MX23RW : Wednesday, June 16 17:45:35| >> :60:1259:1259:
Sep 21, 2019 at 5.30pm UK at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid)
Attendance: 57,597
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Celta Vigo

Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Celta Vigo - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Celta Vigo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Atletico Madrid will be looking for their fourth La Liga win of the 2019-20 campaign when they welcome Celta Vigo to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

Diego Simeone's side have collected nine points from their four league games this season to sit second, while Celta are 16th in the table with four points to show from as many matches.

Match preview

Atletico Madrid's Hector Herrera celebrates scoring their second goal with teammates against Juventus on September 18, 2019© Reuters

All in all, it has been a positive start to the season for Atletico. The capital giants won their first three league fixtures against Getafe, Leganes and Eibar to top the table with an 100% record. Simeone's side would have been looking for another win at Real Sociedad last weekend, but the home side recorded a 2-0 success.

The loss at Sociedad was a huge disappointment, and Atletico actually fell two goals behind against Juventus in their Champions League group opener on Wednesday night. The Spanish side showed huge character to respond, though, and ultimately claimed a point as Hector Herrera levelled in the final minute.

Nine points is enough for second spot in La Liga heading into this weekend's fixtures, with Sevilla top of the pile on 10 points. Real Madrid are third with eight, while the champions Barcelona sit fifth having only collected seven points during an underwhelming start to their title defence.

Atletico have lost just one of their last 22 home fixtures, keeping 14 clean sheets in the process. There might have been a huge turnaround over the summer in terms of players, but Simeone's work ethic is still clear to see, and it would not be a surprise to see the capital outfit launch a serious challenge for the title.

The next seven days might reveal an awful lot about the team as they face Celta and Mallorca in quick succession before welcoming Real Madrid to the Wanda Metropolitano for the capital derby next Saturday.

Real Madrid's Luka Modric in action against Celta Vigo in La Liga on August 17, 2019© Reuters

One win, one draw and two defeats - that is how Celta have performed in their opening four matches of the 2019-20 La Liga campaign. A total of four points has left them in 16th position, but they are only three points off fifth-placed Barcelona, suggesting that the league table does not mean too much at this stage.

Celta started their new league season with a 3-1 home defeat to Real Madrid, before recording an impressive 1-0 win over Valencia one week later. Fran Escriba's side then drew 1-1 against Sevilla before suffering a 2-0 loss at home to Granada last weekend.

A return of four points is not exactly terrific, but in Real Madrid, Sevilla and now Atletico, Celta would have arguably faced three of the best four teams in the league in their opening five matches.

There is once again huge pressure on Iago Aspas to score the goals this season; the 32-year-old has been absolutely full of them in recent years but is yet to get off the mark during the 2019-20 campaign.

Celta suffered a 2-0 defeat in the corresponding La Liga clash last season, but the Sky Blues did overcome Simeone's side on home soil in the reverse match. That said, not since June 2007 have the Celts managed to beat Atletico in the Spanish capital.

Atletico Madrid form: WWWLD

Celta Vigo form: LWDDL

Team News

Joao Felix in action for Atletico Madrid on July 31, 2019© Reuters

Atletico will once again be without the services of Alvaro Morata due to a knee problem, meaning that Diego Costa and Joao Felix should continue as the front two.

It would certainly not be a surprise to see Simeone shuffle his pack following the energy-zapping clash with Juve, meaning that the likes of Vitolo, Angel Correa and Hector Herrera are all pushing for starts.

Marcos Llorente will also be hoping for a spot in the middle of the park, although it seems likely that Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey will continue their partnership.

Celta, meanwhile, are hopeful that Rafinha will be fit to make his second debut for the club against Atletico with the on-loan Barca midfielder battling to overcome a calf problem.

The hosts will be without Jorge Saenz and Fran Beltran through suspension, though, with the pair both sent off in the defeat to Granada last week.

David Costas and Juan Hernandez are still injured, meanwhile, which is an indication of Escriba's selection problems heading into Saturday's clash at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Denis Suarez and Santi Mina should both keep their spots in attacking pistons, although Pione Sisto is another option for the Sky Blues.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup: Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Lodi; Vitolo, Saul, Thomas, Koke; Costa, Felix

Celta Vigo possible starting lineup: Blanco; Mallo, Aidoo, Araujo, Olaza; Denis S, Lobotka, Rafinha, Mendez; Mina, Aspas

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Celta Vigo

Celta have had a free week to prepare for this match, but the same cannot be said for Atletico after their demanding clash with Juve. It is difficult to back against Simeone's side at the Wanda Metropolitano, though, and we are expecting a fairly routine home victory on Saturday night.

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Atletico Madrid's Joao Felix in action against Real Madrid in the International Champions Cup on July 26, 2019
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