Saturday is another chance for Atlético Madrid to pull level with Barcelona atop LaLiga.
Diego Simeone’s gang will face Barça’s city rivals at the Wanda Metropolitano. Espanyol’s good start to the campaign has faded from memory as Rubi’s side has lost their past five and have just one win away all season. Atlético, meanwhile, have LaLiga’s best home record with six wins, two draws and a +11 goal difference.
Simeone continues to oversee a banged-up squad that really needs the upcoming winter break. Diego Costa, José Giménez, Lucas Hernández, Thomas Lemar and Filipe Luís are all out, which likely means Ángel Correa will hold down his place in the XI and Saúl Ñíguez will return to his increasingly-familiar left back position. In addition, red-hot Nikola Kalinić is expected to retain his place next to Antoine Griezmann and Cholo will start his only two fit center backs.
It’s worth remembering that Espanyol did the double over Atlético last season and los colchoneros could not score a single goal across 180 minutes against the Catalans.
Oblak; Arias, Savić, Godín, Saúl; Thomas P, Rodri, Correa, Koke; Griezmann, Kalinić.
Atlético Madrid 1-0 Espanyol.
How to watch
Date: Dec. 22, 2018
Location: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time: 4:15 p.m. CET, 3:15 p.m. GMT, 10:15 a.m. EST, 7:15 a.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: beIN LaLiga, Movistar+ (Spain), Eleven LaLiga TV (United States), fubo.tv, beIN Sports (United States), beIN Sports 2 (France), SuperSport 7 (Ghana), SportKlub 6 (Slovenia), QQ Sports Live (China).