Atlético target qualification as Rostov visit

Atlético Madrid are looking for the victory that would secure their early qualification for the knockout stage as they host winless newcomers Rostov on matchday four.

Yannick Carrasco's goal was the difference between the sides in Russia
Yannick Carrasco's goal was the difference between the sides in Russia ©AFP/Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid are looking for the victory that would secure their early qualification for the knockout stage as they host FC Rostov on UEFA Champions League matchday four.

• Atlético ended Rostov's 26-game unbeaten home run when they won the clubs' matchday three encounter through a solitary Yannick Carrasco goal.

• Diego Simeone's men are top of Group D after three successive 1-0 victories and need just one more win to equal their best start to a UEFA Champions League campaign, recorded in 2013/14.

• Atlético are one of only three clubs with a 100% record in the group stage and one of only two, together with Leicester City FC, yet to concede a goal.

• Including the 1-0 home success over FC Bayern Munchen on matchday two, they have won 26 of their last 31 European matches at the Vicente Calderón, losing just twice.

• They beat FC Zenit 3-1 when last hosting Russian opposition in the 2013/14 group stage. It was their first home success against visitors from Russia (P3 W1 D0 L2).

• Ivan Daniliants' team are still seeking a first victory in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Their solitary point so far came from a home draw with PSV Eindhoven (2-2).

• Their record on the road in Europe this term is W1 D1 L1. After beating RSC Anderlecht (2-0) and drawing at AFC Ajax (1-1) in qualifying, they went down 5-0 at Bayern on matchday one.

• Rostov are visiting Spanish opposition for the first time.

Coach and player links
• Simeone scored an 88th-minute equaliser in Moscow to earn FC Internazionale Milano a 1-1 draw at FC Spartak Moskva in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage. He had won 2-1 at Spartak with Inter in a 1997/98 UEFA Cup semi-final second-leg tie.

• César Navas made 114 appearances for Real Madrid CF's second team, Castilla, between 1999 and 2003. His final season coincided with Juanfran's first.

• Navas also had spells in Spain with Málaga CF, Club Gimnàstic and Real Racing Club and faced Atlético five times (W1 L4). He was sent off the last time, a 4-1 away defeat with Racing in November 2008.

• Saeid Ezatolahi made five appearance for Atlético's C team in 2014/15, and represented the club in their 2-0 UEFA Youth League quarter-final loss at Chelsea in March 2015.

• Cristian Noboa was in the FC Rubin side who earned a shock 2-1 win at FC Barcelona on 20 October 2009 in the UEFA Champions League group stage.

• Kevin Gameiro came off the bench to hit Sevilla FC's 85th-minute equaliser in a 2-2 second-leg draw at Zenit in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League quarter-finals (agg 4-3).

• Fernando Torres struck three goals for Chelsea FC in their 5-4 aggregate quarter-final victory over Rubin in the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League.

• Stefan Savić lost 2-0 in Russia with Montenegro in a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier last October.

Match facts

• Atlético suffered their first defeat over 90 minutes since 8 May when they lost 1-0 at Sevilla on 23 October.

• They bounced back on Saturday with a 4-2 win at home against Málaga CF, despite the 60th-minute dismissal of Stefan Savić, Yannick Carrasco and Kévin Gameiro both striking twice.

• Carrasco extended his contract until June 2022 on 21 October.

• Augusto Fernández could miss the rest of the season after rupturing his cruciate ligament on 25 September.

• Diego Godín, Antoine Griezmann and Koke are among the 30 players shortlisted for the 2016 Ballon d'Or by France Football magazine.

• Rostov gained their first away point of the season, at the fifth time of asking, when they drew 0-0 at FC Ufa on 22 October.

• Their 1-0 defeat at FC Amkar Perm on Saturday means Rostov are without a win in four games in all competitions (D1 L3)

• Fit again after recovering from a cruciate ligament injury, Maksim Grigoriev made his first appearance since last November at Ufa, before playing 90 minutes at the weekend.

• Daniliants' men have failed to score in their last four matches.