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Atletico Madrid - Besiktas Preview: Diego Simeone's side out to deny visitors first win on Spanish soil
Los Colchoneros will be hoping to claim a first-leg advantage against Carlos Carvalhal's outfit, who come into this Europa League tie on the back of three straight defeats
By Karthick Arvinth
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Adrian, Gabi, Koke
Toraman, Sivok, Sidnei, Gulum
Kavlak, Ernst, Uysal
Atletico Madrid trio Antonio Lopez, Diego and Arda Turan will almost certainly sit out Thursday's Europa League last-16 first-leg clash with Besiktas due to injury.
Brazilian midfielder Paulo Assuncao is suspended, while Radamel Falcao and Diego Godin are available for selection having missed Saturday's draw at Sevilla through suspension.
Besiktas, who lost 2-1 to city rivals Trabzonspor at the weekend, will be without injured duo Egemen Korkmaz and Roberto Hilbert for the trip to the Spanish capital. Portuguese striker Hugo Almeida is also sidelined with a problem in his right knee he picked up in the last league game of the team.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Atletico Madrid have never lost to Turkish opposition at the Vicente Calderon (W2 D3). Their overall record against Turkish sides is W6 D3 L1.
- Los Colchoneros have won their last six European home games, since losing 3-2 to Aris Thessaloniki in last season's Europa League group stage.
- The 2010 Europa League winners have suffered just one defeat since Diego Simeone was appointed coach in December - a 2-1 loss to Barcelona on 26 February.
- Besiktas have never won on Spanish soil in seven attempts (D1 L6).
- The Black Eagles have won just two of their last nine matches in all competitions.
- Simao (pictured right) scored 20 goals in 113 Liga games for Atletico between 2007 and 2010.
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Top 3 Predictions
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Besiktas
- 17.03 %
Atletico Madrid 1-2 Besiktas
- 14.6 %
Atletico Madrid 3-0 Besiktas
- 10.54 %
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Mar 15, 2012||Besiktas 0 - Atletico Madrid 3|
|UEFA Europa League (EL)||Mar 8, 2012||Atletico Madrid 3 - Besiktas 1|
|May 22, 2013||Singapore Selection 0 - Atletico Madrid 2||FR|
|May 17, 2013||Real Madrid CF 1 - Atletico Madrid 2||ESPC|
|May 12, 2013||Atletico Madrid 1 - FC Barcelona 2||LIGA|
|May 8, 2013||Celta 1 - Atletico Madrid 3||LIGA|
|May 4, 2013||Deportivo 0 - Atletico Madrid 0||LIGA|
|Returns:||Atl. Madrid £13.00||Sign up to Paddy Power for £250 in free bets|
|Returns:||Draw £460.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|Returns:||Beşiktaş £710.00||Sign up with William Hill for a free bet up to £25|
|2||Diego Godín Leal||Defender|
Atletico's record signing has scored five goals in the Europa League this campaign, two fewer than top scorer Matias Suarez. The Colombian will want to emulate his heroics of last season, when his record European tally of 17 goals helped Porto win the competition.
The Portuguese veteran knows Atletico well, having plied his trade at the Vicente Calderon for three years, during which he helped them win the inaugural edition of the Europa League. The former Benfica star scored against Sporting Braga in the previous round, and he will be raring to go against his former employers.
The absence of Diego and Turan is a blow for home side, who are without a win in La Liga since January. However, the visitors are going through a wretched run of results themselves, and Atletico will fancy their chances of taking a lead to Istanbul for the second leg.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed