Atlético Madrid are returning to familiar territory when they visit Parken Stadium on Thursday night. Atlético will play Copenhagen for the first time since 2007 and kick off their participation in a competition that has been good to them in the past.
The first leg of this Europa League Round of 32 tie marks Atlético’s first involvement in the competition since a 1-0 win at this stage against Rubin Kazan in 2013. Atleti have grown used to competing in the latter stages of the Champions League, but a finishing slump in this year’s group stage contributed to a third-place finish in Group C.
Though there was immense disappointment at crashing out before the knockout stages, Atlético are regarded as overall favorites to win this year’s Europa League and are rated as virtual shoo-ins against their Danish opposition. FiveThirtyEight have given Diego Simeone’s men a 93 percent chance to qualify for the Round of 16.
As his side has emerged as Barcelona’s only challengers to a Liga Santander crown this season, Simeone is expected to load up his bench and keep an eye on Athletic Bilbao at the weekend. Diego Godín will return earlier than anticipated from facial surgery, while it appears Kévin Gameiro will replace Diego Costa as Antoine Griezmann’s strike partner. The only absentee is expected to be Stefan Savić, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.
Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Lucas; Saúl, Thomas, Correa, Koke; Griezmann, Gameiro.
Copenhagen 0-1 Atlético Madrid.
How to watch
Date: Feb. 15, 2018
Location: Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark
Kickoff time: 21:05 CEST, 20:05 BST/GMT, 3:05 p.m. EST, 12:05 p.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: beIN Sports Spain, Movistar+ (Spain), BT Sport ESPN, BT Sports Live (United Kingdom), ESPN3, Fox Sports 2, fuboTV, WatchESPN (United States), beIN Sports MAX 4 (France), Eurosport Player Denmark, Kanal 5 Denmark (Denmark)
For more listings, head over to livesoccertv.com.