Match preview: Celtic vs. Atlético

Atleti can clinch a spot in the next round of Europa League with a win in Glasgow

Can Atlético replicate their matchweek one form?  (colchonero.com)

Can Atlético replicate their matchweek one form?
(colchonero.com)

Atletico head out to Scotland where hosts Celtic await them in mid-week Europa League action.

For Atleti, Wednesday’s group stage matchday five clash (19:00 CET) comes just days after they suffered their seventh consecutive derby defeat.

“A loss is always a loss and dropping three points always leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” coach Gregorio Manzano was quoted by Sports Illustrated as saying.

“But we had a good start to the game, so I am happy with my team’s play.”

Manzano’s men can clinch a berth into the round of 32 with a victory in Glasgow, just a season after they failed, in embarrassing fashion, to defend their 2009/10 crown and make it through to the knockout phase of the European competition.

“We have to think about the game against Celtic,” veteran Atlético midfielder Paulo Assuncao said in a press conference on Monday.

“We have to treat it as a final even though we would still have one more chance. We are a great team and we have to go out looking to win.”

Colombian striker Radamel Falcao is back in the squad after missing our last two matches with a hamstring injury, but it’s unclear if he will start.

Falcao scored his first goal in red and white against the Celts at the Vicente Calderón.

Antonio López has recovered from his knee surgery and made the match selection.

Silvio and Tiago are recovering from their respective injuries and will remain in Madrid along with Jorge Pulido and Joel, who were left off the squad through tactical decision.

Following their 2-0 defeat to los Rojiblancos in the first matchweek of the Europa League group stage, Neil Lennon’s men have secured points in their subsequent three games.

They drew level at 1-1 with Udinese at Celtic Park and, like Atleti, tied 1-1 in Rennes before drubbing the French outfit 3-1 in Scotland earlier this month.

The Bhoys are coming off a 5-0 thrashing of St. Mirren in their domestic competition, narrowing the gap between themselves and Scottish Premier League leaders Rangers to four points.

Third in Group I with five points, the Hoops will look to keep their title hopes alive by avenging their loss to los Colchoneros back in September.

Atlético aim to stay atop the group standings by taking six of six points from the Scottish outfit.

Talking points ahead of the match:

  • Can Atleti bounce back from the derby loss and get a crucial away win?
  • Will Falcao be fit to start, if so, will he play alongside Adrián up top or will Manzano go with a single striker?
  • Will Asenjo get a warm-up start ahead of this weekend’s match against Rayo in which he is set to be in the fold for?

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Sergio Asenjo
Defenders: Godín, Antonio López, Filipe Luis, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Salvio, Reyes, Arda Turan, Assunçao, Gabi, Koke, Juanfran, Diego
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Pizzi

Who would you like to see in the starting line-up for this game?


  • GS Fan 1905

    This is a completely different league now. So Atleti have to forget about the Real game and continue their good European form.

    I think Adrian should start up top and Falcao should be introduced a little later on so he can get his legs back.

    As for Asenjo, yes! he should start in goal, he is an Atleti player, Courtois is not. Atleti should not be a training ground for other team’s youngsters, especially Chelsea, yuck!

    Reyes shoud also start and Atletico should kick a$$!!

  • Ringo

    I still think Reyes should stay pichhitter-ish, but perhaps he could start the game.

    This game should be won, no excuses.

    I think Falcao should start on the bench, no time for risks now. Koke could start (okay, this is sort of a risk, but he has to start for once).

    If things stay about the same and Shaqiri is bought, loan out Koke and sell Reyes. Depends on how long Manzano will stay around, though…

  • atletisrael

    Asenjo
    Juanfran/Miranda-Perea-Alvaro-Lopez (let Felipe rest)
    Assuncao-Koke
    Reyes-Diego-Pizzi
    Adrian

    Lets mix it up a bit, most of these players did well last couple of games.

    Aupa Atleti!

  • dgsozkan

    Time to forget about real and focus on Europa League. We need a winning streak, we should beat Celtic and win 3 or 4 matches in a row at least. First half of the season is almost finished. Team needs to get it together. If Falcao has fully recovered from his injury , Manzano should start with both him and Adrian. It’s clear that we can be more productive offensively when we play with two striker. I desire Koke to play as always btw.

    About gk issue, does anybody know anything about Courtois’ contract? Do we have a chance to sign him with a certain fee? If we don’t , we really need to try improve our goalkeepers. I would love to. see Courtois’ playing for us for more years but if it is not an option for us, Manzano should let the asenjo or joel play. I admit that Joel wasn’t so impressive in the beginning of the season but he is very young and I think he is talented too ,so he deserves more chances. At least we have Asenjo if he screws up. I still remember his Valladolid days and he was quite impressive back in these days.

  • Javi

    Arda is on fire today

  • No Shaqiri,keep Reyes and Koke!

  • SaNTi

    YeSS!!! what a goal… amazing!!!

  • GS Fan 1905

    Crap!! I’m missing it! @ work!

  • Sinan

    @ atletisrael

    Pizzi instead of Arda ?

  • Javi Lozoya

    The legend keeps growing, 295 official matches for captain Perea, so with that said, RESPECT FOR PEREA!, for he is an Atleti legend like or not.

  • Javi Lozoya