Match preview: Atlético vs. Espanyol

Atlético keen to turn recent results into good run of form

Espanyol fans were out in force last time vs Atleti

Espanyol fans were out in force last time vs Atleti

Fresh off of the back of securing qualification to the next round of the UEFA Champions League, Atlético Madrid welcome Espanyol to the Vicente Calderón on Saturday evening as they look to secure their grip on second place.

Kick-off is set for 18:15 CET.

Atleti moved into second spot after their win against Betis last weekend, two points separating them from their arch rivals Real Madrid in third.

It’s the last home game before three away games on the bounce for Atleti.

The Copa del Rey journey starts midweek against Reus, whilst a trip to Granada and then an important match in Benfica in 10 days will set the tone for the next round of the Champions League.

Diego Simeone may continue with the same side that beat Galatasaray comfortably 2-0 at the Calderón on Wednesday, with Gabi the only player unavailable following a one match suspension for too many yellow cards.

Jackson Martínez remains sidelined through injury, which means that Fernando Torres should have another opportunity to grab his 100th career goal for Atleti.

The bedrock for this Atlético team continues to be the defence, and with another clean sheet under his belt against Galatasaray, Jan Oblak is having a fantastic season between the sticks for Atleti, and leads the standings for the Zamora trophy (by some distance).

The Slovenian has only conceded six goals in his twelve league appearances for Atleti so far this season, and whilst this will be helped by a strong defensive four in front of him, he has pitched in quite a few magnificent saves too.

Espanyol sit tenth in the league and are looking for their third win on the bounce, but must do so without Salva Sevilla and Victor Sánchez who are injured and suspended respectively.

With the midweek game to come, Simeone will have the perfect opportunity for some rotation in the Copa del Rey.

It’s imperative that a good result is claimed on Saturday if Atleti are to prove they are real contenders at this early stage of the season.

It only gets busier from here!

Atlético squad: Moyá, Oblak, Godín, Filipe, Savic, Gámez, Juanfran, Giménez, Tiago, Koke, Óliver, Saúl, Carrasco, Thomas, Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Correa, Vietto