Atletico Madrid will be hoping they can remain in La Liga’s top four when they travel to Levante on Thursday at 8:30pm (UK time).
Diego Simeone’s side are currently fourth after coming from behind to earn a 2-2 draw with Real Sociedad at the weekend, remaining three points behind the early La Liga leaders. But Atleti aren’t comfortable in the top four, level on points with Real Betis and Osasuna, while only two points clear of eighth-placed Rayo Vallecano. Levante, meanwhile, have had a torrid start to the new campaign and are still awaiting their first league win, with five draws and five defeats from their opening 10 games – sitting 19th.
Levante vs Atletico Madrid live stream:
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Where to watch Levante vs Atletico Madrid on TV:
- UK: LaLigaTV
- US: EPSN+
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Levante vs Atletico Madrid previous line-ups and team news:
- Levante (vs Sevilla): Fernandez; Miramon, Vezo, Mustafi*, Clerc; Radoja; De Frutos, Melero, Martinez, Morales; Soldado.
- Atletico Madrid (vs Real Sociedad): Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Hermoso, Lodi; Lemar*, Koke, De Paul; Griezmann, Suarez, Felix.
Shkodran Mustafi will miss out for the hosts after suffering an injury early on in the defeat to Sevilla at the weekend, with Jose Campana, Sergio Postigo and Roger Marti also expected to be absent. Atleti are without Thomas Lemar who joins Marcos Llorente and Stefan Savic on the sidelines while Geoffrey Kondogbia is a doubt.
Simeone laments Atleti’s defence after conceding five goals in two games
Simeone’s Atleti have become synonymous with defending. That’s not to say they are purely a defensive team, but they have perfected the art of defending, being tough for opponents to break down – and tough to beat as a result.
En route to winning the title last season, Atleti had the best defence in La Liga, conceding 25 goals in their 38 matches but that has not been the case this year. In nine La Liga matches so far this season, Atleti have conceded eight goals, with Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao (both six) having better defences at this early stage. Adding in the Champions League, Atleti have conceded 12 in 12 with five coming in their past two matches – both at home.
First, Liverpool put three past them at the Wanda Metropolitano in a 3-2 Champions League win before Real Sociedad took a 2-0 lead before eventually holding on for a 2-2 draw. And Simeone has asked his team to find the balance between defence and attack, having also scored four goals in those two matches.
“Yes, it’s worrying. It worries us and we have to improve as soon as possible,” he told reporters of Atleti’s defending.
“The team scores goals with one, two or three strikers. We can score, but there has to be balance.
“Felipe looked fantastic to me. In the three games, he has been our best player. The team needs to defend in a block to improve our numbers.”
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