Atlético Madrid will have reason once again to complain about LaLiga’s match scheduling this weekend. The Rojiblancos will play Deportivo La Coruña on Sunday at 16.15 at the Vicente Calderón, despite facing Bayern Munich – their major rival for securing top spot in Champions League Group D – in midweek (Wednesday, 20.45 CET).
Out of the 32 teams participating in the Champions League, Atlético are the only side to play on Sunday, which could pose – the club will argue – a physical disadvantage against their opponents Bayern, who themselves play at 15.30 on Saturday (giving them more than 24 hours extra rest).
Looking at the schedule for the rest of the Champions League teams this weekend, 24 will play on Saturday while seven will play on Friday evening, leaving just Atlético on Sunday. The three other Spanish teams in the European completion – Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Sevilla – all play on Saturday.
Atlético's scheduling compalints
Controversies involving Atletico and kick-off times have become almost habitual in recent seasons. Earlier this month they opened the La Liga weekend against Celta at 13:00 on a Saturday, meaning they had to compete for audience share with the Manchester derby, which kicked off half an hour later. And last season, the Red and Whites played their Last 16 Champions League second-leg tie against PSV on a Wednesday evening, only to be given less than 72 hours to prepare for their crunch game away to local rivals Real Madrid at 16:00 the following Saturday. Atlético did win that game 1-0, however.
La Liga's reasoning
La Liga though will point to good reason over why Atléti’s game versus Deportivo was scheduled for Sunday. The side from A Coruña only played their matchday 5 game on Thursday night, losing to Leganés 2-1.