Our match prediction:
Buoyed by the impressive victory over Bayern Munich that saw them close on a place in the Champions League final, Atletico Madrid will be looking to keep the pressure on La Liga leaders Barcelona when they host Rayo Vallecano at their Vicente Calderon. Los Colchoneros have now won five straight games without conceding, so they will definitely be looking to continue the trend, but the match will be anything but a walk in the park for the hosts. Diego Simeone will have to ring some changes to the starting line-up in order to keep his team fresh, whereas Rayo Vallecano are not only fighting for their lives, but they also have the quality to make life difficult for Atletico. Putting a dent into their title bid may be a tall order at the moment, but we predict they will extend the excellent scoring run on the road that saw them bag 12 goals on last 8 La Liga trips.
Highligted Player (Fernando Torres):
Fernando Torres is a product of Atletico Madrid’s youth school. The 186-cm-tall attacker scored 82 goals in 214 league appearances for the capital club and in 2007 he moved to England. Torres signed a deal with Liverpool and he played for the Anfield outfit from 2007 to 2011. On 31 January, 2011 he signed a five-and-a-half-year contract with fellow Premier League club Chelsea and it has to be noted that he won the Champions League trophy with the Blues in 2012. The Spanish attacker clinched the 2012/2013 Europa League title with Chelsea as well, but on 31 August, 2014 he joined Serie A side Milan on loan. Torres made his debut for the Rossoneri on 20 September, 2014, coming as a substitute in a 1-0 loss to Juventus. The Spanish forward returned to Atletico Madrid on 29 December, 2014 and he scored 11 goals for los Rojiblancos in the 2015/2016 La Liga campaign. Speaking of his international career, Torres won the 2014 FIFA World Cup with Spain, while lifting Euro 2008 and Euro 2012 trophies with la Furia Roja.
Highlighted Team (Atletico Madrid):
Atletico Madrid are a Spanish team that plays in Primera Division (La Liga). Los Rojiblancos or los Colchoneros play their home matches at Estadio Vicente Calderon, which holds up to 54,960 spectators. Atletico Madrid have won 10 La Liga titles, but they have yet to lift the European Cup (Champions League) trophy. Los Rojblancos have won 10 Copa del Rey (Spanish Cup) trophies and it has to be noted that they defeated their bitter local rivals Real Madrid in the 2012/2013 Spanish Cup final. The rivalry between the two capital clubs is pretty big and El Madrileno is regarded as one of the most exciting derbies in the world football. Atletico Madrid played two Champions League finals under Diego Simeone, but they failed to beat Real Madrid in the title games (2013/2014 and 2015/2016). However, the Argentine tactician helped Atletico Madrid win the La Liga trophy in 2014 and, no doubt, he is one of the most successful coaches in the history of the capital club.