After the welcome respite of an international break, Atlético resume their season with a derby at home against sixth-placed Getafe, another team enjoying a fine start to their current campaign.
Kick-off at the Vicente Calderón is scheduled for 22:00 CET on Saturday.
The two-week interruption arrived at a good time. The red-and-whites lacked their usual vigour and looked rather fatigued when they drew with Villarreal two weeks ago.
After going one up early on, they were forced into retreat by their unrelenting hosts, who got a deserved equaliser at the end of the game at the Madrigal.
The draw was an acceptable result under the circumstances, but it did allow leaders Barcelona to extend their advantage to three points, and third-placed Real Madrid to reduce their deficit to the same number.
Atlético can boast a strong record at home against Getafe in recent years. They defeated their neighbours the last four times they hosted them, and prevented them from scoring in their last five encounters.
But the Azulones have performed well outside of their usually empty Coliseum, keeping clean sheets and scoring twice in their last three away trips to Espanyol, Granada and Villarreal.
Due to the various international obligations of his players, Diego Simeone only had his full squad available to him on Friday, a day before the upcoming game.
Asked about this inconvenience, the Rojiblanco boss replied: “The situation is as usual. We have to adjust and adapt to what’s ahead. Today is the first day we’re together and from here we decide which side will play tomorrow.”
‘Cholo’ praised his upcoming opponents for their resilience and compared them to his own Atlético team.
“Getafe are a tough team. What I always like about them is that they manage to reverse difficult situations such as early in the season, and suddenly you see them competing for European places just seven days later,” he said.
“They’re a combative side, a very organized team, with a lot of speed up front, and very dangerous in dead-ball situations. In some aspects we share some similarities, mainly because we work hard as a team. It’s obviously a dangerous game.”
Diego Costa has recovered from the injury that prevented him from debuting for Spain, while Courtois and Villa have shaken off their respective physical problems during the international break.
Léo Baptistão is struggling with an ankle problem, but Adrián has overcome his in time to be included. Filipe returns after completing his one-match suspension. Mario continues to recover from his knee injury.
For Getafe, forward Colunga returns after missing the last three games with injury, but defenders Lisandro López and Rafa López are absent due to injury and suspension respectively.
Atlético match selection
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Giménez, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabi, Guilavogui, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa
Getafe match selection
Goalkeepers: Moyà, Codina
Defenders: Alexis, Roberto Lago, Lopo, Álvaro Arroyo, Valera
Midfielders: Lacen, Lafita, Pablo Sarabia, Gavilán, Pedro León, Diego Castro, Míchel, Borja Fernández, Pedro Mosquera
Forwards: Ciprian, Colunga
Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez