Eibar vs. Atletico Madrid (Preview)

Leaders Atletico Madrid return to action on Thursday evening looking to record their sixth successive victory in Spain’s top flight.

Meanwhile, Eibar play host to the La Liga pacesetters sitting three points outside of the relegation zone, a result of losing three of their last five games.

The shock Copa del Rey defeat at Cornella had the potential to derail Atletico’s efforts on the La Liga scene, particularly after previous scrappy wins over Getafe and Alaves.

However, Diego Simeone will feel confident that the disappointment from that fixture has disappeared after the 2-0 victory over Sevilla six days later.

Atletico rose to the occasion against opponents who could still challenge for a top-three spot come the end of the campaign, their goals coming from Angel Correa and Saul Niguez at either end of the game.

While still possessing two matches in hand on Real Madrid and Barcelona, Simeone knows that his players have to be ruthless in their search for points if they wish to remain ahead of their improving title rivals.

Conceding just six league goals all season is responsible for putting Atletico in their current position, but Simeone needs more from an attack which has not scored more than twice in a game for a month.

From Eibar’s perspective, a meeting with the league leaders could not have come at a worse time after their exit to Navalcarnero in the Copa del Rey.

Jose Luis Mendilibar expected his players to deliver a professional display having been taken to extra time in a seven-goal thriller by Las Rozas 10 days earlier.

However, just like they did in their previous game against lower-league opposition, Eibar conceded three goals to a team they should have dispatched with minimal fuss.

Eight goals have now been shipped in the three matches since their 2-0 win over Granada, leaving Eibar to find something extra if they wish to be competitive in their upcoming fixtures.

Nevertheless, Los Armeros have troubled Real and Barcelona over the past month, something which will not be lost on both sides heading into this contest.

Eibar La Liga form: DLLDWL
Eibar form (all competitions): LDWWLL

Atletico Madrid La Liga form: LWWWWW
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): WWWWLW

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