Saturday will see Atlético Madrid play one of their biggest games of the season to date as they welcome Deportivo Alavés to the capital.
Third-place Atlético remain banged-up but beat Sant Andreu 4-0 in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday following Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Girona. Basque side Alavés — led by winger Ibai Gómez and fiery coach Abelardo — enter this match one point behind Atleti and only four points off first place. Despite outperforming their expected goals, Alavés’ start to the season is highly impressive — especially considering they were in the relegation zone at this time last year.
Atlético scored a pair of 1-0 wins over Alavés in 2017/18 but have struggled against El Glorioso since they latter won promotion in 2016. That said, Atleti have conceded only five goals all-time in this fixture and Abelardo was still a player the last time the visitors won (2003).
Diego Simeone looks set to roll with Saúl at left back once more as Filipe Luís remains sidelined. Reports from Majadahonda indicate that both Ángel Correa and Thomas Lemar will start following their stellar Copa del Rey turns in midweek. Finally, Antoine Griezmann could partner with Nikola Kalinić atop Simeone’s 4-4-2.
Oblak; Arias, Savić, Lucas, Saúl; Thomas P, Rodri, Correa, Lemar; Griezmann, Kalinić.
Atlético 2-1 Alavés.
How to watch
Date: Dec. 8, 2018
Location: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time: 1:00 p.m. CET, 12:00 p.m. GMT, 7:00 a.m. EST, 4:00 a.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: beIN LaLiga, Movistar+ (Spain), Eleven Sports 1 (United Kingdom), beIN Sports, fubo.tv (United States), beIN Sports Connect (France), DIRECTV Sports (Colombia), SuperSport 7 (Ghana), Sportklub 3 (Croatia), QQ Sports Live (China).