10 November 2019
Rocked by a 2-1 away loss to Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League, Atletico Madrid will be looking to bounce back when they face Espanyol at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga (LL) this weekend.
Having established themselves as LL ‘draw specialists,’ Diego Simeone’s men have already played out six draws in the opening 12 rounds of the league fixtures (W5, L1). Interestingly, three of those stalemates have ended with the identical 0-0 scoreline, while the remaining three witnessed both teams get on the scoresheet once. If Los Colchoneros do win here, it might be ‘to nil’ as four of their five LL triumphs this term saw them keep a blank sheet. Moreover, except for a 2-0 home loss to Espanyol in 2018, Los Rojiblancos have preserved a clean slate in six of their last seven home H2Hs stretching back to 2012 (W5, D1). But, a potential worry for the home side is a lack of goals, as they’ve so far scored fewer goals than any other team from the upper half of the table (12).
Meanwhile, a 6-0 demolition of Ludogorets in the Europa League could encourage the visitors to bring a two-game losing LL streak to a halt, and escape from the relegation zone for the first time this season. Curiously, all eight of Espanyol’s league points have come away from home (W2, D2, L2), with both of their LL wins coming via a single-goal margin. Also, each of their two away defeats have seen the ‘Periquitos’ trail at the halftime break and concede at least two goals without hitting back. Only four sides have scored fewer away goals than Pablo Machin’s players so far (4), with Espanyol drawing a blank in two of their previous three LL road trips.
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