With three games to go in La Liga this season (just two by the time this contest rolls around), one may be forgiven for thinking it is possible Atletico Madrid may take their foot off the gas as they prepare for their summer holidays.
Many punters may fancy looking at Sevilla in their football betting because Atletico sit nine-points in front of their great rivals Real Madrid in the table and have secured Champions League football assured for next season.
All of this begs the question of what is there left to play for?
Err, actually, quite a lot.
Atletico may not have a huge amount to play for, but their opponents Sevilla certainly do (although you can beat your life Diego Simeone will not want to do the Sevillistas any favours).
Sevilla are currently embroiled in a remarkable battle with surprise package Getafe.
The deep blues have come from seemingly nowhere to mount a serious challenge for Champions League football for next season and have gate-crashed the La Liga establishment.
This has put the likes of new Sevilla boss Joaquín Caparró under pressure to overhaul the relative minnows whilst also keeping the Bats of Valencia at bay.
A trip to Atletico’s Wanda Metropolitano is hardly high on the wishlist of Caparró with less than a handful of games to go and just one home match (against Leganes) left in the bank.
But there is hope as they travel to Madrid to take on a side all but assured of second spot in La Liga.
Head to Head
The pair shared a 1-1 on game day eighteen at Sevilla’s Sanchez Pizjuan stadium.
The home side took the lead and looked good to hold on for the three-points before Antoine Griezmann scored a sensational free-kick to earn a share of the spoils for Atletico.
However, that was the first point the red and whites had picked up against Atletico in four matches in La Liga with Simone’s side scoring at least two goals in the three-prior wins over Sevilla.
The bad news for the visitors is that you have to go back to 2008 for the last time they claimed a league win at Atletico although they did manage to win on Atleti soil in 2018 in the Copa Del Rey.
Form has been relatively good for both sides of late even though defeats to Girona and Getafe (who else) has left Sevilla making hard work for themselves in the race for the top four.
However, the Sevillista’s have still claimed four wins out of their last six to leave them in a prime position to nip into that all important fourth spot.
For Atletico, with Real Madrid’s self-imposed collapse this season, securing second has been quite a simple process.
They have cemented the runners-up in recent weeks with four straight wins despite losing 2-0 to the recently crowned champions Barcelona.
Time’s running out
Sevilla are running out of time to secure fourth spot. However, despite sitting in fifth, their Champions League fate is largely in their own hands as Getafe are starting to hit poor form at exactly the wrong time.
This game depends much on how motivated Simone can get his squad. If Simone as a character is anything to go by then his side should come away with the three-points and seriously dent Sevilla’s, chances.