Our prediction for this Europa League match:
High-flying Atletico Madrid will be looking to give fans yet another reason for celebration when they host Lokomotiv Moscow at their Estadio Wanda Metropolitano in the first leg of the Europa League last 32. Los Rojiblancos were playing below expectations in the group stages of the elite competition, but they seem to be on top of their game ahead of the visit of Lokomotiv. It is well known that Diego Simeone's troops are a real force to be reckoned with at home and seeing that the Argentine tactician can count on key players for the return leg, we are tempted to put our money on the hosts. The Russian side did well to beat Nice in the last 32, but Atletico Madrid are likely to pose a much bigger threat for the visitors than their previous rivals. A man to watch in the home team will be Diego Costa, who returned to the capital club in the January transfer window.
Highlighted 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 (Lokomotiv Moscow):
Founded in 1922 as Kazanka, Lokomotiv Moscow are a Russian football club that play their home games at RZD Arena. The stadium was opened in July 2002 and the capacity of the venue is 27.320. Lokomotiv won their first Russian Premier League trophy in 2002, with the team finishing the season just above their local rivals CSKA Moscow. The two teams were level on points (66), but thanks to a better head-to-head record Lokomotiv eventually lifted the trophy. Two years later (2004) the capital club repeated the success and once again CSKA Moscow finished second, only one point behind the Krasno-zelyonyye (Red-Greens). Lokomotiv Moscow have always been attracting high-profile footballers and it has to be noted that the likes of Felipe Caicedo, Peter Odemwingie, Branislav Ivanovic, Igor Denisov, Dmitri Torbinski, Vedran Corluka, Emir Spahic, Lassana Diarra and Jan Durica played for the club in the past. Lokomotiv play their home games in green shirts and red shorts, while they wear white jerseys and white shorts when playing on the travels.