Feb 17, 2021 at 6pm UK
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Bardhi (17')
de Frutos (45')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Llorente (37')
Niguez (26'), Savic (42'), Kondogbia (51')

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

:Headline: Preview: Levante vs. Atletico Madrid - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:435405: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's La Liga clash between Levante and Atletico Madrid, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Levante host La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid on Wednesday, with the visitors hoping to take advantage of this game in hand, and move further clear of the sides in pursuit of the top spot.

Diego Simeone's side currently sit five points clear at the top of the La Liga table, but with the recent good form of Real Madrid, Barcelona and Sevilla, it is crucial that they remain consistent and secure another good result here.

Match preview

Levante will come into this game hoping to cause another upset, after they beat one of Atleti's title rivals Real Madrid 2-1 at the Bernabeu in late January.

Madrid defender Eder Militao was shown a red card just nine minutes into the match, but Los Blancos took the lead soon after through Marco Asensio, before goals from Jose Luis Morales and Roger Marti sealed an impressive comeback win for Las Granotas.

However, Paco Lopez's side have failed to win either of their last two league matches since the victory in Madrid, most recently losing 1-0 to Osasuna, with Ante Budimir netting the winner 75 minutes into the game.

Before that, Levante drew 2-2 at home to eighth-placed Granada, with Las Granotas looking set to pick up all three points until Roberto Soldado equalised in injury time for the visitors.

As a result, Lopez's side now sit 10th in the La Liga table, a progression on last season's position of 12th, which followed two consecutive 15th-placed finishes in the top flight.

However, their place could be under threat on Wednesday, as they take on the league leaders, who have only lost once in league action so far this season.

Last time out, Atletico Madrid got back to winning ways with a 2-1 win away at Granada.

Marcos Llorente put Los Rojiblancos ahead on the hour mark, but Yangel Herrera equalised instantly for the hosts, before Angel Correa bagged the winner for Atleti, sealing their 17th La Liga victory of the campaign.

That followed a disappointing 2-2 draw with Celta Vigo, with Iago Aspas equalising late for the ninth-placed side, after a Luis Suarez brace.

Simeone's side now sit five points clear at the top of the division, with two games in hand on Real Madrid, meaning that a win on Wednesday would see them move eight points ahead of their city rivals, having played a match fewer.

Their strong league position is largely down to their solid defensive unit, as is a trademark of a Diego Simeone team, with no La Liga side matching their 13 goals conceded from 21 matches.

However, the difference this campaign could be an improved attack, with their 44 goals only topped by Barcelona, after Simeone has previously been known to prioritise a solid defensive structure over a free-scoring attack.

That has largely been down to the signing of Luis Suarez, who has fired the side from the capital to the top of the table with 16 goals this season, more than any other player in the league, since his move in the summer from Barcelona.

The improved balance of attack and defence could see Los Rojiblancos lift their first La Liga title since 2014, having lost just one match in the league this season, with a win here making their claim even stronger.

Levante La Liga form: WDDWDL
Levante form (all competitions): WWWDDL

Atletico Madrid La Liga form: WWWWDW

Team News

Levante remain without several important midfielders, with Jose Campana, Nikola Vukcevic and Gonzalo Melero all absent with injuries.

Aitor Fernandez returned between the sticks for the Granotas last time out, after Dani Cardenas featured in recent weeks, and he could be trusted in goal again for the visit of the league leaders.

Atleti are without several key players through a coronavirus outbreak, with Joao Felix, Moussa Dembele, Thomas Lemar and Hector Herrera all expected to miss this game.

They will also be missing right-back Kieran Trippier through a suspension, while centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez could remain out after he missed the last match with a muscle injury.

As a result, Simeone could only list six substitutes for the match with Granada, with that expected to remain the same here.

However, they were boosted by the return of Yannick Carrasco last time out, adding to the attacking ranks of the league leaders.

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Miramon, Duarte, Vezo, Clerc; Rochina, Radoja, Malsa, Morales; Roger, Leon

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Llorente, Saul, Kondogbia, Koke, Carrasco; Suarez, Correa

We say: Levante 1-2 Atletico Madrid

Simeone's side have definitely been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus within the squad, finding recent games very tough, and we expect that to continue here, but we predict that the team from the capital will squeeze past Levante in a closely fought encounter, with the clinical Suarez potentially being the difference between the sides.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals 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.Over 1.5:data

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last updated article - 2021-02-15 21:47:33:
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La Liga Table
CAtletico MadridAtletico38268467254286
2Real Madrid38259467283984
5Real Sociedad3817111059382162
6Real Betis381710115050061
8Celta Vigo381411135557-253
10Athletic Bilbao381113144642446
RReal Valladolid38516173457-2331
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