Eibar looks to continue its fine La Liga form of late when it welcomes Diego Costa-less Atletico Madrid to town on Saturday.
Group Clubs Estadio Municipal de Ipura, Eibar, Spain
Key Stat: Eibar have been unable to defeat Atletico Madrid in any of their eight matches with Atletico since they attained their status in the Primera.
Expert Verdict: Eibar have had little success against Atletico, and that has continued to occur since they made it to La Liga. With that said, the home side are on quite the run recently, and will provide a very stern test to Atleti. But at the end of the day, Atletico have proven to be great in close matches, and that will pay off yet again.
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Jose Luis Mendilibar will be without goalkeeper Yoel Rodriguez, center back Ivan Ramis, left back David Junca, winger Pedro Leon, or center midfielder Fran Rico due to injuries. Right back Anaitz Arbilla is out with a suspension. They have been busy so far in the window by bringing in Papakouli Diop, Fabian Orellana (loan), and Alejandro Galvez so far.
The new loanee Fabian Orellana hit the ground running for his new side with a big goal last weekend to help give them a win at Las Palmas. The winger scored the equalizer with just 17 minutes left to play and allowed them the foothold to go on and win it. He's got a ton of ability and pace about it him, making him a perfect player to pair with the discipline being showed by Eibar currently.
SD Eibar have four wins and a draw in their last five matches:
1-2 win at Las Palmas
4-1 home win vs Girona
2-1 home win vs Valencia
0-0 draw at Getafe
3-1 home win vs Espanyol
Defenders:Pena, Oliveira, Capa, Jose Angel
Midfielders:Orellana, Joan Jordan, Garcia, Inui
Diego Simeone has suspensions to three stars as new (old) striker Diego Costa is joined by center back Stevan Savic and center midfielder Gabi as watchers only. Also set to miss out are winger Nico Gaitan and left back Filipe Luis through injuries.
With Costa set to miss out due to his own stupidity and excitement last week, the onus will once again be back on the shoulders of Antoine Griezmann. The diminutive forward has been crying out all season long for a helper, and now that he had it it's gone in the flash of an eye. He'll be important here against stingy Eibar, and he might just determine the final result of this match.
Atleti have four wins and a loss in their last five matches:
3-0 home win vs Lleida Esportiu (Copa del Rey)
2-0 home win vs Getafe
0-4 win at Lleida Esportiu (Copa del Rey)
2-3 win at Al Ahly (Friendly)
1-0 loss at Espanyol
Defenders:Juanfran, Gimenez, Godin, Hernandez
Midfielders:Correa, Koke, Partey, Ferreira Carrasco
Eibar and Atletico Madrid have only played 12 times so far. Eibar have just one win and two draws in those matches. Here's a look at the last five results:
May 6, 2017: Atletico Madrid 1-0 Eibar
Jan 25, 2017: Eibar 2-2 Atletico Madrid (Copa del Rey)
Jan 19, 2017: Atletico Madrid 3-0 Eibar (Copa del Rey)
Jan 7, 2017: Eibar 0-2 Atletico Madrid
Feb 6, 2016: Atletico Madrid 3-1 Eibar
Bet365 have the following odds available for this match:
Eibar are at 14/5 to win, a draw is at 5/2, and an Atletico Madrid win is at 19/20.
Eibar enter this match in a very lofty seventh position. They have done extremely well recently and that has seen them shoot up the table at a dizzying pace. They have won three in a row and four of their last five in the Liga, without losing, so they are now challenging for European places. They are one behind Villarreal for that honor at the moment. Atletico, meanwhile are in second still and are still nine points behind leaders Barcelona at the top. They won last weekend and have four wins in their last five, but they might just be too far back now.
The Gunsmiths might not have began with a great home record, but they have earned one recently. Overall, it's a total of 17 points from nine matches so far via five wins and two draws. But here recently, they have gotten four wins in a row and 13 points from their last five matches. Atleti have been tough to stop all season away from home, but that is the one time they have lost. They lost their last away match, to Espanyol, and that will sting considering it has ceded a lot of room in the title race. Before that, they had won four in a row. Still yet, they have 21 points from ten away matches.
Griezmann to score anytime, via Ladbrokes, is at 17/10.
If one were to go back and look at how many 1-0 wins Atletico have had over the last four seasons or so under Simeone, it would astonish many. They are so good at grinding out results, and they will do so again here.