Atletico & Malaga meet in curtain raiser at the Wanda MetropolitanoSeptember 16, 2017
Málaga are the first ever visitors to the brand-new Wanda Metropolitano, Atlético Madrid’s long-awaited state-of-the-art new home which sees its first action on Saturday evening.
Whatever the result, it promises to be a special occasion, with all players desperate to have their name down as the first goalscorer at the new ground.
The hosts will fancy their chances tonight with their opponents arriving on the back of three consecutive defeats and confidence especially low after a 3-1 home defeat to Las Palmas which had the Málaga fans calling for their owner Sheikh Abdullah Al-Thani’s head.
After two successive 0-0 draws on the bounce this is perhaps the perfect opposition for Atlético to be facing now, especially with talisman Antoine Griezmann returning to the side after his two-game ban following a red card against Girona.
Head coach Diego Simeone has a full squad to choose from, except for right-back Sime Vrsaljko, who has been ruled out with a foot injury.
Malaga, meanwhile, have a whole host of absentees, including Miguel Torres and Watford loanee Adalberto Peñaranda, but expect to have Recio back to full fitness after he took a knock against Las Palmas.
Míchel will most likely revert to a back five for this tie, with Paul Baysse returning to the head of the defence.
New loan signing from Bordeaux, Diego Rolán, could make his debut but is likely to start from the bench.