By 90Min
December 15, 2017

Atletico welcome Alaves to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday as they look to extend their unbeaten run this La Liga campaign.

Los Rojiblancos crashed out of the Champions League group stages after a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge and will now focus their attention on their league campaign until they enter Europa League action next year.

Simeone's men currently sit third in La Liga behind Barcelona and Valencia and will look to close in on the leaders in the coming weeks. Alaves, meanwhile, are on a good run of form as of late, winning their last two games, including a last minute win over Girona.

Although striker Antoine Griezmann will likely miss the clash on the weekend, his side have a good chance of narrowing the gap between the top three and will look to seize the opportunity.

Here's everything you need to now going into the fixture:


Classic Encounter

David Ramos/GettyImages

The two sides shared a thrilling encounter during the beginning of last season as they clashed in a heated 1-1 draw.

Atletico dominated the game for the most part, creating 27 chances in comparison to two created by Alaves. The home side were therefore over the moon when Kevin Gameiro slotted home in the 93rd minute to put his side up by one goal.

However, in a shocking turn of events, Alaves were able to pull the game level just two minutes later through Manu Garcia, to ensure his side get their share of the spoils. 

The home crowd were left stunned as they saw their side take complete control of the game but fall short of expectations.


Key Battles


Saul vs Ibai Gómez

Aitor Alcalde/GettyImages

Ibai Gomez and Saul Niguez are two men on fire as of late. The former has scored four goals in his last two games, including a hat-trick in his side's stunning win over Girona, whereas the latter bagged himself a goal against English champions Chelsea in the Champions League and Real Betis in La Liga.


Both men will be pivotal in their teams success this weekend and will be hungry to get their names on the scoresheet.


The game may well come down to the contributions of both players going forward and it will be a key dual to watch as the game goes on.


Team News

IAN KINGTON/GettyImages

Antoine Griezmann will likely be sidelined for the encounter as he picked up an injury against Chelsea in the Champions League and missed out on their last game against Real Betis. 

Griezmann will be sitting on the bench after picking up a minor hamstring injury against the Conte's side and will likely be replaced by Fernando Torres.

Alaves may be without Rodrigo Ely who is suffering from muscular problems and missed out on their last game.


Predicted Atletico Madrid Lineup: Oblak, Vrsaljko, Savic, Godìn, Luis; Partey, Niguez, Gabi, Koke; Torres, Correa.

Predicted Alaves Lineup: Pacheco, Martin, Alexis, Maripan, Duarte; Gomez, Pina, Garcia, Pedraza; Munir, Bojan


Prediction

ANDER GILLENEA/GettyImages

Despite their good performances in recent weeks, Alaves have a huge mountain to climb if they are to end Atleti's unbeaten run. 


With Simeone's men now eliminated from the Champions League, they will focus their attention on the domestic competitions and will try as hard as they can to capture silverware.


With that being said, even in the absence of Griezmann, Atleti should be able to win comfortably at home against Alaves. 


Predicted result: Atletico Madrid 3-0 Alaves



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