Atletico Madrid travel to Barcelona to take on Espanyol in the round 32 of Spanish Premiera Division on Saturday evening.
The Rojiblancos are second in the league table, 6 points behind leaders Barcelona and 1 point above arch rivals Real Madrid. They will be desperate for all three points to keep the pressure of the two giants of Spanish football.
Espanyol are 12th in the table and will be looking for a win to move towards the top half of the table. They are on a good run in the league recently and will be hoping to be on top of their game against a tough Atletico side.
Espanyol have lost just once in their last 7 league matches, with 4 wins and 2 draws. They are unbeaten in their last 4 matches with 2 wins and 2 draws and scored at least a goal in each of those 4 matches.
Espanyol have won their last two home matches and their record in last 5 home matches read 3 wins and 2 heavy defeats, 5-0 against Sociedad and 3-0 against Betis.
Atletico Madrid have won 7 of their last 9 matches and lost just once during the period. Their last 5 matches have seen over 2.5 goals, with Madrid scoring a minimum of 2 goals in each of them.
Atleti’s last away match was a 2-1 loss to Sporting Gijon and prior to that they won 3 matches in a row, before losing to Barcelona on 30th January 2016. The Colchoneros scored in each of their last 8 games away from home.
Espanyol: Team News
The versatile midfielder Hernán Pérez is suspended, while defender Anaitz Arbilla is injured.
Colombian striker Felipe Caicedo is expected to lead the attack with supported by Marco Asensio and Abraham González on either flanks.
Espanyol: Expected Starting Line-up (4-3-3)
Pau – Rubén Duarte, Roco, Gonzalez, Javi Lopez – Sanchez, Óscar Duarte, Diop – Asensio, Abraham, Caicedo.
Atletico Madrid: Team News
Diego Godin will start despite being short of full match fitness and is likely to partner Lucas Hernandez, as Savic is doubtful and Jose Gimenez is sidelined due to a muscle injury.
Diego Simeone will field an unchanged eleven that suffered a 2-1 against Barcelona in the mid-week Champions League tie.
Atletico Madrid: Expected Starting Line-up (4-4-2)
Oblak – Felipe Luis, Hernandez, Godin, Juanfran – Koke, Gabi, Saul Niguez, Carrasco – Griezmann, Torres.
Espanyol vs : Head-to-Head Stats
- Atlético Madrid are unbeaten in the last 4 matches in La Liga against Espanyol.
- The stats from the last 5 league meetings between the two sides read 3 wins for Atletico, 1 win for Espanyol and 1 draw.
- However Atletico Madrid haven’t won in the last two visits to Espanyol, the latest ending in a 0-0 stalemate.
Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid: Prediction
Atletico Madrid are playing some excellent football lately and they would be desperate to win this one and keep the pressure on league leaders Barcelona. Diego Simeone may have the crucial Champions League return leg in mind, but his team won’t lack intensity and the desire to take all three points on Saturday.
The prediction for this match is a straight win for Atleti, as Espanyol are very inconsistent both home and away.
Recommended Bet: Atletico Madrid to Win @ 1.99