La Rosaleda stadium
11th April, 16:00 GMT
Defending champions Atletico Madrid visit Malaga in a crucial fixture as the Spanish La Liga races towards an exciting finish. Though Diego Simeonea s men gave chase to Real Madrid and Barcelona in the first half of the season, they seemed to lose momentum and are currently languishing in the third spot, 9 points adrift of league leaders Barcelona. However with Valencia and Sevilla snapping at Atletico Madrida s heels for a spot in the Champions League, Diego Simeone faces a tough task as he faces Malaga in the Spanish La Liga.
Malaga have won only one of their last 5 fixtures and face an uphill task as they host Atletico Madrid at the La Rosaleda stadium. Having succumbed to a 1-0 loss against Eibar, they will be keen to not drop points as they chase Villarreal for a top 6 finish in the Spanish La Liga.
Looking for a spot in the Europa League next season, Malaga need to earn points against Atletico and Real Madrid (18th April) if they are to stay in the hunt for a top 6 finish. Juanmi is likely to lead the teama s attack and he will tasked with the responsibility to provide Malaga with some breathing room in the front. The striker hasna t had a very good season and knows that he needs to contribute more in order to retain a spot in the starting eleven. Nordin Amrabat is expected to start behind Juanmi with Castillejo and Samuel on the wings. Recio and Darder are likely to hold the fort in the midfield with Weligton, Angeleri, Rosales and Boka playing in the defence.
Malaga will have to be wary of Atletico Madrida s ability to play long-balls to their strikers while keeping an eye out for their dead-ball prowess. Attacking Diego Simeonea s men will also prove to be tricky as Malaga will have to navigate a highly organised defensive line.
Probable Starting Eleven: Kameni (GK); Weligton, Angeleri, Rosales, Boka; Recio, Darder, Samuel, Castillejo, Amrabat; Juanmi
Not the force they were last season, Atletico Madrid seem to have run out of steam as they face an uphill task of defending their Spanish La Liga trophy. However Atletico Madrid are still alive in the Champions League as they lock horns with arch rivals Real Madrid next week. Hence Atletico Madrid will have an eye out for that fixture though Diego Simeone could risk being punished heavily if he were to rest his key players against Malaga.
Antoine Griezmann has been brilliant for Atletico Madrid this season and the Frenchman proved his worth against Real Sociedad as he led the team to a 2-0 victory at Vicente Calderon. With Mario Mandzukic out injured, Fernando Torres is expected to lead the team alongside the Frenchman with Koke and Turan providing the strikers with ample ammunition from the wings. Captain Gabi will lead the team from the midfield alongside Portuguese international Tiago. Atletico Madrida s defence will be led ably by Godin and Miranda with Juanfran and Gamez playing on the wings.
Atletico Madrid will be hoping to earn three crucial points in this tough away fixture as they look to build momentum for the Champions League encounter against Real Madrid.
Probable Starting Eleven: Oblak (GK); Juanfran, Godin, Miranda, Gamez; Gabi, Tiago, Turan, Koke, Torres, Griezmann
Key Player-Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann is the player to watch out for as Atletico Madrid visit Malaga in a crucial Spanish La Liga fixture. The Frenchman has been an integral member of the squad under Diego Simeone and has made a strong impact since moving from Real Sociedad last summer. As the season enters its business end, he will be particularly keen to lead Atletico Madrid with just 8 games remaining in the domestic league.
Malaga 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Despite Atletico Madrida s struggle in cpompeting for the Spanish La Liga, Diego Simeonea s men remain a formidable opposition in Spain and their recent success will only spur them on as they look to finish the season on a high. Malaga on the other hand have suffered from a string of bad performances and will under pressure as they host Atletico Madrid at home.