31 March 2019
One of the biggest sensations of the ongoing La Liga campaign goes head-to-head with the league title contenders, as Deportivo Alaves take on Atletico Madrid at the Estadio Mendizorrotza.
Unbeaten in their last six LL outings (W3, D3), the hosts are still very much in the race for the Champions League promotion as they currently sit fifth with a two-point deficit to fourth-placed Getafe. Although they enjoy one of the best league campaigns in their recent history, the Babazorros have failed to provide entertainment to the neutral for the majority of the season, with just 31% of their LL home fixtures producing over 2.5 goals. Uninspired in the attack, Abelardo’s men have averaged 1.11 goals scored per match this term. Alaves’ lackluster performances in the final third have seen them score one goal or less in seven of their previous ten LL games. But, they have emerged as one of the best defensive teams in the Spanish top tier, as just five teams have shipped fewer goals than Alaves so far (31).
Meanwhile, the visitors are desperate to bounce back after a disappointing 2-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao before the international break, as they have to close a ten-point gap on Barcelona with just ten league fixtures left to play. A failure in the Basque Country was Atletico’s second successive following the one to Juventus in the Champions League, and it was also the second straight game in which Diego Simeone’s men failed to find the back of the net. But, prior to the cold spell, Los Colchoneros have achieved four consecutive LL triumphs, beating their rivals to nil in each. Far more comfortable at home, the Madrid giants have secured just 37.5% of their total points on the road, suffering three defeats on 14 LL road trips (W5, D6, L3).
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