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Atletico Madrid vs Las Palmas preview : Atletico Madrid in tough battle for Champions League spot, face Las Palmas test

Atletico Madrid are facing an increasingly difficult battle to secure their place in the 2024/25 Champions League by finishing in the top four of La Liga. Their grip on fourth place has loosened further following a recent 1-0 defeat at Sevilla, which is their third consecutive competitive match without a win (1 draw, 2 losses).

Cracks are starting to appear in the foundations, with coach Diego Simeone publicly expressing his frustration with the Spanish FA for not moving Saturday’s match to Friday to allow for more recovery time before facing Inter Milan next week. But despite this turbulent period, the team’s home form in La Liga has remained solid, with a 2-1 win over Rayo Vallecano last time out taking their home record to an almost perfect 11 wins in 12 league matches (1 draw).

Las Palmas continue to exceed expectations in their first season back in the top flight, beating Valencia 2-0 last weekend to move up to eighth in the standings. With just three points behind sixth-placed Betis, the dream of a first European appearance since 1977/78 is still alive.

But if Las Palmas want to start rubbing shoulders with the elite, they need to start finding a way to beat them more regularly. A 2-1 home win against Atletico in early November stands out, but it remains Las Palmas’ only La Liga win against a team starting this matchday above them in the table (1 draw, 6 losses). More worryingly, they have failed to score in any of their five away La Liga games against teams in the current top half of the table, all losing by either 1-0 (x4) or 2-0 (x1).

Key Players:

Alvaro Morata’s injury could see Memphis Depay start, who has won all 14 of the last La Liga matches he has scored in (nine at home).
Las Palmas left-back Sergi Cardona, who ended last matchday with 42 tackles won, could be one of the men tasked with stopping Depay and his teammates.

Key Stat:

Las Palmas have not conceded a first-half goal when they have won in La Liga this season, leading 1-0 at half-time six times and drawing 0-0 four times.

This promises to be a fascinating clash between two teams with contrasting fortunes. Atletico Madrid will be desperate to get back to winning ways and strengthen their grip on fourth place, while Las Palmas will be looking to cause an upset and continue their dream of European football.

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