Friday evening sees Villarreal host Atletico Madrid in La Liga, with Diego Simeone's side looking to make up some lost ground on current league leaders Barcelona.

Atleti fell to a late Lionel Messi strike last time out, eventually losing 1-0 to fall six points behind their most recent opponents.

Villarreal, meanwhile, are rotting away down in 13th and have endured some desperate results in recent weeks, losing four out of their last five games.

Here are the stats, courtesy of ​Opta, you need to know for Friday night.

Tough Nut to Crack

Sergio Asenjo

Even if their recent poor form isn't much cause for optimism, Villarreal's recent record against Atleti certainly is.

They've lost just once in their last eight La Liga games against Atletico, winning four and drawing three. 

However, that defeat did come in their last fixture, when Alvaro Morata and Saul scored in a 2-0 win at Wanda Metropolitano.

Coming Unstuck at La Cerámica


Atletico will have to overcome a poor recent record at La Cerámica in their game on Friday night. They've lost three of their last four La Liga games there, though did pick up a draw in this fixture last season.

Previous campaigns have seen 3-0 and 1-0 wins for El Submarino Amarillo.

Groundhog Day

Diego Pablo Simeone

There's been talk of Simeone losing the Atleti dressing room, which isn't entirely surprising given the disappointing results they've been picking up. The lack of a clinical edge in front of goal has also popped up, especially away from home.

Atletico have drawn their last four away La Liga games, the last three by a scoreline of 1-1. Just once in their history have they drawn five consecutive games on the road in the competition: six in 1957 under Ferdinand Daucik.

Slow Starters


Atletico have managed 25 points after their first 15 La Liga games this season, their joint-lowest tally in the competition at this stage under Diego Simeone (also 25 in 2016/17).

Given that some tipped the Madrid side to challenge for the La Liga title this season after some seemingly smart summer business, that return will feel a tad underwhelming for their supporters.

Thankfully for Atleti, there's still plenty of time to pick up points before the end of the season.

Late Drama on the Cards

Lionel Messi

Villarreal (six) and Atletico (five, alongside Sevilla) are the teams to have lost the most La Liga points thanks to goals conceded in the last 15 minutes of their games in the competition this season.

Atleti fans probably don't need another reminder of who stole the points from Wanda Metropolitano last time out, but Villarreal did throw away a point at home to Celta Vigo in late November when a Iago Aspas brace saw the visitors leave with victory.

Man On Fire

Alvaro Morata

Things have been looking up for ​Alvaro Morata ever since he switched London for Madrid earlier this year.

He's rediscovered his scoring streak and is an important member of the Spain side again, and also loves a game against Friday's opponents.

The former ​Chelsea striker has scored in his last two ​La Liga games against Villarreal (two goals) and he has never lost against them in the top flight, winning twice and drawing twice.

A Soft Touch at the Back

Club Atletico de Madrid v FC Barcelona  - La Liga

Given Simeone's reputation as one of the best defensive coaches in the world, it's weird to see his side concede as many goals as they have in recent weeks.

​Atletico haven’t kept a clean sheet in their last seven games in all competitions, their longest such run under Diego Simeone.

Maybe it's because Diego Godin left?

Confirmed Atletico Madrid Lineup