Atletico Madrid continue their chase of La Liga leaders Barcelona when they take on mid table side Levante at the Wanda Metropolitano on Sunday.
Diego Simeone’s side come into the game in an impressive run of form, currently in the midst of a 15 game unbeaten league run with their last defeat coming away at Celta Vigo in September.
Their opponents are enjoying a rather successful season so far, currently sitting tenth. On the other hand, Levante’s recent form will be a cause for concern as they have not won any of their last four league outings.
Atletico will need to grab maximum points from this game in order to continue applying pressure to rivals Barcelona, who stretched their lead to five points last weekend with a 2-1 win away at Getafe after Atletico could only draw 1-1 to Sevilla at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.
For Levante, they will look to take anything from the game as, despite their seemingly comfortable league position, they only sit six points above the La Liga drop zone.
Here is 90min’s preview of the La Liga clash.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||13 January 2019|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||11:00 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Wanda Metropolitano|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports 1|
|Referee?||Eduardo Prieto Iglesias|
After receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against Sevilla, Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez will miss Sunday’s game through suspension.
Full backs Lucas Hernandez and Filipe Luis could make returns to the side after injuries, however their fitness will be a concern ahead of the game, as neither made the match day squad for the 1-1 draw against Girona in the Copa del Rey.
Former Chelsea striker Diego Costa will definitely miss out however, as the Spanish striker is recovering from a foot injury.
Visitors Levante will also have a suspension to contend with, as defender Sergio Postigo received his marching orders in their 2-2 home draw against Girona. Suspension has been a rather regular obstacle in Paco Lopez’s team selections recently, with his side receiving two red cards in their last four La Liga games.
Midfielder Samu Garcia could return to the squad for the game after a knee injury, however he was not in the squad for Thursday’s Spanish Cup clash with Barcelona.
Striker Armando Sadiku is still out with a long term knee injury, however is hoping to return for the Frogs in February.
|Atletico Madrid||Obla; Arias, Godin, Savic, Juanfran; Koke, Rodri, Partey, Lemar; Griezmann, Correa.|
|Levante||Olazabal; Coke, Cabaco, Pier; Jason, Rochina, Campana, Bardhi, Tono; Marti, Morales.|
Head to Head Record
The last match between the two sides came nine months ago at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Atletico ran out comfortable 3-0 winners thanks to goals by Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann and Atletico legend Fernando Torres.
The reverse fixture was a lot more comfortable for Atletico as they defeated Levante 5-0 at the Cuitat de Valencia.
Levante have to go back 13 years for their last win away to Atletico, which came via a 1-0 success in the fourth round of the Copa del Rey.
Atletico Madrid have only lost one league game this season, however it is the eight draws which they have amassed during the campaign which has left them trailing Barcelona at the top of La Liga.
In their last league game, Antoine Griezmann’s spectacular free kick at the Mestalla helped to cancel out Wissam Ben Yedder’s opener for Valencia. They also drew during the week away at Girona, with Antoine Griezmann finding the net again during the Spanish Cup tie.
The Wanda Metropolitano is a fortress for Atletico, with Simeone’s side yet to lose a game in front of their fans this season in all competitions.
Levante have gone four games without a win, but possibly even more concerning about their loss of form will be the 13 goals they have conceded during those four games, including four against Eibar and five against Barcelona.
|Girona 1-1 Atletico Madrid (9/1)||Levante 2-2 Girona (4/1)|
|Sevilla 1-1 Atletico Madrid (6/1)||Rayo Vallecano 2-1 Levante (23/12)|
|Atletico Madrid 1-0 Espanyol (22/12)||Levante 0-5 Barcelona (16/12)|
|Real Valladolid 2-3 Atletico Madrid (15/12)||Eibar 4-4 Levante (9/12)|
|Club Brugge 0-0 Atletico Madrid (11/12)||Levante 2-0 Lugo (6/12)|
There will be no upset at the Wanda Metropolitana. Levante’s defensive vulnerabilities will be exposed by Atletico’s concise attackers and an in-form Antoine Griezmann.
Atletico Madrid will also keep a clean sheet, despite somewhat of a selection dilemma in the full back areas.