buoyant mood ahead of this one.
With it expected to be a real tight affair between two of Spain’s biggest sides, here – with the help of Opta – are the best stats and facts to note down ahead of this clash.
Since manager Diego Simeone arrived at Atletico in 2011, he has never lost at home to Valencia in La Liga, winning five of their encounters – including each of the last four - and drawing the other three.
In fact, Atletico have a pretty good record in this fixture away as well, unbeaten in their last nine league meetings home and away, with that last defeat coming back in October 2014 at Mestalla where Valencia ran out 3-1 winners. Overall, in his 19 games in charge against Saturday’s opponents, Simeone has only ever been defeated twice. Some record.
Simeone will sure be hoping to maintain this unbeaten home record this weekend.
Stuttering in the Final Third
As alluded to already, Atletico have struggled to find the net in recent games, with both of their last two home games in La Liga ending in goalless draws. If they draw on Saturday again, it will be only the second time under Simeone that they have drawn three home games in a row, with the previous occurrence last occurring in October through until November in 2017.
In fact, they are struggling to even get shots away, averaging their lowest ratio of shots per game in a single top-flight season under Simeone, at just 9.9, with an average of a measly three being on target.
Bang In Form
Valencia meanwhile are really starting to find their mojo in La Liga, having lost just one of their last six La Liga games, a 5-2 defeat to Barcelona; certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
It will be ever so sweet for manager Albert Celades if they can extend this run to seven games on Saturday.
So far in just eight La Liga games, Dani Parejo has already put away four penalties for Valencia, with Los Ches converting more spot kicks than any other side in the division.
In fact, Parejo is pretty reliable from the spot, with the Spaniard only missing one of his last 16 penalties that he is taken in the competition - the miss coming against Rayo Vallecano in April 2019.
Will Joao Felix Ever Play the Full 90 Minutes?
Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix has settled well since moving from Benfica, scoring twice in his opening eight La Liga games. However, he has been substituted more than any other player in the competition this term, coming off seven times already in eight games.
His only 90-minute appearance came against Leganes in August. Who knows if he’ll add to that this weekend against Valencia or whether Simeone will hook him off again.
Ain’t Nobody Like Maxi Gomez…
Valencia’s brilliant form of recent weeks is largely down to the fantastic work of striker Maxi Gomez, with the Uruguay forward being in scintillating form recently, netting four goals in his last five games.
Former Spurs full-back Kieran Trippier will need to be alert on Saturday to stop Gomez scoring again.
Angel Correa Just Loves Facing Valencia
Lastly, 24-year-old Argentina international Correa always seems to find his goalscoring boots when he lines up against Valencia in La Liga.
The attacker has scored three goals against them, more than he has managed against any other team in La Liga.
He netted the match winner in both games in the 2017/18 season and would love to do the same on Saturday.