Atletico Madrid welcome Galatasaray to the Vicente Calderon on Wednesday night in a game that could decide Atletico's faith in Europe next season. A win could see them top the group with Benfica faced with the daunting task of traveling to Astana in Kazakstan earlier in the day.
Atletico's goal was, and remains, finishing atop their group in order to avoid some of the better teams in the competition so they can concentrate on a sustained title challenge in La Liga. A loss to Galatasaray would not only put their chance of finishing first in jeopardy but would leave their Champions League involvement hanging by a thread. They carry a decent spell in domestic competition into the game having not been beaten in the last six games in Spain.
New management and new expectations
Hamza Hamzaoglu left the club by mutual consent last week and Brazilian Taffarel has taken over the reins at the club. The Turkish side will be without Burak Yilmaz and Seljuk Inan while Hamit Altintop is doubtful with a knee injury.
Atletico buoyed by Juanfran return
Jackson Martinez remains sidelined with an ankle injury picked up on international duty with Colombia. Juanfran has trained for the second consecutive day having recovered from the muscular tear picked up on international duty with Spain. Koke appears to be returning to form following a spell out with a hamstring injury. His goal against Real Betis was enough to secure all three points for los Rojiblancos and his performance on Wednesday night will be crucial to Simeone's men getting all three points.
Home: Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godin, Luis, Gabi, Tiago, Carrasco, Koke, Griezmann, Torres
Away: Muslera, Balta, Kaya, Adin, Denayer, Oztekin, Colak, Sneijder, Podolski, Rodriguez, Sarioglu
TV: Setanta Sports 1, Bt Sports, beIN Sports (Spain),
Online: BT Sport Extra, Fox Soccer 2GO (USA),
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