Atletico Madrid host Leganes in La Liga on Saturday at the Wanda Metropolitano with both sides looking to build on recent victories.
Los Rojiblancos continued their recent rich vein of form last week by winning their fourth consecutive game in all competitions as a double from Alvaro Morata clinched all three points against Real Sociedad.
Diego Simeone's side could move within four points of leaders Barcelona with a victory on Saturday, yet the Argentine manager may opt to shuffle the pack ahead of their Champions League tie with Juventus next Tuesday.
Another day, another session ahead of #AtletiLeganés completed! ✅— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 7, 2019
⚽ We can't wait for Saturday!
Click here to see all the snaps of Thursday's training session! https://t.co/hUTuq3rjc2#AúpaAtleti #AtletiLeganés pic.twitter.com/76zenM1inx
Leganes moved up to 11th in the league standings last week after beating Levante 1-0 via a goal from Real Madrid loanee Oscar Arnaiz.
With La Liga being incredibly competitive this season, a win could see Los Pepineros move as high as eighth yet a defeat may see them drop as low as 15th.
Anything other than a win for Atletico on Saturday could all-but end their slim hopes of a first Spanish title since 2014 whilst Leganes will be hoping for a positive result to boost their hopes of European football next season.
Check out 90min's preview for the game below:
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 9th March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||15:15 (BST)|
|Where Is It Being Played?||Wanda Metropolitano Stadium|
|TV Channel/ Live |
|Not Available in UK|
Atletico will be without Koke and Diego Godin for Saturday's clash as both players are suspended for the fixture, while Filipe Luis is unlikely to feature after suffering a muscular injury earlier this week.
Forward Diego Costa and defender Lucas Hernandez are also doubted, but Santiago Arias and Stefan Savic could both return to the starting XI for Simeone's side.
Leganes will make the short trip to the Wanda Metropolitano without long-term absentees Ezequiel Munoz and Alexander Szymanowski who hasn't featured for the club for fourteen months.
Top scorer Youssef En-Nesyri is likely to return to the starting XI for Mauricio Pellegrino's side having missed last week's game due to suspension.
|Atletico Madrid||Oblak; Juanfran, Gimenez, Savic, Arias; Lemar, Saul, Rodri,|
Correa; Morata, Griezmann.
|Leganes||Cuellar; Reyes, Omeruo, Siovas; Nyom, Arnaiz, Perez, Recio,|
Kravets; Carrillo, En-Nesyri.
Head to Head Record
Atletico and Leganes have met on five previous occasions in La Liga with Los Rojiblancos yet to taste defeat in the fixture in Spain's top flight division, winning twice and drawing the other three games.
The reverse fixture between the two sides in November ended in a 1-1 draw as Antoine Griezmann's goal was cancelled out by a late equaliser from Guido Carrillo.
A victory for Los Pepineros on Saturday would see them complete a historic treble of wins in a single season, having already defeated Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Atletico Madrid have recovered well from losing 3-1 to rivals Real Madrid in February, winning four games in a row which has seen them move five points clear of their city rivals.
Known around the world for their superb defensive set-up, Los Rojiblancos have kept a remarkable total of 18 clean sheets this season and will back themselves to add to their tally at the weekend.
Leganes have been in good form in recent weeks, winning three of their last five in La Liga which includes victories over Real Betis, Levante and Rayo Vallecano.
Having conceded 31 goals this season, Pellegrino's side will have to be wary of the dangers that their opponents possess if they are to achieve a positive result at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Here is how both sides have fared in their last five league fixtures:
|Real Sociedad 0-2 Atletico Madrid (03/03)||Leganes 1-0 Levante (04/03)|
|Atletico Madrid 2-0 Villarreal (24/02)||Leganes 1-1 Valencia (24/02)|
|Rayo Vallecano 0-1 Atletico Madrid (16/02)||Real Sociedad 3-0 Leganes (16/02)|
|Atletico Madrid 1-3 Real Madrid (09/02)||Leganes 3-0 Real Betis (10/02)|
|Real Betis 1-0 Atletico Madrid (03/02)||Ray Vallecano 1-2 Leganes (04/02)|
Although they would be forgiven by their supporters for prioritising Tuesday's fixture with Juventus, Simeone will not let Atletico get away with a poor result at home against Leganes whilst there is still a small chance of winning La Liga this season.
The form of Alvaro Morata since joining Los Rojiblancos in January on loan from Chelsea has been very impressive, and he will be confident of adding to his tally of three goals for the club on Saturday.
Leganes are enjoying a much better campaign this year compared to last season where they narrowly escaped relegation and may fancy their chances of taking something away from the Wanda Metropolitano.
However, when you factor in Los Pepineros' dismal away record (two wins, eight losses) and combine it with the fact that Atletico have won ten of their 13 home games this season, Pellegrino's side face an almighty task at the weekend.
Atletico will ultimately prove to be too good for Leganes and claim a victory which will keep their dreams of an 11th Spanish title alive.
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Leganes