Atletico Madrid - Athletic Bilbao Preview: Marcelo Bielsa's side look to bounce back from disappointing Valencia defeat
Having suffered a European hangover for the second week in a row, Los Leones will need a much improved performance at the capital to keep their European qualification bid on track
By Karthick Arvinth
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Salvio, Adrian, Koke
De Marcos, Amorebieta, Martinez, Aur'netxe
Perez, Iturraspe, Herrera
Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain
Atletico Madrid will be without injured trio Silvio, Diego and Tiago when they entertain Athletic Bilbao at the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday.
Diego (thigh) and Tiago (hamstring) trained outside the group on Monday, but are not expected to be fit in time for the clash.
Fernando Llorente could return to the Athletic starting line-up, having missed Sunday's defeat against Valencia with a hip problem.
Fernando Amorebieta and Gaizka Toquero are back from suspension, but Andoni Iraola misses out after his dismissal against Valencia.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Atletico Madrid's 2-1 loss at Real Mallorca on Sunday was only their second defeat since Diego Simeone took charge of the club in December.
- Los Colchoneros have won just one of their last seven matches in La Liga - a 2-0 home success over Granada.
- Atletico face German side Hannover in the quarter-finals of the Europa League on March 29 and April 5.
- Athletic Bilbao have won just two of their last 10 away matches in La Liga.
- However, the Basques have emerged victorious on three of their last four visits to the Vicente Calderon.
- Fernando Llorente (pictured right) has netted eight times in his last nine league appearances for Athletic.
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Top 3 Predictions
Atletico Madrid 2-1 Athletic Bilbao
- 16.08 %
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Athletic Bilbao
- 13.99 %
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Athletic Bilbao
- 13.29 %
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Nov 3, 2013||Atletico Madrid 2 - Athletic Bilbao 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Jan 27, 2013||Athletic Bilbao 3 - Atletico Madrid 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Aug 27, 2012||Atletico Madrid 4 - Athletic Bilbao 0|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||May 9, 2012||Atletico Madrid 3 - Athletic Bilbao 0|
|Spain - Primera Division (LIGA)||Mar 21, 2012||Atletico Madrid 2 - Athletic Bilbao 1|
|Dec 18, 2013||Atletico Madrid 2 - UE Sant Andreu 1||ESPC|
|Dec 15, 2013||Atletico Madrid 3 - Valencia CF 0||LIGA|
|Dec 11, 2013||Atletico Madrid 2 - Porto 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||UE Sant Andreu 0 - Atletico Madrid 4||ESPC|
|Nov 30, 2013||Elche 0 - Atletico Madrid 2||LIGA|
|10||Óscar De Marcos||Midfielder|
|13||Raúl Fernández Mateos||Goalkeeper|
|6||Mikel San José Domínguez||Defender|
With 15 goals in 41 appearances, the former Spain U21 international has enjoyed a breakout season at Atletico. Indeed the 24-year-old has proved to be the perfect foil for Radamel Falcao, but Atleti's over-reliance on the duo for goals - a similar situation to when they were wholly dependent on Sergio Aguero and Diego Forlan - must be a cause for concern for Simeone.
The 27-year-old's return to fitness will be a relief for Athletic, who looked toothless in attack without an out-and-out striker on Sunday. The giant forward has four goals in his last five games for the club and will do well to add to his tally against one of the best defensive outfits in La Liga.
The Athletic players looked visibly drained at the weekend and it will worry Bielsa, who does not have the biggest of squads to work with. Atleti were perhaps a little unfortunate to lose at Mallorca on Sunday, but they should make amends against the battle-weary Basques at the Vicente Calderon.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed