For the fifth time in eight seasons, Atlético Madrid will play a European match in Russia. The colchoneros are in Moscow to continue Group D action against Lokomotiv.
Atlético shook off a 2-0 deficit versus Juventus to draw with the Italians on matchday one, while the Russian Premier League runners-up beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1. Now they will host Champions League group stage football for the just the second time in 16 years as leaders.
Diego Simeone’s men have an opportunity to establish themselves in one of the two qualifying positions early on. However, while another draw may not be too damaging, a loss in the Russian capital combined with a Juve win over Leverkusen would force Atlético to play a lot of catchup over the following four matchdays.
Vitolo is the only absence from the squad as he picked up an injury to his thigh in Saturday’s draw versus Real Madrid. Simeone may make a couple changes from Saturday, but the most potentially exciting development is the possibility the coach will field Diego Costa, Álvaro Morata and João Félix from kickoff.
Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Giménez, Lodi; Thomas, Saúl, Koke, João Félix; Costa, Morata.
2-1 Atlético. I mean, Atleti’s horrendous run away from home in Champions League fixtures has to end at some point, right?
Since a 4-2 win at Leverkusen on Feb. 21, 2017, the rojiblancos are 1-5-3 on the road in this competition and have been outscored 13-4. But under Simeone, Atlético have won three of four (the other match a draw) in Russia in European competition — including the 5-1 victory at RZD Arena in 2018.
This Lokomotiv Moscow squad appears stronger than the one Atleti saw two seasons ago. Simeone will have to find the right solutions from his bench if both Diego Costa and Álvaro Morata start — his side could drop points here otherwise.
Jeremy’s record on the season: 5-3
How to watch
Date: Oct. 6, 2019
Location: RZD Arena, Moscow, Russia
Kickoff time: 10:00 p.m. MSK, 9:00 p.m. CET, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST
Available TV/streaming: Movistar+ (Spain), Match TV Game (Russia), DAZN (Germany), Sky Calcio 4 (Italy), B/R Live (United States), Viaplay (Sweden), Esporte Interativo Plus (Brazil), Eleven Sports 2 (Portugal), SportKlub 4 (Slovenia).