Match preview: Atlético vs. Espanyol

Periquitos visit the Calderón as Atleti aim to gain ground on Real Madrid

Atleti lost to Espanyol 1-0 in Barcelona in October  (

Atleti lost to Espanyol 1-0 in Barcelona in October

Freshly qualified Champions League quarter-finalists Atlético will seek revenge against one of only three clubs to defeat them in La Liga this season when they host Espanyol on Saturday.

Proceedings at the Vicente Calderón get underway at 22:00 CET.

Atleti finished off AC Milan in grand fashion on Tuesday, hammering four past the Serie A outfit for an aggregate scoreline of 5-1.

It’s the first time in 17 years los Rojiblancos make it this far into the elite European competition–still standing as one of the last eight in the tournament.

This weekend, they’ll be looking to continue pestering Spain’s two giants by adding three more points to their remarkable haul in the campaign.

‘Captain Colchonero’ Gabi has boldly declared that his squad are after all the spoils within their grasp.

“We’re in the last 11 fixtures,” the 30-year-old midfielder said.

“There’s little left and we are very hopeful, as are our supporters, and we will fight until the end.

“I think Atlético have made an incredible effort, from the players to the coaching staff, to fight against the most powerful, and now that we’ve made it this far, we want to keep fighting until the end.”

Atlético’s resounding success under coach Diego Simeone has completely rehabilitated and revitalised the club’s sense of grandeur.

There’s even hope now that the recent trend of leaving the red and white stripes behind for more globally recognised brands may be coming to a halt.

Midfield maestro and cantera product Koke, speaking to Spanish magazine Minuto 116 this week, played down the rumoured interest of Manchester United.

“I could stay [at Atlético] my whole career,” he said.

“I have a long contract at the moment [through 2018], and I want to see it out as Atlético is my home. We are putting together a great side, the project is very attractive, and I hope I can stay here for many years.”

Simeone hopes to see a packed stadium “just like against Milan, because that creates a lot of excitement”.

“It was marvelous,” the Argentine tactician said.

“Hopefully [on Saturday] the fans will accompany us because a vibrant atmosphere is formed and the match is of great importance.”

Mario Suárez and Miranda will serve suspensions on this match day after each seeing their fifth yellow in Vigo last Saturday.

Adrián, with left knee tendinitis, and Javi Manquillo, with his infamous back injury, will also miss out.

Back at Cholo’s disposal though, are the trio that were banned for the trip to Galicia: Diego Costa, Diego Godín and Arda Turan, and Tiago, who’s been sidelined for over a month but was included in the midweek match selection against Milan.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Toby, Giménez, Juanfran, Insua
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, The Real Raúl, Arda, Cebolla, Gabi, Diego, Sosa
Forwards: Villa, Costa

  • farhan

    hope villa play today

  • farhan

    hope malaga … draw with real madrid

  • Ash

    the real raul…lol!

  • Ash

    anyway have to get up at 5am to watch the game! aupa atleti!

  • Kulan

    Very tough game. Big risk of CL-hang-over. Because of that I really hope that some of the “reserves” get their chance tonight. Especially Sosa cause he has really impressed me lately!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I can’t remember an easy game against Espanyol in recent years, not in the Calderon, La Cornella or Lluís Companys

    This game and the one against Athletic are the most difficult games in these 7 weeks, then in the last 4 weeks, every game is difficult

    It’s not easy to score against Espanyol, they have the 5th strongest defense in La Liga
    so we need Costa and Villa to be in their best form, we can’t afford to waste easy opportunities for scoring

    My biggest worries is who will be the 2nd DM with Gabi ?!
    I’m not sure if Tiago will start after his long absence, and in several occasions when Koke played in that position it didn’t end up well

    This is a must-win game, especially when Real drop 2 or 3 points in Malaga
    and they will .. I feel it

  • kris

    Well Sosa is playing and so is Tiago. Let’s see what Sosa can do today. He has impressed me as a substitute but let’s see how well he plays as a starter. Revenge time!! Aupa Atleti!

  • farhan

    line up plz

  • farhan

    and d fuq …. real won… or i say malaga lost close game

  • farhan

    sosa is playing really good …

  • Chewie

    Sosa is flawless – four corners and free kicks, and thus far he’s been super dangerous. Looking forward to seeing what else he’s got.

  • kris

    Sosa is fooking perfect!! Goddamn, and that work rate though!!!

  • Zakaria

    Is pizzi still ours??? Love simao this dude is amazing

  • Jelle

    No, we would him to Benfica and then they loaned him out to Espanyol. But maybe we have an option on him?

  • Jelle

    Would = sold 😉

  • Zakaria

    Good that we sold him 🙂

  • piserakos

    ouf that was close… At least we won!! Now we have time to relax before play against Betis! Aupa Atleti

  • もちろん知らない人が多いのだろう。昨年月から頸椎の椎間板ヘルニア(と)と診断され、酷い頸、肩、背中、左腕の痛みに悩まされてお&#12

  • Farzad

    sosa can not play well,diego ribas playing better than him,

  • Farzad

    please dont release arda turan