MX23RW : Sunday, July 25 07:18:52| >> :600:142705:142705:
Nov 10, 2019 at 3pm UK at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid)
Attendance: 53,069
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
Correa (45'), Morata (59'), Koke (92')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Darder (38')

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

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

Atletico Madrid will be looking to return to winning ways on Sunday afternoon when they welcome a struggling Espanyol side to the Wanda Metropolitano in Spain's top flight.

Diego Simeone's side are without a victory in their last three matches in all competitions, but the capital giants are just one point off the top of La Liga and will fancy their chances of overcoming 19th-placed Espanyol in the Spanish capital this weekend.

Match preview

Kieran Trippier in action for Atletico Madrid on September 28, 2019© Reuters

No team has drawn more La Liga matches than Atletico this season, with Simeone's team sharing the points in six of their 12 fixtures to date. The capital side have only lost once, though, and a total of 21 points has left them in fourth spot in the table, just one point off leaders Barcelona.

Incredibly, just three points separate the top seven in La Liga, and Atletico are very much in the title race at the moment despite scoring just 12 goals in their 12 matches. They have drawn their last two in the league against Alaves and Sevilla but will enter this match off the back of a disappointing defeat.

Indeed, the Spanish side went down 2-1 away to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Wednesday night, allowing Juventus to move three points clear at the top of the group.

Atletico are still well-placed to qualify for the round of 16 as they have a four-point advantage over third-placed Lokomotiv Moscow, but the manner of the defeat against Leverkusen will surely have concerned Simeone.

The capital giants could well find themselves top of La Liga at the end of the weekend should other results go in their favour, although it is difficult to see them finishing in that position come the end of the season when considering their problems in the final third of the field.

Espanyol midfielder Marc Roca pictured in January 2019© Reuters

There is no getting away from the fact that it has been a disappointing start to the season for Espanyol, who are now under the management of Pablo Machin after David Gallego was sacked towards the start of October.

Machin has won three of his six matches in charge of the Catalan outfit, but a record of two wins, two draws and eight defeats this term has left them in 19th position in the table, just three points off the bottom.

No team has scored fewer La Liga goals - six - than Espanyol this term, which is an indication of their struggles. For a side that finished seventh in Spain's top flight last season, it has been an underwhelming start.

That said, the Catalan side are absolutely flying in the Europa League, where they have won three of their four matches to sit top of Group H; they thumped Ludogorets 6-0 on Thursday night, with that result following back-to-back league defeats to Athletic Bilbao and Valencia.

Atletico are undoubtedly the favourites heading into this weekend's contest, but Espanyol actually beat Simeone's side 3-0 when they last locked horns in the league towards the end of last season.

Atletico form: DDDWDD

Espanyol form: LLLWLL

Team News

Real Madrid's Dani Carvajal in action with Atletico Madrid's Jose Gimenez in La Liga on September 28, 2019© Reuters

Atletico still have huge problems at the back with Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez on the sidelines, meaning that Mario Hermoso and Felipe are likely to continue in central defence once again.

Kieran Trippier should return having been left out against Leverkusen, while Thomas Lemar could take the place of Diego Costa with Angel Correa joining Alvaro Morata in the final third.

Koke, Saul Niguez and Thomas Partey are likely to retain their spots, meaning that Hector Herrera and Marcos Llorente might have to accept a position on the bench once again.

Joao Felix, meanwhile, remains unavailable for Simeone's side due to an ankle problem.

As for Espanyol, Jonathan Calleri, Javi Puado and Pablo Piatti are all absent through injury, but Machin has no fresh injury concerns heading into this weekend's contest.

Sergi Darder will be among those to return having been left out of Thursday's Europa League contest, while on-loan Benfica attacker Facundo Ferreyra should get the nod in the final third of the field.

Atletico possible starting lineup: Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi; Lemar, Partey, Saul, Koke; Correa, Morata

Espanyol possible starting lineup: Lopez; Espinosa, Lopez, Naldo; Gomez, Roca, Sanchez, Vila; Darder; Ferreyra, Vargas

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Atletico 2-0 Espanyol

Atletico are unlikely to blow Espanyol away as they are just not that type of team, but we fancy the hosts to pick up three much-needed points at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday afternoon.

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

· Wave conditions permitting, surfing will make its Olympic debut (11pm-8.20am)

· Another debutant sport at this Olympics, most eyes will be on American Nyjah Huston in the men's street contest as he looks to add Olympic gold to his four world titles and 12 X-Games golds. (12.30am-5am)

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· The first swimming medals of the Games will be dished out, with home favourite Daiya Seto going for gold in the men's 400m individual medley (2.30am-4.20am)

· Lizzie Deignan is among the Team GB team looking for success in the women's road race (5am-9.30am)

· Reigning two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray starts his title defence against Canadian hotshot Felix Auger-Aliassime (7am approx.)

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