Atletico Madrid v Aberdeen preview
Aberdeen travel to Atletico Madrid for Thursday¿s Uefa Cup game desperate for points
By Steve Pass
Last Updated: 29/11/07 1:01pm
Aberdeen travel to Atletico Madrid for Thursday's Uefa Cup game desperate for points to help them progress out of Group B into the knock-out stages.
A 3-0 opening game reverse away to Greek side Panathinaikos, followed by a 1-1 home draw with Lokomotiv Moscow, has left the Scottish side in fourth place in the group with just one point.
This is the same points tally as Atletico, who have a game in hand over the Dons after their 3-3 draw away to Lokomotiv Moscow in their only group match so far.
It seems odds-on that there will be goals, goals, goals in the Vicente Calderon on Thursday.
The Spanish side's last three home games have seen a 4-3 score line - two in Atletico's favour, one against.
And while Atletico have been leaking the goals recently, so have the Dons.
Their last two games, both away, saw a 4-1 reverse to Hearts followed by a 3-0 defeat at Celtic in the SPL.
In his final press conference before the match, Dons manager Jimmy Calderwood confirmed that striker Darren Mackie and defender Lee Mair are out while strikers Steve Lovell and Jonathon Smith failed to travel.
Also doubtful for the game are defender Zander Diamond and striker Chris Clark, although both trained on Wednesday.
Looking forward to the game, Calderwood said: "Atletico Madrid are definitely the strongest team in this group. We did very well to put out Dnipro and this is a level above that.
"We need something like that kind of performance to take anything from this match. We have a lot of fans over here so we will have good support in the stadium and in the end it is eleven versus eleven.
"It's a chance for us to create a wee bit of history and if we were to get a result it would be up there with some of the best results this great club has had in Europe."
Diego Forlan and Luis Garcia are set to start for Atletico in place of top scorers Sergio Aguero and Maxi Rodriguez, who are expected to drop to the bench.
Left-back Antonio Lopez and midfielder Thiago Motta are also expected to come into the starting line-up, but midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado is definitely out with a groin strain.
Cesar Ortiz has been called up to provide cover at right-back, while goalkeeper Christian Abbiati has been chosen ahead of regular No.1 Leo Franco for European games.