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Sporting Gijón-Atlético Madrid: Preview

Atlético will tune up for Tuesday’s trip to Leverkusen against strugglers Sporting

Club Atletico de Madrid v Real Sporting de Gijon - La Liga Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

On Saturday, a rejuvenated and resolute Atlético Madrid will face Sporting Gijon in El Molinón, looking to build off last week’s exciting win vs. Celta Vigo and extend its Liga Santander unbeaten run to eight.

If the red and whites win, they will be very close to the third place. Sevilla lock heads with Eibar laster Saturday and if Sevilla fail to win, Atlético will be only one point behind Sevilla, despite the inconsistencies that have plagued the squad since November.

In the previous match, Atleti fans felt once again what it is like to support this club; devastating lows but euphoric highs. Fernando Torres’ fine form continued with one of his best goals in an Atleti shirt and Antoine Griezmann popped up late to complete a fine, fine comeback. Simeone was in full praise of the effort against Celta and a fine showing away from home Saturday will allow his team to continue its chase for the top three.

However, defensive and midfield problems still persist in the team. Diego Simeone and many fans were largely disappointed with the defence’s poor showing against Celta. Diego Godín was missed and he is set to miss this match as well due to injury. Jan Oblak resumed training with the team after his long injury lay-off but Miguel Ángel Moyá (whose form really has suffered of late) is expected to start this one. Simeone has to be hoping for a better showing from his defense ahead of the Champions League game at Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

The last time these two met was a 5-0 thrashing at the Vicente Calderón in September. But more recently, Sporting, now managed by Rubi, earned a crucial win against Leganés last weekend. Sporting are currently fighting relegation and have to win to help keep its top-flight hopes alive. The Asturians have lost three of the past five matches and Atlético are probably not the team they want to see.

Three points will be the aim for Atlético in what should be a straightforward warmup for Leverkusen next week.

Kick-off is set for 13:00 CET.