By 90Min
March 07, 2018

Atlético Madrid host Lokomotiv Moscow in the Europa League on Thursday evening, as they look to get one foot into the quarter finals of the competition.

The two teams meet in the first leg of their last 16 tie, and will be looking to field full-strength squads with plenty at stake in this tie.

Lokomotiv Moscow sit seven points clear at the top of their domestic league, and have just returned from their winter break.

Meanwhile, Atlético are second in La Liga and are coming into this game off the back of a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.


Classic Encounter

DIMA KOROTAYEV/GettyImages

The two teams have only ever met each other one before. This was an exciting 3-3 draw in the UEFA Cup back in October 2007.

Sergio Agüero opened the scoring for Atlético, before Diniyar Bilyaletdinov equalised to send them teams in level at the break.

Diego Forlan restored Atlético's lead just two minutes into the second half. before two goals just after the hour mark from Peter Odemwingie put the Russian hosts into a 3-2 lead.

Five minutes from time, Agüero - currently of Manchester City - fired home to level the scores at 3-3.


Key Battle


Antoine Griezmann & Diego Costa vs Solomon Kvirkvelia & Nemanja Pejčinović.

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

The partnership of Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa is a frightening prospect for any central defender in world football.

Griezmann has scored 20 goals in 34 games so far this season, and is on fine form. He scored all four goals in his side's 4-0 victory over Leganes at the end of February.

Meanwhile, Costa has scored five goals in 10 games for Atlético.

They find themselves up against dominant Lokomotiv Moscow pairing Solomon Kvirkvelia (6ft 5in) and Nemanja Pejčinović (6ft 1in). Lokomotiv Moscow have the second best defensive record in the Russian Premier League.


Team News

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Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone will only be missing one player for this tie, as midfielder Stefan Savic is ruled out through injury.

Juanfran and Ángel Correa are set for a return to the starting eleven, after they both missed Atlético's 1-0 defeat to Barcelona on Sunday.

Meanwhile, for Lokomotiv Moscow, Jefferson Farfan is an injury doubt for manager Yuri Semin. Luckily though, the rest of their squad are in full fitness as the squad have just reunited following their winter break.

Predicted Atlético Madrid lineup: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Luis; Saúl, Thomas, Koke, Correa; Griezmann, Costa.


Predicted Lokomotiv Moscow lineup: Guilherme; Ignatyev, Kvirkvelia, Pejcinovic, Rybus; Kolomeytsev, Denisov; Miranchuk, Miranchuk, Fernandes; Ari.


Prediction

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Despite Lokomotiv Moscow reaching this stage in the competition, and leading their domestic league, it looks (on paper at least) as if Atlético Madrid will simply have too much firepower in their attack for Lokomotiv Moscow to deal with on Thursday evening.

Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa are on fine form, and have struck up a strong partnership since the turn of the year.

Prediction: Atlético Madrid 2-0 Lokomotiv Moscow.


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