MX23RW : Sunday, June 20 12:29:42| >> :120:10842:10842:
Dec 19, 2020 at 1pm UK at Vicente Calderon Stadium
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Suarez (41', 58'), Costa (80' pen.)
Hermoso (40')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Boye (64')
Gonzalo (14'), Marcone (79'), Almiron (86')

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

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

Atletico Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways in Spain's top flight when they welcome Elche to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday afternoon.

Diego Simeone's side suffered their first La Liga defeat of the season to Real Madrid last weekend, while Elche lost 1-0 at home to Granada in their last league match on December 13.

Match preview

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Atletico would have entered last weekend's clash with Real Madrid full of confidence after an excellent start to the season, but Simeone's team suffered a 2-0 loss to their bitter rivals, with an effort from Casemiro and an own goal from Jan Oblak allowing the home side to triumph.

The Red and Whites are top of the table with 26 points from their 11 matches, though, and have three games in hand over second-placed Real Sociedad and two games in hand over third-placed Real Madrid.

A record of eight wins, two draws and one defeat in the league this season represents a brilliant start, and it will be fascinating to see whether the capital side can retain their spot at the summit in the coming months.

Atletico, who have been drawn against Chelsea in the last-16 stage of the Champions League, will finish the year with league matches against Elche, Sociedad and Getafe.

Simeone's side were also in Copa del Rey action on Wednesday night and progressed to the second round of the competition courtesy of a 3-0 victory at Cardassar.

Elche manager Jorge Almiron pictured while in charge of San Lorenzo in May 2019© Reuters

Elche, meanwhile, also booked their spot in the second round of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night courtesy of a 2-1 victory at Bunol, and the top-flight club will now be looking to bounce back from a 1-0 home defeat to Granada in the league last weekend.

Los Franjiverdes, who came through the Segunda Division playoffs to return to this level, have won three, drawn five and lost three of their 11 league matches this season to collect 14 points, which has left them down in 14th position.

The table is distorted at the moment, though, with a number of teams having games in hand; Elche, like Atletico, have only played 11 times in La Liga this term, and Jorge Almiron's side have suffered just three defeats, which is a better record than the likes of Barcelona and Sevilla.

Elche are without a win in the league since October 23, though, and drew four straight matches with Celta Vigo, Levante, Cadiz and Villarreal before losing at home to Granada.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form: WWWWWL
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): WDWWLW

Elche La Liga form: LDDDDL
Elche form (all competitions): DDDDLW

Team News

Atletico Madrid defender Jose Gimenez pictured in August 2020© Reuters

Atletico will again be without the services of Jose Gimenez, Diego Costa and Manu Sanchez through injury, while Hector Herrera picked up a thigh issue in the Madrid derby last weekend and is unavailable for selection.

Simeone could revert to a back four on Saturday, with Marcos Llorente and Yannick Carrasco likely to feature in the wide areas, and Luis Suarez and Joao Felix continuing at the tip of the attack.

Saul Niguez returned to the starting XI against Cardassar in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday and should retain his spot, while Mario Hermoso is likely to be given the nod over Renan Lodi at left-back.

As for Elche, Guido Carrillo is out until January with a knee problem, but the visitors are otherwise in good shape heading into the clash at the Wanda Metropolitano.

There are not expected to be many surprises in the away side's starting XI on Saturday, with Pere Milla and Tete Morente again likely to support Lucas Boye in the final third of the field.

Head coach Almiron rung the changes for Wednesday's Copa del Rey clash, but the likes of Raul Guti and Ivan Marcone should be back in the side for this match.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Hermoso; Llorente, Koke, Saul, Carrasco; L Suarez, Felix

Elche possible starting lineup:
Badia; Barragan, Verdu, Gonzalez, Josema; Guti, Marcone, Fidel; Morente, Boye, Milla

SM words green background

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Elche

Atletico will be determined to return to winning ways in La Liga after the loss to Real Madrid, and we are finding it difficult to back against Simeone's side on Saturday. Elche have proved difficult to beat this season, but the home side should have enough to pick up all three points in relatively routine fashion.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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