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

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

Defending champions Atletico Madrid will look to improve their position at the top end of the La Liga table on Sunday, when they make the trip to take on Cadiz.

Diego Simeone's men suffered a harmful defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League last time out, but they made a return to winning ways in their most recent league game, while the hosts were thrashed by fellow strugglers Getafe on Sunday.

Match preview

After impressively avoiding the drop last season following their promotion, Cadiz have had a tough start to the new campaign, and they sat in the relegation zone with just seven points from their opening 10 games.

Alvaro Cervera's side then somewhat corrected their form, stopping a losing run from growing by drawing 3-3 with Europa League champions Villarreal, albeit having been pegged back in the dying minutes, before Alvaro Negredo salvaged a point with a 93rd-minute penalty against Mallorca.

Los Piratas then posted a crucial victory heading into the recent international break, as they held on to defeat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 away from home after Salvi Sanchez's fifth-minute goal.

They were unable to build on that upon their return to action last time out though, as 19th-placed Getafe handed Cervera's men a 4-0 thrashing with Mathias Olivera, Jorge Cuenca, Enes Unal and Jaime Mata all helping themselves to goals against a helpless Cadiz outfit.

That has left the Piratas in 16th spot, and they now lead the relegation zone by just one point, while they face a particularly tough task in their bid to climb away from the bottom three as Atleti make the trip.

While Diego Simeone's men have lost just one La Liga game so far this season, they have been unable to dominate the league from the outset like they did last season, currently sitting in fourth spot with 26 points from their opening 13 outings.

After the disappointment of being pegged back to a 3-3 draw by Valencia, with Hugo Duro netting two goals in injury time, Los Colchoneros made a crucial return to winning ways upon the return from the recent break, as defender Felipe headed in the only goal in the 87th minute in a 1-0 victory over Osasuna.

That was followed by a disappointing 1-0 defeat to AC Milan in the Champions League group stage on Wednesday, with an 87th-minute Junior Messias winner proving the difference, leaving the Madrid outfit in a precarious position on just four points heading into the final group game.

Nonetheless, Simeone's men will turn their attention back to domestic action, as they look to post consecutive La Liga wins for the first time since August.

With city rivals Real Madrid now sitting four points clear of Los Colchoneros at the summit of the table, Atleti will know there is little room for error if they are to remain in a strong position in their defence of the league title.

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

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

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

Team News

Cadiz again have several injury issues to deal with, as Tomas Alarcon, Jose Mari and Jon Ander Garrido are all condemned to the treatment room, while Martin Calderon is a doubt.

After the disappointing defeat last time out, Cervera may look to make several changes, with Anthony Lozano expected to come back into the attacking line, supporting Ruben Sobrino and former Manchester City forward Alvaro Negredo, and Alvaro Bastida potentially replacing the injured Alarcon.

Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix recently suffered another slight injury setback, and he will continue a spell on the sidelines alongside full-back Kieran Tripper, although the rest of Simeone's concerns have recently been eased.

Luis Suarez was fit to return to the starting XI last time out, and he will again lead the line with the likes of Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Lemar and Angel Correa battling to start alongside the Uruguayan star.

Felipe should return to the side after serving a Champions League suspension against AC Milan, and Simeone should again deploy him alongside Jose Gimenez and Stefan Savic at the back, with Marcos Llorente and Yannick Carrasco set to feature in wing-back roles.

Cadiz possible starting lineup:
Ledesma; Carcelen, Haroyan, Cala, Espino; Sanchez, Fernandez, Bastida, Lozano; Sobrino, Negredo

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Gimenez, Savic, Felipe; Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Correa, Suarez, Griezmann

We say: Cadiz 0-2 Atletico Madrid

Given Cadiz's struggles this term, we back the defending champions to pick up a relatively routine victory on Sunday.

Atleti have been far from convincing this season, and they often leave it late to win games, but we ultimately see them getting over the line against Los Piratas.

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