The Catalans may sit a disappointing 16th in the table, but they made life difficult for Atlético last season, drawing 0-0 at the Vicente Calderón and dropping a 1-0 decision at home. Atleti, though, will be favored to end 2017 unbeaten in LaLiga and can ensure they’re still second when 2018 rolls around with a victory.
At training this week, Simeone has preached incisive passing and quick decision making to his players, knowing that the hosts will muck up the game and leave very little space in which to operate. It’s also essential that Atlético contain all-action forward Gerard Moreno, who has scored seven of Espanyol’s 13 league goals.
El Cholo isn’t expected to make wholesale changes to his XI. Fernando Torres will likely slide in for the ineffective Kévin Gameiro, while a now-fit Juanfran could get a run out before the end of the year.
Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savić, Godín, Filipe Luís; Thomas, Koke, Saúl, Gabi; Griezmann, Torres.
Espanyol 0-1 Atlético Madrid.
How to watch
Date: Dec. 22, 2017
Location: RCDE Stadium, Cornellà-El Prat, Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Time: 21:30 CEST, 20:30 BST/GMT, 3:30 p.m. EST, 12:30 p.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
TV/streaming options: Movistar Partidazo, Movistar + (Spain), Sky Sports Football, Sky Go UK (United Kingdom), beIN Sports en Español, fuboTV (United States), beIN Sports 1 (France)
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