MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 13:25:33| >> :120:64549:64549:
Jan 4, 2020 at 5.30pm UK at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid)
Attendance: 59,084
AtleticoAtletico Madrid
2-1
Levante
Correa (13'), Felipe (18')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Marti (16')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Levante, including team news and predicted lineups.

Atletico Madrid will be looking for their fourth straight win in all competitions when they welcome Levante to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

Diego Simeone's side are currently fourth in La Liga, seven points off leaders Barcelona, while Levante occupy ninth position with 26 points to show from their 18 league matches this term.


Match preview

Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann in action with Atletico Madrid's Alvaro Morata in La Liga on December 1, 2019© Reuters

No team in the top six has won fewer La Liga matches than Atletico (8) this season, although only Real Madrid (1) boast a better record than the Red and Whites (2) in terms of defeats.

Goals have also been an issue with just 20 scored in their 18 matches, although they once again have the best defensive record at this stage with just 11 conceded. Eight wins and eight draws have brought Simeone's team 32 points, leaving them fourth in the table heading into this weekend's clash.

Too many draws has been the story of their season thus far, but the capital giants ended 2019 with three straight wins in all competitions, two of which were in the league against Osasuna and Real Betis.

Atletico will feel that they are in the title race despite being seven points off the lead, although whether they can score enough goals to put themselves firmly in the argument remains to be seen. Joao Felix has only managed two league goals this term, while Angel Correa and Diego Costa have just four between them.

Los Rojiblancos have won three of their last four clashes with Levante, though, while they lead the overall head-to-head record 14 victories to five, which is an indication of the size of the task facing the visitors.

Levante's Nemanja Radoja celebrates scoring their third goal against Barcelona on November 2, 2019© Reuters

Levante have only won one of their last eight league meetings with Atletico, but the Valencia-based outfit held Simeone's side to a 2-2 draw when they last locked horns in May 2019.

Like Atletico, Levante also ended last year with three straight wins, overcoming Granada and Celta Vigo in the league, in addition to recording a 5-0 victory over Melilla in the Copa del Rey.

The Frogs currently sit ninth in the table with 26 points, six points off their opponents this weekend. While Atletico have been the draw specialists this term, no side in Spain's top flight has shared the points on fewer occasions than Levante (2) during the current season.

Paco Lopez's side finished 15th in the league last term but are on course to better that this time around. It has been an inconsistent campaign thus far, but in Roger Marti and Borja Mayoral, the team have two strikers who have managed 12 La Liga goals between them during the 2019-20 campaign.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form: WDLDWW
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): LLDWWW

Levante La Liga form: LWLLWW
Levante form (all competitions): WLLWWW


Team News

Diego Costa in action for Atletico Madrid on September 14, 2019© Reuters

Atletico will once again be without the services of Diego Costa following a neck operation, while the match is also expected to come too soon for key centre-back Stefan Savic.

Thomas Lemar will also miss out with a hamstring problem, while Koke and Vitolo are expected to be unavailable due to hamstring and groin problems respectively.

As a result, Hector Herrera is in line for a spot in midfield, while Correa and Felix should feature in the final third alongside the club's leading scorer this season Alvaro Morata.

As for Levante, Ruben Vezo, Oscar Duarte, Ivan Lopez and Cheick Doukoure are all still on the sidelines, while a thigh injury could rule defender Jorge Miramon out of contention.

Marti and Jose Luis Morales are expected to continue in the final third of the field, although Mayoral's late winner against Celta before the winter break could see the striker earn a spot.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Gimenez, Lodi; Saul, Thomas, Herrera, Felix; Correa, Morata

Levante possible starting lineup:
Fernandez; Coke, Cabaco, Postigo, Tono; Rochina, Campana, Radoja, Bardhi; Morales, Marti


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Levante

Levante are certainly capable of making it a tough 90 minutes for Atletico having won three of their last five on the road. It is difficult to back against Simeone's side at the Wanda Metropolitano, though, and we expect the home side to emerge victorious courtesy of a narrow success.



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Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

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