This Saturday (December 16th), Deportivo Alavés head south to face an Atletico Madrid side who will be looking to leapfrog Valencia to second place in the league table.
The club from the Basque Country, now led by Abelardo Fernández, have collected 12 points from the last 15 available, picking up wins against Girona and Las Palmas after a couple of losses from Getafe and Eibar, as well as a 1-0 victory over Espanyol at the beginning of last month. The Babazorros head to the Wanda Metropolitano without injured defenders Héctor and Carlos Vigaray, as well as Rodrigo Ely and Rubén Sobrino, who remain on the sidelines for a longer period of time.
Atleti go into their last home game of the calendar year sitting in third place of La Liga, one point behind Marcelino’s Valencian side. Currently on a three game winning streak, Los Colchoneros welcome Antoine Griezmann back to the side after the Frenchman had to sit out last week’s 1-0 defeat of Real Betis with a hamstring problem. José Giménez has been left out of the side, failing to achieve full fitness in time for the clash. In the side’s last three home matches against Alavés, they have conceded just once.
Diego Simeone was full of praise for the opposition at the pre-match press conference, saying “They’re coming in a difficult moment, but their confidence is growing. We need to prevent this in order to seize control of the match.”
Abelardo praised the current team spirit of his side, and insisted that they will be playing to win on Saturday. The former defender said “It is a very difficult team to surprise because the mentality of their coach and their players is extraordinary, but we will try to create danger with our weapons.”
Jesús Gil Manzano will officiate the match, with a kick off time of 8:45pm CET.