Atlético de Madrid have the chance to strengthen their grip on second place in Group A as they welcome a Lokomotiv Moskva side who have proved obdurate opponents in their opening three fixtures.
• Diego Simeone’s Atlético have picked up four points from their first three games, mustering a single win, and were held 1-1 in Moscow on Matchday 3 with José María Giménez’s 18th-minute opener cancelled out by an Anton Miranchuk penalty seven minutes later.
• Loko, who are third on two points, have never won in Spain and are still seeking their first victory in this season’s UEFA Champions League.
• Atlético are now unbeaten in their six games against Lokomotiv. They won 2-0 in both Moscow and Madrid in the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage, João Félix opening the scoring in both games.
• Atleti also got the better of Lokomotiv in the round of 16 of their victorious 2017/18 UEFA Europa League campaign. Saúl Ñíguez, Diego Costa and Koke scored in a 3-0 first-leg win at the Estadio Metropolitano before a 5-1 success at Moscow’s Stadion Lokomotiv in which Ángel Correa and Saúl found the net, Maciej Rybus with the sole response for Loko.
• The teams shared a 3-3 draw in Moscow in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup group stage, Peter Odemwingie scoring twice for Lokomotiv and Sergio Agüero doing likewise for Atlético.
• The Rojiblancos opened their 2020/21 UEFA Champions League campaign with a 4-0 loss at holders Bayern München, equalling their heaviest European defeat, but responded with a 3-2 victory at home to Salzburg before the draw in Russia.
• Third in Spain in 2019/20, this is Atlético’s 11th UEFA Champions League group campaign and eighth in a row; all but two of the previous ten have extended into the knockout stages.
• Last season, Simeone’s side finished second in their section behind Juventus, picking up ten points. Their two defeats both came away, at Bayer Leverkusen (1-2) and Juve (0-1), with the other game that 2-0 victory at Lokomotiv. Atleti were unbeaten at home in the group stage, collecting two wins and a draw.
• Atlético then ousted holders Liverpool in impressive style in the round of 16 (1-0 h, 3-2 a aet) but came up short against Leipzig in the quarter-finals in Lisbon, going down 2-1.
• The Madrid club have reached the quarter-finals or better in five of their last seven UEFA Champions League campaigns – all under coach Simeone.
• Atlético have lost only seven of their last 34 European matches (W20 D7), although four of those defeats have come in their last nine.
• The Rojiblancos have reached two UEFA Champions League and three UEFA Europa League finals in the last 11 seasons.
• A 2-1 loss to Chelsea on Matchday 2 in 2017/18 is Atlético’s only defeat in the last 27 European games in their own stadium (W22 D4).
• After losing their first two home matches against Russian clubs, Atlético have won the last four.
• Loko drew 2-2 at Salzburg on Matchday 1 before going down 2-1 at home to Bayern and then holding Atlético 1-1.
• Second behind Zenit in the Russian Premier League for the second season running in 2019/20, Lokomotiv are in the group stage for the sixth time overall and the third in successive seasons. Their 2018/19 appearance was their first since 2003/04, which was also their third consecutive group campaign.
• In 2019/20 Loko opened with a 2-1 win at Bayer Leverkusen – their first away victory in the UEFA Champions League since a 2-1 win at Galatasaray in the 2002/03 first group stage; their record between those two victories, qualifying included, was D4 L9 – but lost their next five matches, conceding two goals in each of them. That left them bottom behind Juventus, Atlético and Leverkusen.
• Lokomotiv have finished bottom of their section in each of the last two seasons.
• The Moscow club have lost 12 of their last 16 UEFA Champions League group matches, winning two; Matchday 1 was their first draw in the competition proper since 5 November 2003, when their match at Internazionale ended 1-1. They have now picked up two draws in three matches this season.
• Lokomotiv have also won only two of their last 17 European games, losing 13.
• Last season’s victory at Leverkusen and the draw at Salzburg on Matchday 1 of the current campaign are the only times Loko have avoided defeat in their last eight away European matches.
• Lokomotiv have yet to win in eight UEFA outings on Spanish turf, losing seven. The only time they escaped defeat – indeed their only goals – came in the Spanish capital when they drew 2-2 with holders Real Madrid in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League second group stage.
Links and trivia
• Has played in Spain:
Grzegorz Krychowiak (Sevilla 2014–16)
• Have played together:
Šime Vrsaljko & Vedran Ćorluka (Croatia 2011–18)
• International team-mates:
João Félix & Éder (Portugal)
• Koke missed a penalty as Spain lost to Fedor Smolov’s Russia in a shoot-out in the last 16 of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
• Kieran Trippier’s only goal for England came at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium in the 2018 World Cup semi-final against Croatia. The Croatians, with Ćorluka coming on as a substitute, came back to win 2-1 after extra time.
• Luis Suárez has twice played against Russia for Uruguay, in a 1-1 friendly draw at the Stadion Lokomotiv in 2012 and in a 3-0 win in the World Cup group stage six years later in Samara, and scored in both games. Smolov came on as a subsitute in the 2018 match.