Match preview: Málaga vs. Atlético

Atleti on a mission to claim top spot before Christmas

Griezmann scored 2 last season at Malaga

Griezmann scored 2 last season at Malaga

Atlético Madrid can three points clear at the top of La Liga if they beat Málaga at La Rosaleda on Sunday evening.

Kick-off is set for 20:30 CET.

With Barcelona away competing in the Club World Cup, Atleti can take advantage and put themselves in first place just in time for the Christmas break.

Diego Simeone’s men have won their last five in all competitions, whilst Málaga only have a single victory to show in their last five outings.

Despite sitting 16th in the league, the home side has only conceded five goals in their seven games at La Rosaleda so far this season, so it will be a stern test for the sometimes-misifiring Atleti attack.

Antoine Griezmann has shown he can hit the back of the net, however los Rojiblancos shot-to-goal ratio has been worryingly low in previous months.

Fernando Torres is struggling to find the back of the net, whilst Jackson Martinez continues to be unavailable through injury.

It was hoped that the Colombian summer-signing would return today against Málaga, but Simeone has confirmed he will miss both today’s game and the one against Rayo next Wednesday.

Last match out, Atlético managed to squeeze a 1-0 win out of Reus in the Copa del Rey. Thomas got the only goal of the game, and the youngster makes the squad list for today’s match.

This fixture last season ended up 2-2, with Griezmann grabbing two.

If Atleti are going to claim top spot for their own, they will need a better performance today.