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Las Palmas-Atlético Madrid: Copa del Rey Preview

Atleti will look to gain the upper hand in the first leg on Gran Canaria

Club Atletico de Madrid v UD Las Palmas - La Liga Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Las Palmas’ unbeaten home record will be put to the test Tuesday, as the mid-table side hosts Atlético Madrid in the first leg of their Copa del Rey last 16 showdown.

Las Palmas had a good first half to the 2016/17 season and sit comfortably in 10th. Atlético, on the other hand, are a disappointing sixth after being hailed as title contenders before the season.

Las Palmas defeated second division side Huesca in the round of 32 by a 4-3 aggregate. The first leg clash away from home was a 2-2 draw, but Quique Setién’s charges edged a 2-1 win at home in the second leg to guarantee a place in the round of 16.

Atlético brushed aside third tier side CD Guijuelo in the Round of 32. It was quite comfortable for the team from Madrid, as reflected in the 10-1 aggregate score.

Head-to-head stats

  • Atlético have defeated Las Palmas in each of the past five meetings between the two in all competitions.
  • Las Palmas haven’t scored in its last four meetings with Atletico Madrid.

The teams already met once this season, at the Vicente Calderón in Dec. 17, but Atleti had to work for a 1-0 win that day.

Prediction

Are los colchoneros going through a mini-crisis? Perhaps. Atleti lost twice in its four matches before the Christmas break, both losses coming away from home. This is not normal for a team that was equally strong in both home and away matches last season. Las Palmas are no pushovers and are unbeaten at home this term. It strikes me as unlikely that the Canary Islands side picks a win here, but even without Kevin-Prince Boateng, the hosts have got what it takes to hold Atleti to a draw here.