Matchday two of the new Liga Santander season will see Atlético Madrid stay in the capital and square off against Mauricio Pellegrino’s Leganés.
Located about 10 miles from Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Leganes’ home ground of Butarque has bedeviled Atlético three years running. Atleti have looked awful in each fixture — goalless stalemates in 2016 and 2017 followed up by a 1-1 draw last season, which saw the hosts pull an equalizer out of the hat with nine minutes left on the clock.
Since they won promotion in 2016, Lega have spent just 10 weeks out of 114 in the drop zone (all last season). Defense comes first for Pellegrino and co. though he can count on capable strikers Martin Braithwaite and Youssef en-Nesyri.
Diego Simeone doesn’t seem likely to change his XI more than necessary after the season-opening win over Getafe. Mario Hermoso has not started at left back since his loan spell at Valladolid in 2015/16, but he’ll be there following Renán Lodi’s unfortunate suspension. Álvaro Morata and Stefan Savić seem to have recovered from midweek knocks, though Diego Costa remains out. Ángel Correa may see minutes from the bench, but they could be his last in red and white — it’s still likely that the Argentine will move to AC Milan before the transfer window shuts.
Oblak; Trippier, Savić, Giménez, Hermoso; Thomas, Saúl, Koke, Lemar; João Félix, Morata.
Leganés 1-2 Atlético. Though los Pepineros were really, really unlucky to lose to Osasuna last week, in this fixture it’s los Rojiblancos who are due a bit of luck — even if the team’s width will be compromised without a natural left back. This is the kind of match in which league title contenders have to extract maximum points, and it’s the kind of smaller, defensive side Atleti have struggled mightily to break down the past couple season.
Jeremy’s record on the season: 1-0-0
(I got last week’s scoreline correct. Don’t take this away from me.)
How to watch
Date: Aug. 25, 2019
Location: Butarque, Leganés, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time: 7:00 p.m. CET, 6:00 p.m. GMT, 1:00 p.m. EST, 10:00 a.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: MiTele En Vivo, Movistar LaLiga (Spain), beIN Sports, fuboTV (United States), Eleven Sports 1 (Portugal), beIN Sports 1 (France), Canal+ Sport 3 Afrique (Ghana), Kayo Sports (Australia), ESPN 2 (Colombia), iQiyi (China).