Atletico Madrid's Felipe

Atletico Madrid’s Felipe, center, celebrates with his teammates his goal against Osasuna during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Atletico Madrid and Osasuna at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid, Spain, Saturday, Nov. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

  • It is Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid in Round 18 of La Liga on Saturday, December 18 at 3:00 pm ET
  • Real Madrid is top of La Liga with Sevilla in second and Atleti down in fourth
  • We preview the game, look at the odds, and offer some picks below

Sevilla plays host to Atletico Madrid in Round 18 of La Liga on Saturday, December 18 at 3:00 pm ET at the Estadio Ramón in a second versus fourth clash. Sevilla stayed in second after an impressive away win at Athletic Bilbao last weekend, while Atleti lost ground after losing 2-0 in the Madrid derby.

We list the odds, preview Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid, and offer below the best picks for this La Liga Matchday 18 clash.

Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid Odds

Matchup Spread Moneyline Total
Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid SEV pk (-108) | ATM pk (-112) SEV +185 | DRAW +195 | ATM +180 Ov 2.5 (+155) | Un 2.5 (-200)

Odds as of December 17 at Barstool Sportsbook

Sevilla the Best of the Rest

While it already looks like Real Madrid’s title to lose – they are currently eight points clear at the top – their biggest challenge is coming from Sevilla, whose 34 points from their 16 games have put them in pole position, alongside Real, for Champions League soccer next season.

Julen Lopetegui’s men have enjoyed an outstanding season domestically, and have emerged ahead of Atleti and Barcelona as the best of the rest.

Los Nervionenses did however suffer a setback in the Champions League last week when a 1-0 defeat by RB Salzburg saw them finish third in their group and drop out of the competition and into the Europa League. While this will be deemed a failure in Seville, it will double their resolve to earn a Champions League place for next season through finishing in La Liga’s top four.

Top Two Finish for Sevilla?

Four wins out five on the domestic front have set Sevilla up nicely for a potential (but unlikely) Spanish double, with two of those wins – against Cordoba and Andratx – coming in the Copa del Rey, alongside league wins over Villarreal and Athletic Bilbao. Since losing 1-0 to Real Madrid in late November they have not tasted defeat on Spanish soil and have opened up a five-point between themselves and fourth-placed Atletico.

As things stand, Los Nervionenses remain on course for their best La Liga finish for several seasons – not since 2009 have they finished higher than fourth – but a key component to this will be winning games against their closest challengers, like Atleti. A home win here would be huge for Sevilla and they have proved recently they have enough quality in their squad to make this happen.

Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid Head-to-Head Stats

10-4-2 La Liga Record 8-5-3
26 Goals For 27
11 Goals Against 18
2nd La Liga Position 4th
L-W-W-L-W-W Form Guide (all competitions) W-L-W-L-W-L
1.44 Expected Goals (xG) 1.59

Dip in Form for Atleti

Atletico Madrid has suffered a dip in form at the worst possible time, and it is worth noting they went into last Sunday’s Madrid derby – they lost it 2-0 – off the back of a surprise home defeat by mid-table Mallorca. With pressure coming from Sevilla, Real Betis, Real Sociedad and Rayo Vallecano, Atleti quickly needs to return to winning ways if they are to maintain their challenge for the Champions League places.

They have, however (unlike Sevilla) made it through to the knockout phase of this season’s Champions League competition, with their 3-1 win at Porto – sandwiched between the defeats by Real Madrid and Mallorca – being enough to earn them second place in Group B behind Liverpool. They face Manchester United in the round of 16.

Top Four for Atleti?

Before La Liga shuts down for their now-customary winter break, Atleti has this game against Sevilla and another against 15th-placed Granada to try and find some form and points. There is a risk though that a failure to achieve the latter could see them drop out of the Champions League places – an unpalatable prospect ahead of a return to action against Rayo Vallecano on January 2.

Since Diego Simeone took the Atleti reins in 2011, they have been a team known for their ability to keep things tight at the back and rely mainly on counter-attacks. This season though – almost for the first time – their defensive solidity has been called into question, even though a record of 18 goals conceded in 16 games is still considered within the accepted norm. By contrast, Sevilla has the best defensive record in this season’s La Liga, conceding just 11 goals so far.

Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid Prediction

This one looks likely to be tight if we consider how close these two are in the table and the fact that four of their last six meetings have been drawn. The equivalent game last season was won 1-0 by Sevilla and so it would be no surprise if this one goes one way or the other, is settled by an odd goal.

Home advantage gives Sevilla the edge. As does the return of Ivan Rakitic from injury, but Simeone’s go-to strategy of keeping the defense solid and relying on speedy breaks is made for games like this. He will also know his team cannot afford to lose and so, for me, the +195 on offer for the draw is where the value lies.

Picks: Sevilla and Atletico Madrid to draw (+195) / Sevilla and Atletico Madrid to draw 1-1 (+480)

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Gary Gowers

Soccer
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