Atletico Madrid will be looking to bounce back as they visit Austria Wien in the Champions League on Tuesday night, after their 100% start to the season ended at the weekend.
Diego Simeone’s side lost 1-0 against Espanyol, as they failed to win their first league game after a run of nine successive victories.
Consequently, Atletico Madrid were unable to equal Real Madrid’s 1968/69 record of 10 consecutive league wins.
The home side go into this game on the back of poor form. Nenad Bjelica’s side have not won in five games, and have only won once at home against Spanish opposition from their previous nine games.
The Spaniards sit top of the group with six points, and Wien are in third place with a point after their away draw against Zenit during matchday two of the group.
Wien have lost Alex Grunwald for the long-term and has recently been joined on the sideline by Alexander Gorgon, who over the weekend underwent a knee surgery that is expected to keep him out for the season.
Atleti also have injury concerns, most notably Diego Costa. The top-scorer in La Liga – with 10 strikes in 9 outings – will travel with the team however is a serious doubt to start the game having picked up a “hard knock on his right ankle” – according to an official club statement.
Austria Wien WLDLD
Atletico Madrid WWWWL
I feel the way both managers will set-up is going to be crucial in this game. We have seen a Atleti that have shown glimpses of blowing teams away, even against Real Madrid. Specifically in that derby, Simeone’s choice of midfielders were crucial to the victory that night, and I expect him to play David Villa up front alone to begin with, so the Atleti performance will be dictated in the centre. I think for a side like Austria Wien who have had poor results recently and are struggling to score goals, this game will be about sitting back and breaking on the counter attack. It will be tough for them, because Atleti are possibly the fittest site in the Spanish league at the moment, they close the ball down very quickly and are really good at holding possession – their work ethic is very similar to Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona. Admirable.
The question remains whether or not Diego Costa will play or not. I think Simeone will only utilise his chief poacher if he’s really needed – but I expect him to score if he plays any part on the night.
Predicted line ups
Lindner; Koch, Ramsebner, Ortlechner, Suttner; Holland, Mader; Royer, Simkovic, Leovac; Hosiner.
Courtois; Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Filipe; Garcia, Gabi, Tiago, Turan, Koke; Villa.
Score Prediction: Austria Wien 0-3 Atletico Madrid
Written by Muddassir Hussain
Follow me on Twitter: @MuddassirSpeaks