By 90Min
December 21, 2018

Third place Atletico Madrid host Espanyol going into Saturday's La Liga game only three points off league leaders Barcelona and level on points with second place Sevilla.

Los Rojiblancos head into the fixture having not lost since the beginning of September, when they were defeated 2-0 at Celta Vigo.

CESAR MANSO/GettyImages

Espanyol, on the other hand, sit in 11th in La Liga and are without victory in the division since October 21.

Check out 90min's preview of the game below.


Where to Watch

When Is Kick Off? Saturday December 22
What Time Is Kick Off? 15:15 (BST)
Where Is it Played? Wanda Metropolitano
TV Channel/Live Stream? Eleven Sports



Team News

Diego Costa remains out following surgery so it is likely that Nikola Kalinic will start in his place.

In defence, Atletico Madrid will be missing World Cup winner Lucas Hernandez, Filipe Luis and Jose Maria Gimenez, so versatile midfielder Saul Niguez could fill in at left-back.

TF-Images/GettyImages

For Espanoyl, they will be without key central defender Mario Hermoso who is out with an ankle problem.


They have no other injury concerns to worry about, which will hopefully stand them in good stead as they look to overcome their shocking run of form.


Predicted Lineups

Atletico Madrid Oblak; Niguez, Godin, Savic, Arias, Lemar, Partey, Rodrigo, Koke, Kalinic, Griezmann 
Espanyol Lopez; Vila, Duarte, Lopez, Lopez, Sanchez, Roca, Darder, Garcia, Iglesias, Baptistao



Head to Head Record

Espanyol hold the record of being the only side, so far, to have won at the Wanda Metropolitano in a La Liga match, having triumphed there 2-0 back in May.

PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/GettyImages

They boast an impressive record against Los Rojiblancos and beat them in Barcelona 1-0 last year as well, completely an unlikely league double.


Recent Form

Atletico head into the match against their supposed 'bogey team' in fine form, securing their place in the Champions League knockout stages and sitting just three points of La Liga leaders Barcelona.

In their most recent outing, Nikola Kalinic sealed all three points with an 80th minute strike in a 3-2 victory away at Real Valladolid.

CESAR MANSO/GettyImages

For Espanyol, they are on a rotten run of five straight league defeats, their most recent being a 3-1 home loss against Real Betis.

Here's how each team has performed in their last five fixtures:

Atletico Madrid Espanyol
Real Valladolid 2-3 Atletico (15/12) Espanyol 1-3 Real Betis (16/12)
Club Brugge 0-0 Atletico (11/12) Espanyol 0-4 Barcelona (08/12)
Atletico 3-0 Alaves (08/12) Espanyol 1-0 Cadiz (04/12)
Atletico 4-0 Sant Andreu (05/12) Getafe 3-0 Espanyol (01/12)
Girona 1-1 Atletico (02/12) Espanyol 1-3 Girona (25/11)

Prediction

While Atletico don't have an excellent record against Espanyol, on paper this should be nothing more than a routine victory. With Espanyol on a run of five straight league defeats and Atletico Madrid vying for the title, it's tough to look past a side that are so strong at home.

TF-Images/GettyImages

They will want a more inspired performance than recent their 0-0 draw away in the Champions League against Club Brugge, but in front of their supporters this should be a banker.

Prediction: Atletico Madrid 2-0 Espanyol

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