S
SEARCH
M
SW
Apr 9, 2016 at 5.15pm UK
Espanyol
1-3
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Diop (29')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Torres (35'), Griezmann (59'), Koke (89')

Preview: Espanyol vs. Atletico Madrid

:Headline: Preview: Espanyol vs. Atletico Madrid: ID:270132: from db_amp
Sports Mole looks ahead to Saturday's La Liga clash between Espanyol and Atletico Madrid as Diego Simeone's side aim to close the gap on leaders Barcelona.

Atletico Madrid will look to keep the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga when they face Espanyol at the RCDE Stadium on Saturday.

La Rojiblancos currently sit six points adrift of the league leaders, but could close that gap to three for a few hours at least with a victory over Barca's local rivals.


Espanyol

While much of the attention is focused on events at the top of La Liga at the moment, Espanyol will still be looking over their shoulders in the closing stages of the season.

Constantin Galca's side will be breathing a lot easier now than they were just a couple of months ago, though, having strung together their best run of form this season right when they needed it most.

Espanyol looked to be in trouble when a 2-1 defeat to Valencia on February 13 left them winless in 10 games in all competitions and with just two points from the last 24 available in La Liga.

However, they have lost just once in seven matches since, picking up four victories in that time to drag themselves eight points clear of the bottom three with only seven games of the season remaining.

They have alternated between victories and draws in their last four games and, should that trend continue this weekend, then they would make it three consecutive home league wins for the first time in more than three years.

It is their home form that has been their saving grace this season, with 25 of their 36 points coming in front of their own fans and only seven teams in the league boasting a better record.

Despite that, Espanyol have averaged just a goal per game from their 15 outings at the RCDE Stadium this season, making them the second-lowest scorers at home in the division behind Real Betis.

Home and away only three teams have scored fewer in the league, which doesn't bode well against a defence as mean at Atletico's, while only Rayo Vallecano have conceded more goals in La Liga this season.

It is a record that has slowly been improving during Espanyol's upturn in form, but with six of their final seven games coming against teams above them in the table, they will need to keep that form up if they are to stay at arm's length of danger.

Recent form: WLWDWD


Atletico Madrid

There were many who questioned whether Atletico had the staying power after they surprisingly won the league title in 2014, but they have shown this year that they are very much one of the big boys in Spanish football now.

Their style is different to that of Barcelona and Real Madrid, with Atletico having scored 36 and 38 goals fewer than those two sides respectively, instead focusing on a tight defensive unit that rarely gives anything away.

They have conceded just 15 goals from their 31 league matches this season - 11 fewer than the next best record in the division, which is held by Barcelona.

It is Barcelona that Atletico must track down in the closing stages of the campaign, and Saturday's match gives them a good chance to put pressure on Luis Enrique's side.

A victory at the RCDE Stadium will close the gap to just three points at the top of the table for a few hours at least, with Barcelona taking on Real Sociedad later in the day at a ground where they haven't won since 2007.

A comprehensive 5-1 victory over Real Betis saw Atletico close the gap last weekend too, helped by Barca's El Clasico defeat to Real Madrid, as Diego Simeone's side made it five wins from their last six games in La Liga.

It looked like they could be on course for unexpected success in Europe too when Fernando Torres gave them the lead at Camp Nou after 25 minutes of their Champions League quarter-final first leg against Barcelona on Tuesday night.

However, the striker then picked up two yellow cards in the space of six first-half minutes to leave his side with an uphill struggle, and sure enough a brace from Luis Suarez saw Barca come from behind to pick up a 2-1 victory.

That is by no means a bad result for Atletico, though, and they will welcome Enrique's side to the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday still very much in the tie and with an away goal to take advantage of.

They have now lost their last two away games in all competitions, but no team have amassed more points on the road in La Liga this season than Atleti, who have won 11 of their 16 away outings.

Recent form: WWWWLW
Recent form (all competitions): WWDLWL


Team News

Simeone may opt to make changes ahead of Wednesday's clash with Barcelona, but Torres is suspended for that match and so should feature this weekend.

The likes of Diego Godin and Yannick Ferreira Carrasco were passed fit for the midweek match and are likely to be involved again, but doubts remain over Oliver Torres and Tiago.

A question mark also remains over the fitness of Jose Gimenez, so Simeone is expected to stick with Lucas Hernandez at the heart of his defence.

Espanyol, meanwhile, will be without Arbilla once again, and Galca could name an unchanged side to the one that drew 1-1 with Malaga at the weekend.

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
P Lopez; J Lopez, Gonzalez, Roco, R Duarte; Asensio, Sanchez, O Duarte, Diop, Abraham; Moreno

Atletico possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Juanfran, Hernandez, Godin, Luis; Saul, Gabi, Koke; Partey, Torres, Carrasco


Head To Head

Espanyol have won just one of the last eight meetings between these two sides, with that coming in October 2013 courtesy of a 1-0 victory.

That is the only goal that they have scored in the last seven clashes between the two sides, though, with Atletico keeping six clean sheets in that time, including in each of the last four meetings.

The reverse fixture at the Vicente Calderon in November was decided by a third-minute Antoine Griezmann goal as Atletico edged to a 1-0 win.


The Dugout Podcast

Hit play below to listen to Sports Mole's new podcast 'The Dugout' for our take on the week's biggest football talking points:

[On this PAGE an item was removed from that AMP version click for the full mobile version.]


We say: Espanyol 0-2 Atletico Madrid

With Espanyol's poor goalscoring record this season, particularly at home, and Atletico's defensive stability, it is hard to see the hosts even scoring in this match, yet alone winning it. It should be a typical Atletico victory, and one that closes the gap on Barcelona to just three points.



amp_article__270132 : Database Data restored...  : 
last updated article - 2016-04-09 11:41:37:
html db last update - 2021-03-01 22:22:59 :

ex - 7200 : read : read cache amp html
Read more!
Share this article now:
La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1 38268467254286
2 38259467283984
3 38247785384779
4 38245953332077
5 3817111059382162
6 381710115050061
7 3815131060441658
8 381411135557-253
9 38137184765-1846
10 381113144642446
11 381111163748-1144
12 381111163658-2244
13 381013155053-343
14 38914154657-1141
15 38911182843-1538
16 38911183657-2138
17 38812183455-2136
18 38713183453-1934
19 38516173457-2331
20 38612202952-2330
Scroll for more - Tap for full version

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
UC
Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
11Aston Villa38167155546955
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323
Scroll for more - Tap for full version
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
X

We value your privacy

A part of our GDPR compliance we need to ask for your consent. We and our partners use technology such as cookies on Sports Mole to personalise content and ads, provide social media features, and analyse our traffic. Click below to consent to the use of this technology on Sports Mole.