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Mar 21, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Suarez (54')
Carrasco (76'), Savic (85'), Niguez (90+2')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Jota (33'), Battaglia (88')

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

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

Atletico Madrid will be looking to bounce back from two disappointing results when they continue their La Liga campaign at home to Alaves on Sunday evening.

Diego Simeone's side are currently top of the table, four points clear of second-placed Barcelona, while Alaves occupy 18th, one point behind 17th-placed Elche on the same number of matches.

Match preview

Atletico were dumped out of the Champions League on Wednesday night as a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea in the second leg of their last-16 tie saw them suffer a 3-0 aggregate loss to the Premier League outfit.

Simeone's side were also held to a goalless draw by Getafe in La Liga last weekend, which means that the gap from the leaders to second-placed Barca is now just four points, while Real Madrid are just six points behind Atletico in third position, with a lot of football still to play before the end of the season.

Atletico have been excellent in the league this term, collecting 63 points from their 27 matches to occupy first position, while they are the second-highest scorers with 50 and once again have the best defensive record in Spain's top flight, conceding just 18 times.

The capital giants have actually only won one of their last four home league matches, though, drawing with Celta Vigo and Real Madrid, in addition to losing to Levante, since the end of January.

Atletico will know that they cannot afford to drop more points as Barca and Real Madrid chase them down, with the Red and Whites looking to win their first top-flight title since 2013-14.

Alaves are also in desperate need of the points but for very different seasons, with the Basque club currently sitting down in 18th position in the table and facing the threat of relegation.

Abelardo's side have won five, drawn eight and lost 14 of their 27 league matches this season to collect just 23 points, but they are only one point behind Elche in 17th and sit just five points behind 15th-placed Getafe.

Alaves ended a run of four straight defeats last weekend by drawing at home to Cadiz, with Joselu's first-half penalty proving enough to pick up a welcome point at Estadio de Mendizorroza.

El Glorioso have the third-worst away record in La Liga this term, though, picking up just nine points from 13 matches, while they have lost six of their last seven top-flight meetings with Atletico, including a 2-1 defeat in the reverse game earlier this season.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D

Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L

Alaves La Liga form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Team News

Atletico will be unable to call upon Joao Felix this weekend, with the Portugal international suspended due to the yellow card that he picked up in the goalless draw with Getafe last weekend.

Felipe is back from a suspension of his own, though, and the home side do not have any confirmed absentees through injury for this match, meaning that Simeone has plenty of options.

Angel Correa should join Luis Suarez as part of a front two, while Mario Hermoso and Thomas Lemar are both in line for starts, having featured as substitutes against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

As for Alaves, Rodrigo Ely remains unavailable for selection through injury, but Ximo Navarro is back from a suspension and should return to the starting side at right-back.

Both Tomas Pina and Manu Garcia are suspended, meaning that Pere Pons and Rodrigo Battaglia should both earn roles in the middle of the away side's midfield.

On-loan Manchester United attacker Facundo Pellistri is in line to feature on the right once again, while Edgar Mendez could again operate alongside Joselu as part of a front two.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Trippier, Lemar, Koke, Llorente, Carrasco; Suarez, Correra

Alaves possible starting lineup:
Pacheco; Navarro, Laguardia, Lejeune, Duarte; Pellistri, Pons, Battaglia, Rioja; Mendez, Joselu

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Alaves

Atletico will be feeling the pressure as Barca and Real Madrid attempt to chase them down, and there is simply no downplaying the importance of this match to Simeone's side. Alaves also need the points, but we are struggling to back anything other than a routine victory for the league leaders.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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