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Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Osasuna - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Atletico Madrid vs. Osasuna - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's La Liga clash between Atletico Madrid and Osasuna, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Atletico Madrid will look to bounce back to winning ways following the international break, as they welcome Osasuna to the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday.

The defending champions currently sit fourth in the La Liga table, while their visitors remain in seventh spot after two consecutive defeats, having enjoyed a strong start of their own.

Match preview

After their first La Liga triumph in seven years last term, Atletico Madrid will have headed into the new campaign with the hopes of retaining their title, especially with giants Barcelona and Real Madrid seeming relatively wounded.

Diego Simeone's men have arguably failed to take the league by storm so far though, currently sitting fourth having won six of their 12 games in the Spanish top flight.

After a shock 1-0 defeat to strugglers Alaves - their only league loss of the season so far - Los Colchoneros won nine points from five games heading into the recent international break, despite looking set to defeat Valencia last time out.

Following a win over Real Betis, Simeone's men looked to have made it two on the bounce for just the second time of the season, as they led 3-1 in injury time through Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Sime Vrsaljko, only for Hugo Duro to hit goals in the 92nd and 96th minutes to force a share of the spoils in dramatic fashion.

Despite their relatively slow start by their own standards, the defending champions do sit just five points behind league leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand, although, more worryingly, city rivals Real Madrid lead them by four points, meaning Simeone's men will see it as vital that they build a consistent run to avoid losing further ground.

They meet an Osasuna side who will be keen to bounce back to winning ways upon their return to action.

Saturday's visitors enjoyed a particularly strong start to the campaign after an 11th-placed finish last season, as they won five of their first nine games and collected 17 points to take a place in the top five.

Jagoba Arrasate's men have now gone four league games without a victory though, having firstly drawn with Granada and giants Real Madrid, before suffering back-to-back defeats at the hands of Sevilla and Real Sociedad.

Goals from Diego Carlos and Lucas Ocampos saw the former hand them a 2-0 loss, before the league leaders beat Los Rojillos by the same scoreline thanks to Mikel Merino and Adnan Januzaj.

While their form appears to have taken a sharp dip, it is somewhat understandable considering Osasuna were dealt a tough schedule, taking on three of the league's top four teams consecutively, and their running does not get any easier as they look to return to winning ways against the defending champions.

Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D

Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D

Osasuna La Liga form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

Atletico Madrid's injury problems have been eased recently, as Marcos Llorente, Thomas Lemar and Geoffrey Kondogbia have returned to fitness, leaving Kieran Tripper as the only man on the sidelines.

Uruguayan talisman Luis Suarez will continue to lead the line, having netted seven league goals so far this term, while the likes of Angel Correa, Joao Felix and returning star Antoine Griezmann will battle to feature in the front three.

Simeone has an abundance of options to fill midfield spots, and Marcos Llorente could be shifted to a right wing-back role to accommodate Koke and summer signing Rodrigo De Paul in the centre, while they should stick with the back three of Jose Gimenez, Stefan Savic and Mario Hermoso.

Osasuna should remain without defender Aridane Hernandez, as he continues to struggle with an injury.

However, first-choice goalkeeper Sergio Herrera is expected to return to availability alongside full-back Juan Cruz.

Unai Garcia and David Garcia will likely continue to partner up at the back, while Arrasate will stick with the established midfield unit of Darko Brasanac, Jon Moncayola and Lucas Torro.

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Griezmann, Suarez, Correa

Osasuna possible starting lineup:
Herrera; Vidal, U Garcia, D Garcia, Sanchez; Moncayola, Brasanac, Torro; Avila, Kike, R Garcia

We say: Atletico Madrid 2-1 Osasuna

While they have struggled for consistency recently, we cannot look past a victory for the La Liga champions on Saturday.

They are certainly not playing at the peak of their powers, but we back Simeone's men to grind out a hard-fought home win against a side who are experiencing a slump against the league's top sides.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data

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