Atletico head out to Scotland where hosts Celtic await them in mid-week Europa League action.
For Atleti, Wednesday’s group stage matchday five clash (19:00 CET) comes just days after they suffered their seventh consecutive derby defeat.
“A loss is always a loss and dropping three points always leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” coach Gregorio Manzano was quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying.
“But we had a good start to the game, so I am happy with my team’s play.”
Manzano’s men can clinch a berth into the round of 32 with a victory in Glasgow, just a season after they failed, in embarrassing fashion, to defend their 2009/10 crown and make it through to the knockout phase of the European competition.
“We have to think about the game against Celtic,” veteran Atlético midfielder Paulo Assuncao said in a press conference on Monday.
“We have to treat it as a final even though we would still have one more chance. We are a great team and we have to go out looking to win.”
Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is back in the squad after missing our last two matches with a hamstring injury, but it’s unclear if he will start.
Falcao scored his first goal in red and white against the Celts at the Vicente Calderón.
Antonio López has recovered from his knee surgery and made the match selection.
Silvio and Tiago are recovering from their respective injuries and will remain in Madrid along with Jorge Pulido and Joel, who were left off the squad through tactical decision.
Following their 2-0 defeat to los Rojiblancos in the first matchweek of the Europa League group stage, Neil Lennon’s men have secured points in their subsequent three games.
They drew level at 1-1 with Udinese at Celtic Park and, like Atleti, tied 1-1 in Rennes before drubbing the French outfit 3-1 in Scotland earlier this month.
The Bhoys are coming off a 5-0 thrashing of St. Mirren in their domestic competition, narrowing the gap between themselves and Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers to four points.
Third in Group I with five points, the Hoops will look to keep their title hopes alive by avenging their loss to los Colchoneros back in September.
Atlético aim to stay atop the group standings by taking six of six points from the Scottish outfit.
Talking points ahead of the match:
- Can Atleti bounce back from the derby loss and get a crucial away win?
- Will Falcao be fit to start, if so, will he play alongside Adrián up top or will Manzano go with a single striker?
- Will Asenjo get a warm-up start ahead of this weekend’s match against Rayo in which he is set to be in the fold for?
Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Sergio Asenjo
Defenders: Godín, Antonio López, Filipe Luis, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Salvio, Reyes, Arda Turan, Assunçao, Gabi, Koke, Juanfran, Diego
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Pizzi
Who would you like to see in the starting line-up for this game?