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Preview: Valencia vs. Atletico Madrid - Team news, lineups

Atletico Madrid will be aiming to record their sixth La Liga victory in a row when they travel to Mestalla on Saturday afternoon to face Valencia.

Diego Simeone's side are currently second in the table, three points behind leaders Real Sociedad with two games in hand, while Valencia occupy ninth position in Spain's top flight.

All things considered, Valencia's league form this season has been far from disastrous, picking up 12 points from 10 matches to occupy ninth position in the table, five points behind fourth-placed Real Madrid.

A busy summer transfer window saw a number of key players leave the club, and the failure to bring in high-quality replacements led to head coach Javi Gracia admitting that he wanted to depart.

Gracia, for now, remains in charge of first-team affairs, and Los Che are now unbeaten in their last three La Liga outings, with the run including a 4-1 home win over Real Madrid earlier this month.

The former Spanish champions also recovered from a 2-0 deficit to claim a point at Alaves last weekend, showing that the team, which is full of energy, has plenty of fight.

Valencia will be looking to claim another scalp this weekend, although they face an incredibly difficult test against arguably the favourites for the title this season.

Atletico further cemented their position as title challengers with an extremely important 1-0 victory over Barcelona last weekend, with Yannick Carrasco scoring the only goal of the contest late in the first half.

Simeone's team are absolutely flying in the league, winning each of their last five, while they have picked up 20 points from their eight matches to sit second in the table behind Sociedad.

Atletico are only three points off the summit with two games in hand, though, and their form in the opening months has led many to claim that they are the favourites for the championship ahead of both Real Madrid and Barcelona, who certainly have issues this term.

Not only have the capital giants scored an impressive 18 times in their eight matches, they have conceded just twice, which is an indication of the size of the task facing Valencia this weekend.

Los Rojiblancos were unable to overcome Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League on Wednesday night, though, with a goalless draw leaving them second in the section behind Bayern Munich.

Valencia La Liga form: LLLDWD

Atletico Madrid La Liga form: DWWWWW
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions): WWDWWD

Team News

Valencia will be without the services of Jose Gaya this weekend due to a hamstring injury, meaning that Toni Lato should earn a spot at left-back.

Jasper Cillessen is also on the sidelines with a muscular problem, but Mouctar Diakhaby is making steps forward in his recovery from injury and could be involved in some capacity on Saturday.

Yunus Musah continues to make a positive impression for Los Che and should keep his spot, while Thierry Correia is pushing for a return at right-back, which could see Daniel Wass feature in midfield.

Maxi Gomez is also fit and should start, but Denis Cheryshev has had a coronavirus scare ahead of the contest, meaning that Goncalo Guedes could come into the starting XI on Saturday.

As for Atletico, Diego Costa, Hector Herrera, Manu Sanchez and Sime Vrsaljko are still unavailable for selection through injury.

Meanwhile, Luis Suarez and Lucas Torreira will again miss out for the capital giants due to recent positive coronavirus tests while on international duty with Uruguay.

Angel Correa is expected to join Joao Felix in the final third of the field, while Mario Hermoso should get the nod over Renan Lodi at left-back, with Koke, Saul Niguez and Marcos Llorente all featuring in midfield.

Valencia possible starting lineup:
Domenech; Correia, Gabriel, Guillamon, Lato; Soler, Wass; Guedes, Kang-in, Musah; Gomez

Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso; Llorente, Koke, Saul, Carrasco; Correa, Felix

Source: Sports Mole / Matt Law

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