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La Liga | Gameweek 31
Apr 13, 2024 at 1pm UK
Estadio Civitas Metropolitano

3 - 1

Griezmann (34' pen., 50'), Correa (45+6')
Niguez (25'), Simeone (26'), Correa (35'), Llorente (90+2')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Dovbyk (4')
Herrera (32'), Couto (70')

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Girona - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Girona - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Girona, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Fresh from claiming an advantage in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final, Atletico Madrid will resume La Liga duties on Saturday afternoon with an intruiging clash against Girona.

Atletico are currently fourth in the La Liga table, seven points behind third-placed Girona, with both sides battling to secure positions in next season's Champions League.

Match preview

Atletico have put themselves in a decent position to qualify for the semi-finals of the Champions League, having recorded a 2-1 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the first leg of their quarter-final on Wednesday night.

Diego Simeone's side will be bidding to finish the job in Germany next week, but they cannot afford to take their eye off the ball in La Liga, as a top-four position is far from secure, with the Red and Whites facing serious pressure from Copa del Rey winners Athletic Bilbao.

Indeed, Atletico are only two points ahead of fifth-placed Athletic, while they sit seven points behind third-placed Girona, so fourth might be the best that Atletico can hope for this season, although third would certainly be within reach if the hosts can triumph in this match.

Simeone's team have the second-best home record in La Liga this season, picking up 40 points from their 15 matches, but they were beaten 3-0 by Barcelona in their last league fixture at Wanda Metropolitano and also surprisingly lost 2-0 at Cadiz last month.

Atletico managed to record a 2-1 victory over Villarreal in the league last time out, though, with Saul Niguez netting a late winner at Estadio de la Cereamica, and the capital giants will now be eyeing a third straight win in all competitions ahead of the second leg of their European Cup quarter-final with Dortmund.

It was always going to be difficult for Girona to stick with Real Madrid in the title race, and as expected, the Catalan outfit have fallen away in recent weeks, now sitting 10 points behind Carlo Ancelotti's team, who are in an extremely strong position at the top of the division.

Michel's side are still enjoying a remarkable campaign, though, sitting third, only two points behind second-placed Barcelona and nine clear of fifth-placed Athletic in the race for a top-four spot.

The White and Reds are only in their fourth-ever campaign at this level, finishing 10th, 18th and 10th in the previous three, so they are looking to create history this term, and a strong result on Saturday would lead them nicely into their next game at home to Cadiz on April 20.

Girona beat Real Betis 3-2 in the league last weekend, and their home form this season has been excellent, picking up 38 points from 15 matches, with only Atletico (40) and Real Madrid (41) boasting stronger records.

However, the Catalan side are on a run of four straight defeats away from home, losing to Real Madrid, Athletic, Mallorca and Getafe since their last away success at the end of January.

Girona have lost three of their last four league games against Atletico, but they recorded a 4-3 victory over the capital giants when the two sides locked horns for the reverse fixture earlier this season.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:

Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):

Girona La Liga form:

Team News

Atletico will again be without the services of Memphis Depay, Mario Hermoso and Thomas Lemar through injury for this weekend's La Liga contest.

The team did not suffer any fresh fitness problems against Dortmund on Wednesday night, but Simeone will need to assess his players before making a final decision on his team for this match.

Pablo Barrios will not be involved, with the midfielder suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up against Villarreal last time out, but there are likely to be some alterations, with Stefan Savic, Saul and Rodrigo Riquelme potentially coming into the XI on Saturday.

As for Girona, Joel Roca and Toni Villa are definitely out with long-term knee injuries, while Ricard Artero will require a late fitness test due to an ankle problem.

The Catalan outfit will also have to work around the absence of midfielder Ivan Martin, who picked up a milestone yellow card against Real Betis last time out, but Savio will be back from a suspension of his own.

Martin's absence will open the door for Yangel Herrera to return to the starting side at Wanda Metropolitano, while Savio is expected to take the position of Portu in the final third of the field.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Azpilicueta; Riquelme, Llorente, Koke, Saul, Lino; Griezmann, Morata

Girona possible starting lineup:
Gazzaniga; E Garcia, D Lopez, Blind; Couto, Herrera, A Garcia, Gutierrez; Tsyhankov, Dovbyk, Savio

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Girona

This is a really difficult match to call, as Girona will fancy their chances of taking advantage of Atletico's energy-sapping contest against Dortmund.

Girona's recent away form cannot be ignored, though, and we are backing Simeone's side to edge what should be a very interesting fixture in the Spanish capital.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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