By 90Min
September 22, 2017

Atletico Madrid will be hoping they can continue their unbeaten start to the season when they take on Sevilla at their all new Wanda Metropolitano stadium, the home of the Champions League Final in 2019, on Saturday. 

Atleti currently sit third in La Liga, four points behind leaders Barcelona after their opening five clashes, which has seen a return of three wins and two draws, including an impressive away victory over Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday evening. 

ANDER GILLENEA/GettyImages

The visitors, who also remain unbeaten in La Liga after four to-nil victories in a row, may prove a tougher test for Diego Simeone's side however, after just conceding one goal in their opening five fixtures - the best defensive record in Spain's top flight. 


Both have been tipped to potentially take Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona all the way this term thanks to their squad depth and opening results, so a high quality clash is to be expected during the lunchtime kick off. 


Classic Encounter

This fixture over the years has given us some truly great encounters, however one that sticks out is Atleti's 4-3 win over Saturday's opponents 10 years ago. 

A seven-goal thriller, which was tied 2-2 at half time thanks to the opener from Maniche in the opening two minutes before Luís Fabiano grabbed his first of the night on the quarter-hour mark. 

However, just three minutes later the hosts were back in front after now-Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero was on hand to nod home and restore Madrid's lead, only for that to be cancelled out by teammate Zé Castro, who looped the ball over his own goalkeeper's head just before the break. 

Denis Doyle/GettyImages

It took until midway through the second half before Atletico retook the lead courtesy of Maxi Rodriguez, before a beautifully struck strike from Jose Jurado gave the home side a two-goal advantage less than 60 seconds after coming on as a substitute. 

Final minute nerves were then re-established inside the Vicente Calderon Stadium as Fabiano struck late on to give his side hope, but the Brazilian striker's efforts were in vain as the hosts held on to secure all three points. 


Team News

It is likely that Simeone will keep a similar team to that which overcame Athletic Bilbao at the San Mames Stadium on Wednesday. 

DESIREE MARTIN/GettyImages

Only two players still remain unavailable for the Argentine's selection, with right-back Sime Vrsaljko, who joined the Spanish capital side from Italian club Sassulo for €16m in the summer of 2016, still out with a foot injury, and central midfielder Augusto Fernandez, who remains sidelined with a muscular issue. 

Frontmen Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco will all be wary that their positions may now be under threat however, following the news of Diego Costa's return, which is expected to be finalised in January. 


Key Battles

Antoine Griezmann vs Simon Kjaer

David Ramos/GettyImages

One task that will be key for the visiting Sevilla on Saturday is attempting to keep Griezmann from influencing proceedings too much. 

The Frenchman finished as Atleti's top scorer last season, bagging 16 goals in La Liga and is already off the mark this time around, and it will be upon defender Kjaer to neutralise the dangerous attacker's ability throughout what is sure to be a difficult 90 minutes for the Dane. 

Filipe Luis vs Jesus Navas

Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

At the other end of the pitch, Madrid defender Luis is likely to endure a difficult challenge in keeping tabs on lightning-quick Navas. 


The former Manchester City winger will take on the former Chelsea left-back after notching his first goal for the season with a late winner over Las Palmas midweek. 


Prediction

It will be tough to separate the sides on Saturday, with both coming into the encounter with similarly impressive unbeaten records. 

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

However, in the past, this weekend's hosts have had the upper hand over their opposition, claiming victory in 47.8% of their meetings and just losing 21.7%, and it is hard to look past Simeone's side in this one, in what could well be the fixture of the weekend in La Liga. 

Score Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Sevilla

You May Like