Atletico Madrid will play host to Portuguese side Sporting Club in their Europa League quarter final on Thursday evening.
20:05 BST, Thursday 5th April, Wanda Metropolitano (Madrid, Spain), BT Sport
Both of these sides began their European campaigns in the Champions League this season but dropped to the Europa League after third place finishes in their respective groups.
Atleti are massive favourites for the tournament but La Liga’s second placed side know it won’t be easy against Sporting who sit third in the Liga NOS, six points behind leaders Benfica.
This will be the Lisbon side’s second visit to Spain this season following their 2-0 defeat to Barcelona at the Camp Nou in the Champions League back in December.
Los Colchoneros may well be hoping to get the job done early with Sunday’s Madrid derby at the Bernabeu sandwiched in between the two legs of this tie.
Diego Simeone yet again has a few defensive problems with three first team squad defenders out through injury.
Sime Vrsjalko, Jose Maria Gimenez and Filipe Luis all miss out, as they did for Sunday’s 1-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna, but Juanfran is expected to be back in the starting eleven on Thursday.
There are no other injury worries for the hosts with a strong team predicted to start.
As for the visitors, they will be without the injured trio of Seydou Doumbia, Daniel Podence and Bruno Cesar for their trip to the Spanish capital.
However, they will be boosted by the return of former Liverpool defender Sebastian Coates and midfielder William Carvalho from suspension.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Juanfran, Godin, Savic, Lucas; Correa, Thomas, Saul, Koke; Griezmann, Costa
Sporting Club: Patricio; Piccini, Coates, Mathieu, Coentrao; Battaglia, Carvalho; Martins, Fernandes, Ribero; Dost
Prediction: Atletico Madrid 3-0 Sporting Club
With important league games coming up, Atletico will want to finish this tie as early as possible to be able to rest some players next week. Sporting won’t make it easy for them but the tournament favourites should have no problems in Madrid.