Preview: Lokomotiv Moscow vs. Atletico Madrid – prediction, team news, lineups
By Matt Law, European Football Editor | 1d
Atletico Madrid will be looking to move onto four points in their Champions League group when they take on Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow on Tuesday night.
Diego Simeone’s side drew 2-2 at home to Juventus in their Group D opener earlier this month, while Lokomotiv started with an impressive 2-1 victory away to Bayer Leverkusen.
There is no question that Lokomotiv will be wary of their opponents on Tuesday night having suffered a 5-1 loss on the last occasion that they hosted the Spanish giants. Indeed, Simeone’s team ran out comfortable winners in their Europa League last-16 second leg during the 2017-18 campaign.
As mentioned, Lokomotiv recorded an impressive 2-1 victory away to Leverkusen in their Group D opener. Incredibly, it was the first time that they had managed to win an away game in the Champions League since the 2002-03 group stage.
This is the fifth time that the Russian side have been present in the group stage of the Champions League – they struggled last season, though, finishing bottom of a section which also included Porto, Schalke 04 and Galatasaray, losing five of their six group matches in the process.
What’s more, Yuri Semin’s side have won just five of their last 13 European fixtures in Moscow, while they have been victorious in only two of their nine home games against Spanish opposition.
It is a big ask to expect the hosts to qualify for this season’s round of 16, but they are going well in the league this term – beating Zenit St Petersburg 1-0 on Saturday to sit third, just two points off leaders CSKA Moscow.
Real Madrid’s Toni Kroos in action with Atletico Madrid’s Joao Felix in La Liga on September 28, 2019
Atletico have made an encouraging start to the season, with a total of 14 points from their seven La Liga matches seeing them occupy third – one point behind leaders Real Madrid following Saturday night’s tense goalless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Simeone’s side trailed 2-0 to Juve in their first Champions League group match on September 18, but Stefan Savic and Hector Herrera both scored in the final 20 minutes to secure a share of the spoils.
Atletico have actually reached two Champions League and three Europa League finals in the last 10 seasons, which is an indication of their standing in the European game. What’s more, the Spanish giants have lost just three of their last 23 matches in European competition – recording 14 wins in the process.
Last season, the capital outfit progressed to the round of 16, where they suffered a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Juventus, who were seen as many as the favourites to win the European Cup last term.
Atletico have won on four of their six trips to Russia in European competition, meanwhile, remaining unbeaten in the process. Lokomotiv are sure to provide stern opposition on Tuesday night, but Simeone’s side will be looking to pick up another positive result in the Russian capital.