By 90Min
May 03, 2019

Second-placed Atletico Madrid visit Espanyol on Saturday afternoon knowing anything other than defeat will confirm their position as runners-up in La Liga this season.

With Barcelona securing the title last weekend, all Atletico have to play for is the chance to finish above their cross-city rivals, Real Madrid, for the second season in succession.

Atleti are nine points ahead of Real with just three games to go and appear certain to retain their place in the table, with Simeone's side also having a better goal difference than Los Blancos.

They will want to confirm it with victory on Saturday, however, and here is how Atletico could line up at the RCDE Stadium.


Goalkeeper & Defenders

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages

Jan Oblak (GK) - The Slovenian shot-stopper is a key reason behind Atletico having the best defensive record in La Liga this season and has developed into one of the best 'keepers in the world.

Santiago Arias (RB) - Came into the side in place of regular right back Juanfran against Real Valladolid last week and performed well as they kept a clean sheet. Should have done enough to retain his position in the team.

Stefan Savic (CB) - The Montenegro defender is set to start in the heart of the back four once again, with Uruguay centre half, Jose Gimenez, still expected to be unavailable.

Diego Godin (CB) - The 33-year-old club captain remains as important as ever for his side and will be sorely missed by everyone associated with Atletico when he moves on the summer.

Filipe Luis (LB) - The former Chelsea defender has had an excellent campaign for Simeone's side and remains a regular starter despite being in his mid-thirties. Could leave the club at the end of the season.


Midfielders

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Koke (RM) - The Spanish international remains a key part Simeone's squad having been at the club his entire career. The 27-year-old is set to replace Godin as captain next season and his work-rate, coupled with his quality on the ball, makes him one of the club's standout performers.

Thomas Partey (CM) - The Ghanian midfielder was replaced at half time by Rodri in the victory over Valladolid last weekend but could keep his place in the side to add some defensive solidity.

Saul Niguez (CM) - The 24-year-old has expressed his unhappiness at being forced to play out of position at left back this season and, despite signing a contract until 2026 two years ago, there are claims he could leave the club - with Manchester United reportedly keen. The Spain international has started in the centre of midfield in recent weeks and played well, so should keep his place.

Thomas Lemar (LM) - The World Cup winner is gradually becoming one of the club's most potent attacking threats in Spain, having taken time to settle in Madrid. Will need to add to his tally of three goals this season though if he is to justify his €60m transfer fee.


Forwards

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/GettyImages

Antoine Griezmann (ST) - The club's star man is once again their top scorer with 19 goals, however, rumours that the Frenchman wants to leave have been circulating again with the 28-year-old not pleased that they will end the campaign trophy-less. A move to Barcelona, which he turned down last summer, may be a possibility once more.

Alvaro Morata (ST) - Despite only joining Atletico in January he is already their second-highest goalscorer, having netted six times since his arrival. The Spain striker has built up a strong partnership with Griezmann and, with Diego Costa suspended for the rest of the season, he should remain in the team for the final three games.

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