Leganes vs Atletico Madrid Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

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Second-placed Atletico Madrid square off against seventh-placed Leganes in La Liga this Saturday, as Diego Simeone's men look to continue their unbeaten start to the league campaign. 

Leganes, who participated in Spain's top flight for the first time in their history last season, will be looking to build on a solid start to the new campaign which has seen them kick on from their 17th place finish last term. 

Simeone will be hoping for an instant response from Wednesday night's last minute heartbreak against Chelsea, and will be looking to take his frustration out on Asier Garitano's side. 

Here's all the information you need ahead of the clash at the Estadio Municipal de Butarque.

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Classic Encounter


As aforementioned, Leganes only played their first La Liga campaign from the beginning of last season, so their meetings with Saturday's opponents have come few and far between, although the pair faced off four times between 2000 and 2002 when Atleti were in the Segunda Division.

It was the final meeting between the two in Spain's second division that yielded Leganes' only victory in seven against Saturday's opponents, as the 'Cucumber Growers' defeated Los Rojiblancos 2-0 at the Vicente Calderon, the latter's previous stadium. 

Leganes scored two second half goals in the space of 12 minutes to record their first and only win against Atletico, a stat that they will hope to change this weekend. Oscar Fernandez scored the first in the 62nd minute, before Pablo Villa doubled their lead in the 74th minute to cap a historic victory for Leganes. 

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Key Battle

Antoine Griezmann vs Dimitris Siovas


It goes without saying that Antoine Griezmann is one of the best forwards in the game, and Leganes' Greek international Dimitris Siovas will need to use every ounce of his vast experience to shut the Frenchman out if he hopes to earn his side anything from the game. 

Leganes have one of the stingiest backlines in La Liga so far this season, as they have only conceded three goals in six games, the second best tally along with Sevilla and behind only Barcelona. At the other end of the pitch, they have scored a meagre five goals in six games, with two of their three wins coming by one goal margins. 

In contrast, Atletico have been prolific in front of goal so far this campaign, scoring 12 goals, a tally bettered by only two teams in Barcelona and Real Sociedad, meaning Siovas will need to bring his 'A' game if Leganes are to continue their solid defensive form. Griezmann can unlock even the best of defences on his day, however, so keep an eye on the pairs' battle over the course of the game. 

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Team News


Apart from Augusto Fernandez, Simeone has a fully fit squad to choose from for his side's visit to the Estadio Municipal de Butarque this Saturday, although his team remains far from predictable after Wednesday night's Champions League exploits. 

Simeone may look to rest a few names given the three day window in which his side has to prepare for the game, so Stefan Savic may be recalled to the starting lineup alongside Luciano Vietto, who will hope to see some action after the midweek efforts of Griezmann and Angel Correa. 

For Leganes, Garitano also has a fully fit side to choose from apart from long term absentee Jon Ander Serantes, with the goalkeeper expected to be out until January. Having last played on Sunday against Las Palmas, Leganes will be fresh and raring to go with almost a week's worth of preparation under their belts. The starting lineup that saw Leganes to a 2-0 victory last Sunday should remain intact as the club in seventh place look to continue their form. 

Potential Atletico Starting Lineup: Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Lucas, Filipe Luis, Saul, Koke, Carrasco, Correa, Torres, Griezmann

Potential Leganes Starting Lineup: Cuellar, Zaldua, Siovas, Dos Santos, Raul Garcia, Perez, Syzmanowski, Darko, Gabriel, Eraso, Beauvue

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Both sides have started their campaigns in decent form and Saturday's fixture should prove to be a hard fought game, as two of the sternest defences go up against each other. 

It is hard to look past an Atletico victory, given the quality of their side both collectively and individually. Coupled with the history of the fixture, which has seen Atleti win six of the seven meetings, it is hard to argue against a win for Simeone's side. 

Additionally, Los Rojiblancos are unbeaten so far in La Liga, whilst Leganes have just one win in their last four league games, but football is a funny game which can throw up surprises whenever it pleases, so don't put your mortgage on an away win just yet. 

Prediction: Leganes 0-1 Atletico Madrid