Atletico Madrid will lock horns with Villarreal in a La Liga clash Sunday evening at the Estadio Vicente Calderon in Madrid.
Atletico Madrid were almost near the tails of Barcelona in the La Liga points table but Luis Enrique and his men are on a dream run.
Barca now have a seven-point lead ahead of the second-placed Atletico Madrid. Diego Simeone and his men will look to lessen that daunting gap.
Atletico Madrid have won a couple of matches on a trot, and now host Villarreal, who also has been on a good run recently. They are coming into this match after a 1-0 victory over Napoli in the UEFA Europa League.
Atletico Madrid are a very tough side to beat on their homeground, and Villarreal will be aware of that. If they manage to give their best against Fernando Torres & Co, they might just pick up three valuable points and close in on Real Madrid, who are placed third in the points table with 53 points. If Atletico Madrid lose on Sunday against Villarreal, that will also hand Real Madrid an opportunity to go past them and reclaim the second spot.
This has been an open La Liga season, but the kind of form Barcelona is in, at this moment they look the favourites to retain the Spanish League title.
However Fernando Torres' form will be crucial for the men in the Red and White stripes on Sunday. He has found his goalscoring boots recently, having netted against Eibar and Getafe in the previous two matches.
"I want to have a leading role and I haven't had a regular run since I came back [from injury]. Maybe I haven't earned it. I don't choose the line-ups; you'd have to ask Simeone. I always train with the hope of playing 90 minutes, but I obviously have to improve," Torres was quoted as saying by Goal.com.
Atletico Madrid have a number of tough matches after Sunday. They will travel to Eindhoven to take on PSV in the UEFA Champions League round-of-16 first-leg match. That will followed by a Madrid derby next weekend. This will be a good opportunity for Villarreal to stun the host for three crucial points at Vicente Calderon.
The last time these two sides met was at the visitors' backyard and Villarreal got the better of Atletico Madrid by 1-0. However, Atletico Madrid have lost a solitary match at home.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, Gimenez, Luis; Koke, Fernandez, Niguez, Carrasco; Torres, Griezmann.
Villarreal: Areola; Mario, Musacchio, Ruiz, Costa; dos Santos, Trigueros, Bruno, Suarez; Baptistao, Soldado.
Where to watch live
Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal is scheduled for a 8:30 p.m. CET (1 a.m. IST, 7:30 p.m. GMT, 2:30 p.m. ET) start, with live TV coverage in India on Sony ESPN and Sony ESPN HD. Viewers in India can also watch Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal via live-streaming online on Sony Liv.
Football fans in Spain can catch Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal live on Canal+ Liga and Movistar Futbol.
Viewers in the UK can watch Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal live on Sky Sports 3/HD with live-streaming on Sky Go.
BeinSports and BeinSports Connect will broadcast Atletico Madrid vs Villarreal in the US.