Saturday night will see Atlético Madrid try to rebound from last week’s Supercopa disappointment as league action returns.
Atlético are in the Basque Country for a duel with Eibar, where an impressive streak is on the line. Diego Simeone’s men will go for a sixth straight win at LaLiga’s smallest stadium —since Eibar won promotion in 2014, Atleti have made five trips to Ipurúa in league play and departed with five wins (four clean sheets).
Los Rojiblancos’ injury report, meanwhile, makes for less impressive reading. Koke, Diego Costa, José Giménez and Thomas Lemar are all injured — though Costa is making progress and could be on course to return to action next month. As such, Simeone appears ready to start Vitolo and add attacking width, while Renan Lodi looks set to begin from the bench. The more-defensive Saúl likely will be chosen to help out against one of LaLiga’s most cross-happy sides.
Possible XI Oblak; Trippier, Savić, Felipe, Saúl; Thomas, Herrera, Correa, Vitolo; Félix, Morata.
Prediction 1-0 Atlético. Eibar have allowed 53 shots on target this season — the third lowest total in LaLiga, behind only Atlético and Real Madrid. However, goalkeeper Marko Dmitrović’s rough season has seen him register a league-worst 45.3 percent save percentage, and Eibar’s attack hasn’t been able to compensate — just 18 goals despite boasting 12 different scorers.
Eibar have shown more of an inclination to play without the ball this season, thus making this matchup a more difficult one for Atlético. I expect another tight contest with few opportunities, but one that will end with Atleti’s third consecutive 1-0 win at this stadium.
My record on the season 15-12
Date Jan. 18, 2020
Location Ipurúa, Eibar, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST
TV/streaming options Mitele Plus (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), Eleven Sports 1 (Portugal), Sky HD (Mexico), ESPN2 Caribbean (Guadeloupe), QQ Sports Live (China)