Atlético Madrid host Basque giants Athletic Club at Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night as Los Rojiblancos aim to build from their midweek success against Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League.
Gaizka Garitano will be hoping his Bilbao side can put a disappointing draw at home to Real Valladolid behind them as Los Leones could potentially leapfrog their Madrid counterparts with a win against Bilbao on Saturday.
Diego Simeone's Atlético desperately need a win to keep up with Barcelona after drawing their last three La Liga games against city rivals Real Madrid, Real Valladolid and Valencia, with their latest fixture resulting in a 1-1 draw against Albert Celades' ten man Valencia.
With Ernesto Valverde's Barcelona currently setting the pace in La Liga, three points are vital as Simeone continues his bid to earn Atlético their first league title since the 2013/14 season.
Check out 90min's preview for Saturday's fixture below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 26 October|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||20:00 (BST)|
|Where Is It Played?||Wanda Metropolitano|
|TV Channel/Live Stream||Premier Sports 1|
|Referee?||Alejandro Hernandez (SPA)|
Los Colchoneros will have to manage without star man João Félix, as the 19-year-old star is out until early November with a sprained ankle. Centre back Stefan Savić (muscle injury) and Croatian right-back Sime Vrsaljko (knee) also remain sidelined for Saturday's fixture.
Bilbao have a few injury concerns of their own coming into this match. Left back Yuri Berchiche is expected to be fit, but right winger Ibai Gómez may miss out with a groin problem.
|Atlético Madrid||Oblak; Trippier, Giménez, Hermoso, Lodi; Koke, Saul, Thomas, Lemar; Costa, Morata.|
|Athletic Bilbao||Simón; Capa, Álvarez, Martínez, Balenziaga; Vesga, García; de Marcos, García, Muniain; Williams.|
Head to Head Record
Atlético Madrid and Athletic Club have played each other 48 times in La Liga, with Atlético recording 27 wins to Bilbao's 14 wins. There have also been seven draws between the two sides, but none have come in the previous five fixtures.
Prior to losing 2-0 in their last game against Athletic, Atlético were unbeaten in 13 consecutive meetings against the Basque side. Three of the last five encounters have produced over 2.5 goals, with both teams getting on the scoresheet. The last Athletic victory in Madrid was back in 2011, with Atlético winning all nine games since then.
Whilst the two sides share the best defensive record in La Liga, conceding only five goals each from their opening nine games, Simeone and Garitano are finding goals at the other end of the pitch equally as hard to come by.
Having said that, Atlético remain unbeaten in their last eight games in all competitions, with their only defeat this season coming in a 2-0 defeat away to another Basque side, Real Sociedad.
If you thought Atlético's goalscoring form was poor, only four players have scored for Athletic this season. Raúl García is their top goalscorer with four goals so far this campaign, whilst Iñaki Williams has two, with Iker Muniain and Aritz Aduriz scoring one apiece.
Athletic are also without a win since 22 September, when they beat Alavés 2-0 at San Mamés, and will be eager to get something from Saturday's fixture.
With that said, here is how both sides have fared in their previous five matches.
|Atlético Madrid||Athletic Club|
|Atlético Madrid 1-0 Bayer Leverkusen (22/10)||Athletic Club 1-1 Real Valladolid (20/10)|
|Atlético Madrid 1-1 Valencia (19/10)||Celta Vigo 1-0 Athletic Club (06/10)|
|Real Valladolid 0-0 Atlético Madrid (06/10)||Athletic Club 0-1 Valencia (28/09)|
|Lokomotiv Moscow 0-2 Atlético Madrid (01/10)||Leganes 1-1 Athletic Cub (25/09)|
|Atlético Madrid 0-0 Real Madrid (28/09)||Athletic Club 2-0 Alavés (22/09)|
While all three points are pivotal for both sides, however the strength in depth, as well as defensive discipline of Simeone's side should be enough to see off the competition.
Despite top goalscorer Félix being sidelined and Atlético in poor goalscoring form, the attacking presence of Thomas Lemar, Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata should be enough to emerge victorious over Athletic Club.
A win is vital Atlético Madrid if they are to stand a chance at winning their 11th La Liga title, even with Barcelona only three points ahead of them.
Athletic Club need to produce a big performance on Saturday to get a result, seeing as they have not gained a point away to Madrid since 2011.