Super Eagles winger, Samuel Chukwueze, is set to make his 120th LaLiga appearance for Villarreal when the Yellow Submarines take on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Sunday (today), PUNCH Sports Extra reports.
Both sides got their league campaigns up and running with impressive 3-0 away wins last weekend.
The Nigeria international, who has scored twice in two games for Unai Emery’s side this season, has racked up 119 LaLiga appearances, scoring 15 goals and assisting 14 more.
The 23-year-old who is in his fifth season at the club has made 159 appearances since he made his debut for the club’s first team in their 1-1 draw against Levante on April 11, 2018.
He also made 20 appearances for the club’s second team and scored four goals with two assists.
Overall, the Eagles winger has also scored 28 goals and made 24 assists in all competitions for Unai Emery’s side since he arrived at the club in 2017 from Diamond Academy in Nigeria after helping the Golden Eaglets lift the U-17 World Cup in Qatar two years earlier.
Chukwueze will also be aiming to record his first victory over the Rojiblancos in his sixth attempt.
The Nigerian has suffered three draws and two defeats in his five meetings against Atletico Madrid.
His coach, Emery is also winless in 15 consecutive matches against Atlético Madrid drawing seven and losing eight, with his side conceding exactly two goals in each of the last three meetings in that run.
Atlético Madrid made a strong start to the new LaLiga campaign, securing a 3-0 victory away to Getafe.
Their preparations coming into this week though have been far from ideal with clubs such as Manchester United showing heavy interest in some of their key stars like João Félix and Yannick Carrasco.
Coach Diego Simeone will hope those distractions won’t derail his side’s bid to extend their unbeaten run in Spain’s top tier to six matches (four wins and a draw).
Coincidentally, Villarreal also kick-started their new season with a 3-0 away win over Real Valladolid. They then followed that up with a 4-2 victory at home to Hajduk Split in the UEFA Europa Conference League on Thursday night. Manager Unai Emery praised his players in the wake of that success, although he was also quick to point out that “in La Liga we can improve” before setting out their ambitions to better last season’s seventh-place finish.
While fatigue could come into play here having played an extra game than their hosts, Villarreal’s record on the road has been strong in recent times. They’ve won each of their last three LaLiga away games, scoring an impressive ten goals in the process, and another win for the Yellow Submarine would see them secure four straight away league wins for the first time since July 2020.