They remain one of the most in-form sides in European football, with a run of just one defeat in 21 matches in all competitions seeing Atletico Madrid reach the top of the La Liga table, as well as making progress in both the Champions League and Copa del Rey.
Diego Simeone’s side have been at their solid and brutal best in the last three league games, beating Rayo Vallecano, Levante and Celta Vigo all without conceding a goal to ensure that they bounce into Sunday evening’s clash at Las Palmas in high spirits.
The injury-hit hosts lie just above the relegation zone, but they are unbeaten in five, also reaching the last eight of the Copa del Rey in midweek.
Promoted last season, Quique Setien’s side have improved their home form of late, but Simeone and his visitors will fully expect to take another three points back from the Canary Islands.
Date: Sunday, January 17
Time: 5:15 p.m. GMT / 12:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Estadio Gran Cranaria, Las Palmas
TV Info: Sky Sports 4
Live Stream: Sky Sports
Last 6 Results
Lost 1-0 vs. Espanyol (Away)
Won 4-1 vs. Granada (Home)
Drew 2-2 vs. Athletic Bilbao (Away)
Won 3-2 vs. Eibar (Away)
Drew 1-1 vs. Malaga (Home)
Won 3-2 vs. Eibar (Home)
Lost 1-0 vs. Malaga (Away)
Won 2-0 vs. Rayo Vallecano (Away)
Won 1-0 vs. Levante (Home)
Drew 1-1 vs. Rayo Vallecano (Away)
Won 2-0 vs. Celta Vigo (Away)
Won 3-0 vs. Rayo Vallecano (Home)
Like most La Liga clubs, Las Palmas have made changes for their Copa del Rey matches this season, and their lineup is likely to bear more similarities to the side that drew 1-1 at home to Malaga last weekend rather than the one that beat Eibar 3-2 in midweek.
Felix Asdrubal, Javi Castellano, Hernan, Angel Lopez and Pedro Bigas are all still out injured, while Jonathan Viera, Sergio Araujo and Tana—who have scored 10 goals between them this season—are set to be reunited in attack, with the former Liverpool winger Nabil El Zhar reprising his role on the right hand side.
Possible XI: Javi Varas, David Simon, Artiles, David Garca, Garrido, Gomez, Mesa, Jonathan Viera, Tana, El Zhar, Araujo.
Changes were made for the Copa del Rey victory over Rayo Vallecano—the third time that Atletico had played them in as many weeks—on Thursday night, and Diego Simeone is, like his weekend counterpart, likely to revert to more of a “La Liga” side here.
The big question mark centres on whether Jackson Martinez will start following another underwhelming display in midweek, with both Luciano Vietto and Angel Correa offering more compelling reasons for inclusion.
New signing Augusto Fernandez is set for his third start for the club as Simeone reverts to the midfield that played at Celta.
Possible XI: Oblak, Juanfran, Godin, Gimenez, Filipe Luis, Gabi, Fernandez, Saul, Koke, Griezmann, Vietto.
Las Palmas: Nabil El Zhar
Creating chances against this rugged Atletico defence is always a tough proposition, and the challenge of doing that for Las Palmas is likely to fall on the shoulders of the Moroccan winger El Zhar, who will look to stay wide and provide service for Viera, Sergio Araujo and Tana.
Occupying Filipe Luis will also be a key part of his job, and if he can stop the Brazilian getting forward and keep him on the backfoot then he will certainly be doing his job well.
Atletico Madrid: Antoine Griezmann
In case anyone needed a reminder of Antoine Griezmann’s importance to Atletico Madrid, it came when he climbed off the bench in midweek and scored twice against Rayo Vallecano to secure Copa del Rey progress.
Simeone has noticeably been treating his star French forward with kid gloves as he bids to preserve his fitness for the business end of the season, but he’ll be back in the starting XI here, and this is the type of match in which he has proven crucial several times this season already.
Odds (via Odds Shark)
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