Los Colchoneros can become more difficult to catch if things go as planned against Mallorca on Friday night.

Club Atletico de Madrid v Deportivo Alaves - La Liga
"We cannot look back or too far," said Diego Simeone on Thursday afternoon. "We are in a year of transition, as we have said. Many were surprised, but we are still looking to achieve the club's goal.

"I hope we can continue like this and finish as high as possible."

The optimism of the Atlético de Madrid coach has been reinforced by the great performance of his team since LaLiga resumed last month. The mattress manufacturers have collected 14 of the 18 possible points to move to third place and distance themselves from the places in the Europa League. The team has also accumulated an undefeated streak of 13 games since the loss to Real Madrid on February 1.

But Simeone knows that the work is not yet finished. Mallorca's arrival begins a stretch of three consecutive games against teams ranked 13th or lower in the table. Vicente Moreno's team beat Celta Vigo 5-1 earlier this week, but they are still five points clear with five games remaining, and even a draw at a stadium called Wanda might not be good enough to avoid a fall towards Second.
The Vermilions have not beaten Atlético in the capital since 2006, but have earned points on six of their last visits. The hosts will be strengthened by Koke's return from suspension, and Simeone will make a few more changes to the 11 who tied for Barcelona on Tuesday.

Possible XI Oblak; Trippier, Savić, Felipe, Lodi; Thomas, Saúl, Koke, Carrasco; Felix, Morata.

Prediction 2-0 Atlético. Visitors are missing important players for a game where they have to have a drink. Moreno will run out of top scorer Ante Budimir and ever-present center-back Martin Valjent after they collected their yellow cards 10 and 5, respectively. He'll be able to count on the teenage pearl Takefusa Kubo to provide danger in midfield, and he could win his battle with Renan Lodi. But Atlético in form should have good opportunities against LaLiga's worst defense, compete with comfortable winners here and almost certainly condemn Mallorca to relegation.
My record in season 23-21

Date July 3, 2020

Location Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid, Spain

Start time 10:00 p.m. CET, 9:00 p.m. GMT, 4:00 p.m. EST, 1:00 p.m. PST

TV / streaming available Movistar LaLiga 1 (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), beIN Sports 1 (Indonesia), Eleven Sports 1 (Belgium), ESPN (Brazil), SL4G (Ghana), DAZN (Japan), QQ Sports Live (China)

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