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Primera División

  • April 22, 2012
  • • 17:00
  • • Estadio Vicente Calderón, Madrid
  • Referee: Carlos Clos Gomez
  • • Attendance: 45000
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Atletico Madrid - Espanyol Preview: Diego Simeone's side look to continue their imperious home form in pursuit of a top-four finish

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

Joao Miranda, Radamel Falcao - Atletico Madrid

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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS
ATLETICO MADRID


Courtois
Juanfran, Miranda, Godin, Filipe
Gabi, Suarez
Adrian, Diego, Turan
Falcao
ESPANYOL


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

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.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • 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.

Players to watch

R. Falcao

Position: Attacker

Games: 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.

Philippe Coutinho

Position: Midfielder

Games: 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.

Editor's Prediction

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.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Atlético Madrid

Espanyol

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
Club Atlético de Madrid Atlético Madrid
Draw
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol Espanyol
76%

Top 3 Predictions

Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
2 - 1
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
2 - 0
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP
Club Atlético de Madrid ATM
3 - 1
Reial Club Deportiu Espanyol ESP

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