Atletico Madrid vs Athletic Bilbao Match Preview

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Atlético Madrid will host Athletic Bilbao in the last round of La Liga 2016/17. They’ll return to La Liga action tomorrow hoping to make amendments for their recent dip in form and more importantly, they would like to bid adieu to the iconic Vicente Calderon on a winning note.

Atlético will finish in the top three of La Liga for five seasons in a row for the first time in their history. Atlético Madrid are guaranteed of a third place finish, hence they won’t have any real competitive motivation when they step on the Vicente Calderon pitch for the final time. Diego Simeone’s men will qualify for next season’s UEFA Champions League automatically as they will finish the campaign in the third place.

However, the guests have a lot to play for since they are in the 6th position with 63 points, the same count as Real Sociedad – who will face Celta de Vigo – and a point less than fifth placed Villarreal. Villarreal will square off against Valencia at Mestalla. They are fighting with Sociedad and Villarreal for a Europa League spot and as per the things stand, they are in real danger of losing a UEL spot.

Athletic Bilbao have failed to win in their last two La Liga games against Deportivo Alaves away and Leganes home, but luckily they haven’t dropped in the standings since both Europa League contenders (Sociedad and Villarreal) failed to win too.

After a disappointing Champions League exit, Simeone’s men came back to La Liga to make strong amendments but they could only manage a 1-1 draw against Real Betis. There’s a lack of motivation, but since they are playing their last match at Vicente Calderon, Atletico’s players will be inspired to be part of the historical last victory at the famous venue. Atletico will play their last game at Vicente Calderon after 50 years since the first game there (1-1 against Valencia in 1966, where Luis Aragones scored the first goal).

Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017

Time: 14:45 ( GMT ) // 15:45 ( CET ) // 10:45 ( ET ) // 20:15 ( IST )

Venue: Estadio Vicente Calderon, Madrid, Spain

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Team News

Atlético De Madrid:

Barragan, Juanfran and Vrsaljko are all doubtful for this tie. Diego Godin, Filipe Luis and Jose Gimenez are all suspended and as a result, Atlético will need a major reshuffle at the back. With the club’s B Team involved in an important play-off fixture, we aren’t likely to see any youngsters drafted in, meaning midfielders like Thomas Partey will be used in defence.

Athletic Bilbao:

Enric Saborit is injured and Inaki Williams remains a major doubt for this tie.

Likely Line-ups

Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Hernandez, Saul Niguez, Savic, Thomas; Carrasco, Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Griezmann, Gameiro.

Athletic Bilbao: Kepa; De Marcos, Alvarez, Laporte, Balenziaga; Benat, San Jose; Muniain, Raul Garcia, Susaeta; Adruiz.

Head to Head

Matches ( all competitions ) :- 185 ( 33 Draws )

Atlético De Madrid :- 81 wins ( 293 Goals )

Athletic Bilbao :- 71 wins ( 283 goals )