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April 22, 2012 5:00 PM BST
Estadio Vicente Calderón — Madrid
Referee:‬ Clos Gómez‎
Attendance:‬ 45000‎
Dídac Vilà 19′
59′ Arda Turan
61′ Arda Turan

Atletico Madrid - Espanyol Preview: Diego Simeone's side look to continue their imperious home form in pursuit of a top-four finish

Atleti welcome Mauricio Pochettino's side to the Vincente Calderon as both sides, level on points, look to challenge for a place in the Champions League next season

By Daniel Quinton-Navarro

Joao Miranda, Radamel Falcao - Atletico Madrid
Joao Miranda, Radamel Falcao - Atletico Madrid

Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Gabi, Suarez
Adrian, Diego, Turan

Lopez, Rodriguez, Moreno, Didac
Baena, Romaric
Garcia, Verdu, Coutinho

Atletico Madrid seized control of their Europa League semi-final against Valencia on Thursday night, but with the capital club pursuing a top four finish, Diego Simeone is unlikely to rotate his squad ahead of the return leg.

Influential defender Diego Godin returns to the fold after missing the Europa League tie through suspension and is likely to replace Alvaro Dominguez who picked up a knock this week. Silvio and Antonio Lopez, meanwhile, continue their rehabilitation as they approach match fitness, following an extensive period out of action through injury.

Espanyol ended a baron run of five consecutive matches without a win with a thumping 4-0 victory over a lacklustre Valencia to reignite their own challenge for the European spots, moving to within six points of fourth placed Malaga.

Mauricio Pochettino can welcome back Philippe Coutinho and Juan Forlin from suspension for the visit to the Vincente Calderon, whilst the robust Romaric could be preferred in central midfield to add an extra physical presence. Vladimir Weiss may have to be content with a spot on the bench with Sergio Garica, Joan Verdu and Kalu Uche all playing a vital part against Valencia.

  • Atletico Madrid and Espanyol are level on points in La Liga, with the Barcelona-based outfit ahead because of a superior head-to-head record, achieved on the back of a 4-2 win in the reverse fixture.
  • Atleti have only lost to Real Madrid and Barcelona at the Vicente Calderon in 2012.
  • Diego Simeone's side have been heavily reliant on Radamel Falcao (pictured) this season. The Columbian striker has netted 22 goals in La Liga since his €40million move from Porto, 50% of their total tally.
  • Espanyol have failed to win any of their last seven league games away from home.
  • The Catalans have amassed the fewest away goals of any side in the top half of the table, alongside Osasuna.
  • Fourth-placed Malaga are just six points clear of Sevilla who occupy 11th in La Liga, Espanyol and Atleti are also locked on 45 points.

Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Mar 15, 2014 Atletico Madrid 1 - Espanyol 0
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  • Match Report
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Oct 19, 2013 Espanyol 1 - Atletico Madrid 0
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Feb 24, 2013 Atletico Madrid 1 - Espanyol 0
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Sep 30, 2012 Espanyol 0 - Atletico Madrid 1
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Spain - Primera Division ‎(LIGA)‎ Apr 22, 2012 Atletico Madrid 3 - Espanyol 1
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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
13Thibaut CourtoisGoalkeeper
2Diego GodínDefender
3Filipe LuisDefender
15Álvaro DomínguezDefender
18Toto SalvioMidfielder
10Arda TuranMidfielder
21Diego RibasMidfielder
9Radamel FalcaoStriker
25Sergio AsenjoGoalkeeper
14L. PereaDefender
4Mario SuárezMidfielder
-Pedro MartínStriker
-Cristian AlvarezGoalkeeper
3Raúl RodríguezDefender
15Héctor MorenoDefender
16Javier López RodríguezDefender
12Dídac VilàDefender
7Raúl BaenaMidfielder
9Sergio GarcíaStriker
-Kalu UcheStriker
13Kiko CasillaGoalkeeper
2Jordi AmatDefender
4Víctor Sánchez MataMidfielder
8Cristian GómezMidfielder
35RUI FonteStriker
Players to Watch
Radamel Falcao
Radamel Falcao
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Who else could it be? The Colombian has been in superb form this season and Simeone will be hopeful he can add to his 22 La Liga strikes against Espanyol, however, it is important to remember the supply and as such players like Suarez and Diego will be key to unlocking Espanyol's defence.
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Expected to come back into the Starting XI Coutinho will have to be at his creative best if Espanyol are going to be able to take anything from this match.
With the competition for a Champions League reaching boiling point Atleti will be aware of their head-to-head record with clubs around them, which could make this a more expansive tie considering the compactness of the table. Espanyol's poor away form, paired with Atleti's supreme home record, should lead to a victory for Diego Simeone's side, but by how many could be key come the end of the season.
Editor's Prediction
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
C. Ronaldo C. Ronaldo
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Atl. Madrid
27 5
Messi Messi
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
17 0