La Liga leaders Real Sociedad travel to the Spanish capital on Sunday to face fourth-placed Atletico Madrid, who are looking to bounce back from Champions League defeat in midweek.
Sociedad have played one more game than the three teams below them in the table, but they are currently on an 11-game unbeaten run across all competitions.
Diego Simeone’s side have not played in La Liga since October 2 as their match against Granada, which was due to be played last Sunday, was postponed thanks to a special request regarding players still being on international duty representing nations in South America.
That means that Atletico’s last league outing was against Barcelona, and first-half goals from Thomas Lemar and former Barca striker Luis Suarez sealed a 2-0 win for the Spanish champions.
However, last time out Simeone’s side welcomed Liverpool to the Wanda Metropolitano in gameweek three of the Champions League group stages, and the home team were left frustrated after losing 3-2 against the Premier League outfit.
After Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita had given the visitors a 2-0 lead, Antoine Griezmann got his side back into the game with a brace before half time, but the Frenchman was straight back involved in the action after the break.
Griezmann saw red for a high boot on Roberto Firmino and Liverpool capitalised with their extra player, going on to collect three points in Madrid after Salah converted a penalty in the 78th minute.
If Atletico can bounce back from that Champions League defeat on Sunday with three points against the league leaders, then Simeone’s side will leapfrog Sociedad to top the table on goal difference.
Sociedad continued their good run of form last time out in the Europa League on Thursday, when they travelled to Austria where they faced Sturm Graz.
After drawing their first two games in that competition, Imanol Alguacil’s side were in need of collecting three points, and that is exactly what they achieved thanks to a single strike from Alexander Isak.
That result followed another 1-0 victory in La Liga last weekend, when the home side played the whole second half with 10 players after Aihen Munoz was sent off, but Julen Lobete ensured that the 10 players of Sociedad recorded their sixth win of the league season with a strike in the 90th minute against Mallorca.
Having only scored once in those two games, that means that Los Txuri-Urdin have not scored more than one goal in any of their last five matches in all competitions, suggesting that their defence will have to be strong against Atletico.
Atletico are unbeaten in their first four home matches in La Liga, while Sociedad have won two out of their four outings away from the Reale Arena.
Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
Real Sociedad La Liga form:
Real Sociedad form (all competitions):
We say: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Real Sociedad
After Champions League defeat in midweek, Simeone will be rallying his players up to bounce back positively on the weekend, and with the incentive to potentially go top of the table, that will only help the home side.
Sociedad have not been winning their matches by big margins, suggesting that with a high-quality attack, which Atletico possess, the visitors could become undone at the Wanda Metropolitano