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Atlético seek a second quick win against Astana

Atlético returned to form with the defeat of Astana and, sharing top spot in Group C with Benfica, they will be looking to repeat the trick against opponents who have just a single point.

Saúl Ñíguez celebrates scoring for Atlético on matchday three
Saúl Ñíguez celebrates scoring for Atlético on matchday three ©AFP/Getty Images

With a 4-0 beating of FC Astana on matchday three, Club Atlético de Madrid went some way to making up for the disappointment of their home defeat by SL Benfica in the previous game. They will look to build on that win in the return in Kazakhstan.

• Atlético are level on six Group C points with Benfica; Astana are trailing with just a single point.

Match background

• Astana, the first ever representatives from Kazakhstan to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage, lost 2-0 at Benfica on matchday one and then drew 2-2 at home with Galatasaray .

• Participation was secured with a 2-1 aggregate victory against APOEL FC in the play-off round. Nemanja Maksimović's dramatic equaliser six minutes from time in Cyprus proved decisive after Baurzhan Dzholchiyev had sealed a 1-0 first-leg success.

• In the third qualifying round Stanimir Stoilov's side won 4-3 at home against HJK Helsinki after a goalless away leg. In the previous round they defeated NK Maribor, winning 3-1 at home to overturn a 1-0 away reverse.

• Before this season, Astana's only experience of tackling Spanish opponents was a sobering one – losing 3-0 at home and 4-0 away to Villarreal CF in last season's UEFA Europa League play-offs. They have therefore lost all three fixtures against Spanish sides, conceding 11 goals without scoring themselves.

• The 2014 finalists began their sixth group stage campaign with a 2-0 victory at Galatasaray but then succumbed 2-1 at home to Benfica, their first European defeat at the Vicente Calderón since a 2-0 reverse to FC Rubin Kazan in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 in February 2013.

• Atlético are taking part in the competition for the third year in a row – the first time they have achieved that feat. The matchday three contest was the first time they have faced Kazakhstan opponents.

• They took four points from their other two group away games in 2014/15 and lost their round of 16 away leg 1-0 at Bayer 04 Leverkusen, eventually going through on penalties after the same score at home. They lost 1-0 at Real Madrid, and by the same aggregate score, in the quarter-final second leg.

Coach and player links
• Antoine Griezmann scored in France's 3-0 win over Kazakhstan in the Astana Arena in a UEFA Under-21 European Championship qualifier on 8 June 2012. Dmitri Shomko, Baurzhan Dzholchiyev, Aleksei Schetkin, Abzal Beysebekov and Yeldos Akhmetov all played for the hosts.

• Tiago played in Portugal's 3-0 defeat of Kazakhstan in a UEFA EURO 2008 qualifier in Coimbra on 15 November 2006.

Match facts

• Patrick Twumasi completes a four-game ban imposed for his red card in the third qualifying round second leg against HJK. Dzholchiyev is a booking shy of a suspension.

• Astana have won their last five Kazakh Premier League matches, including a 1-0 success at title rivals FC Kairat Almaty on 25 October.

• Stoilov's team are a point clear of Kairat – who they play in the domestic cup final on 22 November – going into the final day of the season on Sunday 8 November.

• Beysebekov's goal in the 4-1 triumph against FC Atyrau on 28 October was his first since he struck in a UEFA Europa League qualifier against Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC on 17 July 2014.

• Tanat Nuserbayev's effort at home to Atyrau was his tenth goal in the league this term, equalling the career-best tally he set in the 2012 campaign.

• Atletico are five games unbeaten (W3 D2) since their matchday two loss to Benfica.

• Tiago scored his first goal in seven months on Friday as Atleti were held 1-1 at RC Deportivo La Coruña, missing out on the chance to temporarily go top of the Liga.

• Fernando Torres is on 99 goals for the 2014 runners-up.

• Diego Simeone's men have conceded just eight goals in 13 fixtures in all competitions this season.

• Luciano Vietto, who has not played since scoring against Real Madrid CF on 4 October, has been struggling with appendicitis.