Match preview: Atlético vs. Mallorca

Los Rojiblancos will want to get on the scoreboard early and relieve mounting pressure

Reyes will want to improve his accuracy on Sunday  (

Reyes will want to improve his accuracy on Sunday

When they host Mallorca at the Vicente Calderón Sunday, Atlético will look to unleash their tiger claws as opposed to the kitten paws they’ve been wielding about the past couple of weeks.

Gregorio Manzano’s men come into this encounter following back-to-back scoreless ties in league play, and on the back of another punchless mid-week performance away at Udinese that ended in a stunning 2-0 loss.

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao García suffered a minor back sprain in Udine, and will be a game-time decision Sunday.

The 25-year-old has gone five straight games without finding the back of the net, though he still leads the team in goals scored with six in all competitions.

The mounting pressure to score seems to be getting to the former Porto man.

Falcao was on the brink of tears during an interview on the sidelines immediately after the game in Italy, and as further proof of his emotions getting the best of him, with his voice quavering, he accused the referee of being “a disaster”.

But his manager isn’t discouraged by his dry spell.

“When I coached Atlético a couple of years ago, Torres went seven games without scoring and some would say he had to be benched,” Manzano said in Saturday’s pre-game press conference.

“At the end of the season he had about 20 goals.”

With Atlético lagging behind in the classification table and letting attainable points go out the door week-after-week, Manzano himself is also starting to feel the heat.

“Statistics are always broken and so are streaks, good ones and bad ones,” he told reporters.

“This will end at any moment, we hope tomorrow, but I speak of the negative streak of not scoring goals, not of creating chances. The [goalless drought] is temporary.

“There’s always calm after a storm.”

A big win on Sunday can return peace of mind to the Colchonero faithful, who are beginning to grow restless with the recent string of lacklustre showings.

It’s certainly welcome news to the fans that Arda Turan, Sílvio, and Eduardo Salvio all returned to the match selection after missing out on Thursday’s Europa League action with their respective injuries.

Juanfran on the other hand, will be unavailable. The winger and emergency right back suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday that will reportedly keep him sidelined for about three weeks.

Manzano left Gabi, Antonio López, Joel and Pulido off the squad through tactical decision.

Newly-appointed Mallorca coach Joaquín Caparrós will be forced to field a depleted line-up, as banged up Islanders Pablo Cáceres, Kevin, Martí, Zuiverloon, Victor and Nunes will not be travelling to Madrid.

Los Bermellones are 12th in the Liga standings with eight points, one less than us.

They salvaged a point last weekend in Palma at the last minute when Tomer Hemed converted a stoppage time penalty to draw level with Valencia.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Sergio Asenjo
Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luis, Sìlvio, Álvaro Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Salvio, Reyes, Arda Turan, Paulo Assunçao, Koke, Diego
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Pizzi

Mallorca match selection:
Goalkeepers: Calatayud, Aouate
Defenders: Bigas,Ramis, Cendrós, Crespí, Chico
Midfielders: Joao, Pina, Tejera, Pereira, Alfaro, Castro, Aki, Tissone
Forwards: Nsue, Hemed, Álvaro

Referee: David Fernández Borbalán

Don’t forget to submit your score over at our Prediction League section!

  • k14

    Hope Arda will be fit enough.

  • 92

    Don’t know why Manzano left off Gabi of this match since he is our assists leader, I know that he has been inconsistent as pretty much the whole team except Courtois and the back-line but no one gives more assists than Gabi with that said I think Koke definately needs to start, he has great passing skills and I think he is gonna do great job, and I think if Falcao has a minor injury, the best thing to do would be send him to the bench and then he can come on to the pitch as a sub, but if he is fully fit then he must be a starter tomorrow, and I think Salvio if he is fully fit shoud apper as a sub. This is a very important game in our CL quest so we need to win it, not only winning means an important confidence boost but we can bounce back to fight for a CL bert, so I really hope we can win tomorrow and get back on track in the Spanish league.

    ———————————-Courtois ————————

    —– Silvio/Perea —– Miranda——Dominguez—–Filipe—-

    —– –M. Suárez ——-

    ——-Diego Koke——–

    ——Reyes ——- ——-Turan——

  • Sinan

    Does anyone knows if Arda is going to play ? Turkish news published that he’s still injured ?

  • 92

    Sinan, he is definately going to play, and I’m sure he is going to be a starter, so don’t worry man.

  • atletisrael

    gteat article man (as allways) loved the tiger reference…

    I actually ran out of things to say about our poor past month so I just wish for a good 2-0 result to calm the club and fans.

  • Flying Burrito

    We can do this!

  • 92

    Did someone watched the Manchester Derby?, just got one word to describe it, WOW!, I don’t think anyone would have imagine a victory for City and by a such large margin of goals, so City really means bussines, don’t get surprise if City emerges Premier League champion at the end of the season on the other hand, an awful result for United at home, before this match they we’re canditates to win the Premiership and this is a huge dissaponting result, and I wanna see how can Sir Alex and his boys specially De Gea can change things around.