MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 11:20:32| >> :120:55015:55015:
Nov 28, 2015 at 5.15pm UK at Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
1-0
Espanyol
FT(HT: 1-0)

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Espanyol

Sports Mole previews the La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Espanyol at Vicente Calderon.

Two sides heading in opposite directions in the table go head to head in La Liga this weekend as second-placed Atletico Madrid host Espanyol.

The home side are unbeaten in six matches in the Spanish top flight, while the visitors have won just once in four outings.


Atletico Madrid

Atletico Madrid's players congratulate teammate French forward Antoine Griezmann (L) after scoring a second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C football match Club Atletico de Madrid vs Galatasaray AS at the Vicente Calderon stadium in Madrid on© Getty Images

Diego Simeone's side head into this weekend sitting second in the La Liga standings, four points off the top of the table after beating Real Betis 1-0 last time out.

The 2013-14 champions have been back in action since though, beating Galatasaray 2-0 in the Champions League earlier this week, ensuring that they progress to the knockout stage of Europe's top club competition.

No side has conceded fewer goals in La Liga this season than Atletico, with the team letting in just six in 12 matches, while also keeping a league-high seven clean sheets so far.

Atletico have not been as prolific up front though, with five teams netting more goals than this weekend's hosts, who have 17. The team has only scored more than two goals in one match this year, beating Sevilla 3-0 in the second week of the campaign.

Antoine Griezmann is the club's top scorer in the league so far this season, netting five times in 11 appearances, while Fernando Torres and Jackson Martinez each have two.

Atletico are unbeaten in their last four home matches in the league, with their loss to Barcelona in September their only defeat in six matches at Vicente Calderon so far in this campaign.

Recent form: DWWDWW
Recent form (all competitions): WDDWWW


Espanyol

Espanyol's defender Alvaro Gonzalez (L) celebrates a goal next to teammate Espanyol's midfielder Victor Sanchez during the Spanish league football match RCD Espanyol vs Valencia CF at the Power8 stadium in Cornella de Llobregat on September 22, 2015.© Getty Images

Espanyol secured their first win in four matches at the weekend, returning from the international break with a 2-0 win over Malaga thanks to a brace from Hernan Perez, with both goals coming inside the opening 20 minutes.

Sergio Gonzalez's side made a reasonable start to the season, winning three of their first five fixtures, but have struggled for consistency since the end of September, losing four of seven to leave the team 10th in the table.

A trip to the Vicente Calderon is not ideal for Espanyol, as the team has struggled on their travels this season, losing four of their six away matches so far.

No side has conceded more goals in the first 12 matches of the campaign, with Espanyol letting in 23 goals and keeping just three clean sheets, which leaves them joint-bottom in the defensive stats alongside Levante, who sit in the relegation zone.

Espanyol have shown promise in front of goal though, scoring 14 goals while only failing to find the back of the net in three fixtures this campaign. Perez's goals against Malaga last time out leave him with three in his last two appearances.

Discipline has also hampered Espanyol in recent weeks, as the team have picked up more yellow cards than any other side in La Liga so far this season, with 44 bookings. Three players have also seen red this season - only Rayo Vallecano have had more players sent off.

Recent form: LWLDLW
Recent form (all competitions): WLDLWW


Team News

Gabi for Atletico Madrid on October 4, 2014© Getty Images

Gabi will be absent for the home side as he received his fifth yellow card of the season last time out, so must serve a one-match suspension.

Jackson Martinez's involvement is also in doubt as he is yet to play since injuring his ankle while on international duty with Colombia earlier this month, although he is thought to be close to a return.

Espanyol also have a player suspended, as Victor Sanchez's booking last weekend rules him out of this fixture, while Juan Fuentes is also a doubt with an ankle sprain.

Hernan Perez and Antonio Raullo also picked up knocks last weekend, which could limit their involvement, although the former has been training, while Salva Sevilla will not make the trip after sustaining an adductor sprain.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak, Godin, Luis, Savic, Games, Tiago, Koke, Niguez, Griezmann, Torres, Ferreria-Carrasco

Espanyol possible starting lineup:
P Lopez, Roco, J Lopez, Duarte, Alvaro, Alvarez, Diop, Perez, Asensio, Caicedo, Moreno


Head To Head

Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in their last three matches against Espanyol, sharing a goalless draw in their last meeting in March, while beating this weekend's opponents 2-0 in their meeting at Vicente Calderon last season.

Espanyol have won just once in their last seven matches at Atletico's ground, and just one of their last seven meetings overall with Simeone's team.

In 40 matches between the two sides, Atletico have won 16, while Espanyol have 13 wins.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Espanyol

With several of their key players carrying knocks ahead of a trip to one of the strongest teams in the league, Espanyol will not be expected to come away with a win. Atletico have not been the most free-scoring of teams so far this season, but they should create enough to secure the three points.



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Barcelona's Uruguayan forward Luis Suarez (L) celebrates a goal with Barcelona's Brazilian forward Neymar during the Spanish league 'Clasico' football match Real Madrid CF vs FC Barcelona at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 21, 2015.
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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