After suffering a loss against Barcelona at Vicente Calderon in midweek, Atlético Madrid will receive Leganes on Saturday looking to end their four match winless run.
The visitors, who are 5 points up on the relegation fight, managed a draw in the last meeting, as the rojiblancos accumulated their second consecutive draw against the new kids in town after a stalemate with Alavés.
Kick-of in the Vicente Calderón is set for 18:30 CET.
Pre-match build up has been dominated by the news released on Friday morning that Lucas Hernández and his girlfriend were both arrested for reported domestic violence.
We await further news on Lucas and his situation, but in the meantime Atleti have opted not to release an official squad list for the match after only 15 first team players trained on Friday morning.
With our busy cup run and continuing selection issues, preparation hasn’t been ideal to take on an opponent who held the red and whites to a surprise 0-0 draw back in August, after Cholo’s men had already drawn with fellow newly promoted side Alavés the previous week.
The negative of the results against weak teams arose doubts from star player, Antoine Griezmann, who said after the match at Butarque: “If don’t improve we must likely be in the relegation fight”.
Atleti improved by collecting 8 straight victories and 1 draw against Barcelona in the following weeks. After losing the Sevilla game in the Sánchez Pizjuán, there was then debate as to whether Koke should play in the middle or on the left.
“Koke is playing good in the middle, but we are more fragile at the back”, were Gabi’s comments. Since then Koke has played on the left, middle and right of midfield.
Koke will most likely play in the middle considering that he has been starting there in matches that Simeone has needed more attacking power. Gabi is coming back from one game suspension for accumulating 5 yellow cards and will most likely partner him.
With the Copa del Rey return leg against Barcelona coming up on Tuesday night, Cholo may make some changes to combat fatigue although is very limited in his options mainly due to injuries.
Winning is the only option for Atleti after their lacklustre stalemate with Alavés last weekend, as they look to keep pace with the teams around them in the race for the top 3.