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Preview: Atletico welcome 2016 at the Calderon versus Levante

Atletico will aim to start 2016 the same way as they finished 2015 as they welcome Levante to the Calderon

Denis Doyle/Getty Images

The Vicente Calderón will host the first fixture of the New Year when Atletico and Levante face each other on Saturday night. Los Colchoneros could only carry out one training session on the morning of New Year's eve following their 2-0 victory over Rayo Vallecano on the 28th and so we have little info as to who will start their first game of the new year.

Levante are currently sitting last in La Liga and were defeated in their last match against Malaga in the Ciudad de Levante Stadium. In addition, they have to make changes due to some important absences: Pedro Lopez, Simao Mate and Deyverson (top scorer with 4 goals) won't be able to play the match.

Gabi and Filipe back to the squad

Simeone will have Gabi and Filipe Luis back for the game at the Calderon to ring in 2016. Both were suspended and not available for the game in Vallecas. In principle, both of them will be in the starting XI. The captain would occupy the "5" position in the 4-3-3 that has become the habitual style of Simeone's team, joining Koke and presumably Saul in the 3-man midfield.

On the other hand, Augusto Fernandez and Matias Kranevitter, who were present at the last training session the team held, won't be able to make their debuts in the rojiblanca jersey until, at least, the Copa del Rey match against Rayo. Both Argentinian midfielders won't be entered into Atletico's competitive squads until the transfer window opens on January 4th. Furthermore, Cholo has already confirmed that Kranevitter leaving the team on loan is not a possibility.

Still some unknowns

The Argentinian coach gave no clues away on what who will be the eleven men to start the game. He did not make any reference to the team or tactics in the last press conference he offered before the fixture.

Jackson Martinez, however, left some good feelings and an assist for Griezmann in the first match after his injury recovery. Besides this, it is unknown if he is ready to be in the starting XI but Fernando Torres has struggled when starting and it might be time for the Colombian to be given the starter's jersey.

Diego Simeone; substitutions last time out had a major swing in how the game turned out. Thomas was part of the build-up that completely changed the game and Correa transformed that build-up into a brilliant first goal. Both players fulfilled their roles but the manager could continue using them as substitute options.

Possible XI: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Filipe Luis; Gabi, Koke, Saúl(?); Griezmann, Carrasco, Torres(?).

Simeone´s squad

In: Oblak, Moyá, Godín, Giménez, Savic, Juanfran, Gámez, Thomas, Saúl, Koke, Carrasco, Correa, Griezmann, Luciano Vietto, Jackson and Torres.

Out: Lucas, Siqueira, Óliver (Tactical), and Tiago (injury).