Neither Diego Forlan or Elias has been able to suit up for Atletico Madrid, meaning their lineup isn't quite as lethal and exciting as it could possibly be. They still field a very strong team, though, and will be favorites against Racing Santander. Atleti won their last two matches going into the winter break and sit in sixth place, well within reach of a UEFA Champions League position. Racing Santander are attempting to avoid relegation and have struggled to replace the creative output of Sergio Canales, who departed for Real Madrid this summer. The teams will line up in 4-4-2 formations that are essentially matching, with both teams often creating their best scoring chances on the counter attack. However, expect Racing to be the more defensive of the two sides.
Atletico Madrid lineup (4-4-2): De Gea ; Kasmirski, Godin, Perea, Ujfalusi ; Tiago, Garcia, Assuncao, Merida ; Aguero, Costa
Racing Santander lineup (4-4-2): Toño ; Pinillos, Torrejon, Domingo, Henrique ; Bakircioglu, Diop, Colsa, Gonzalez ; Munitis, Rosenberg
Also of note, in another La Liga match, United States international Jozy Altidore starts on the bench for Villarreal, who are hosting Almeria. There was some speculation that Altidore might start due to an injury to in-form Brazilian international Nilmar, but it was not to be. If Altidore enters the match, we'll be sure to keep you updated. Both that match and this one, between Atletico Madrid and Racing Santander, kick off at 2 pm ET.