5.11.2019Champions League

Form check Atletico Madrid

He was the matchwinner in the Champions League group game between Atletico Madrid and Bayer 04 – and he is currently a guarantee for success for the top Spanish club. The man in question is Atleti top striker Alvaro Morata. Here is the form check.

When Atletico Madrid arrive at the Cologne/Bonn Airport on Tuesday afternoon (5 November), above all their central striker can step onto German soil in confident mood. Until he scored against the Werkself, Morata had only found the back of the net once in the Spanish top-flight against Getafe on matchday one – and that was back in the middle of August. Since then the Spain international has had knee problems as well as a suspension that have kept him out of the side.

However, after coming on against Bayer 04, the 27-year-old scored with a header on 78 minutes – and that was the start of a run. The striker got his name on the scoresheet in all three of the following La Liga games: In the 2-0 win against Athletic Bilbao, in the 1-1 draw against Deportivo Alaves and in the same result against Sevilla. So there will be plenty for the Bayer 04 defence to do

Joao Felix still sidelined

Ahead of the game against Bayer 04, Atletico have injury worries about four players who have the potential to be in the starting line-up: Central defenders Jose Maria Gimenez and Stefan Savic (both with muscle injuries), right-back Sime Vrsaljko (knee operation) plus prodigy Joao Felix (sprained ankle) could still be sidelined. In the last match against Sevilla, the back four was made up of four summer signings - Renan Lodi, Hermoso, Felipe and Kieran Trippier.

The situation in the table in the top flight in Spain is similar to the Bundesliga: Just five points separate league leaders Barcelona and Valencia in thirteenth place. Bayer 04 opponents Atletico are currently one point behind Barca – the team from the capital are fourth. Atleti currently have a remarkable goal difference: With twelve goals scored and seven conceded, the games involving Atletico have produced comparably few goals. If the Werkself succeed in winning then they would be the second team after Real Sociedad (0-2, matchday four) to beat the team coached by Diego Simeone this season in a competitive match.

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