Match Preview: Atlético vs. Rayo Vallecano

Falcao set for return as Atleti chase derby win

Sergio Asenjo returns to Atlético's XI(

Sergio Asenjo returns to Atlético's XI

Having won away for the first time since August in midweek, Atlético will be looking to get their league campaign back on track when Rayo Vallecano visit the Vicente Calderón on Sunday.

So far this season, the red and whites have failed to take a single point from any of their Madrid rivals, and will be looking to put that right against José Ramón Sandoval’s side.

Kick-off is set for the early time of 12:00 CET.

From an Atlético perspective, the main pieces of team news concern the suspensions picked up in the Bernabéu last weekend. Arda Turan and Diego Godín both miss out, as well as goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

Coming in for the Belgian will be Sergio Asenjo, who is set to play his first game in the Calderón since January 2010.

The 22 year-old’s last start came in a draw with Sporting in May of the same year, where he suffered the first of two devastating knee injuries that have blighted his young career so far.

Also returning to the starting line-up is star striker Radamel Falcao. The Colombian played 23 minutes as a substitute on Wednesday, and according to MARCA is now ready for a full match.

However, strike partner Adrián is struggling to be fit, due to a bout of gastroenteritis picked up earlier in the week. Despite training on Saturday morning, the former Depor man is more likely to start form the bench.

Jorge Pulido again misses the call, and took to Twitter to express his disappointment. Sílvio remains injured, although compatriot Tiago returns to the squad after a two week absence.

Fans have criticised Gregorio Manzano for his reluctance in playing youth, although the likes of Pulido and Koke should get a chance against Albacete on Thursday. The manager spoke to press this morning.

“Rayo are a good team, it’s nice to have them back in the league,” he said.

“We will go out to win, but they are a team who never give up. Their style is similar to Levante”

Sergio Asenjo also spoke ahead of the clash, and warned his teammates against complacency if they want to take the three points.

“They have nothing to lose but a lot to gain,” said the former Valladolid ‘keeper.

“We have to concentrate if we are to avoid a bad result.”

On a personal level, Asenjo admitted that it will be a special game for him, and one which he hopes can help him regain the number one spot.

“This is an opportunity that I have been waiting a long time for,” he said.

“I have worked hard to wear the Atlético shirt again and it will be a special game for me.”

Missing for Rayo will be midfielder Roberto Trashorras, because of technical decision.

Atleti supporters may remember his impressive performances for Celta in our 2010 Copa del Rey clash, but the former Barcelona and Real Madrid playmaker has fallen out of Sandoval’s favour in recent weeks.

The Rayo head coach also spoke in a press conference this morning, and admitted his respect for the home side.

“Atlético are one of the greats, a team with a lot of history,” said the 43 year-old.

“It’s a pride to be able to compete against these teams, although hope and desire will not win us anything,”

“Our aim is to play football and not be intimidated.”

Dani Pacheco, who was loaned by Atleti from Liverpool this summer, and immediately sent on loan again to Rayo, will most likely start on the bench for the visitors.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Joel, Asenjo
Defenders: Antonio López, Filipe Luís, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Salvio, Reyes, Assunção, Gabi, Koke, Juanfran, Diego
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Pizzi

Rayo match selection:
Goalkeepers: Cobeño, Dani
Defenders: Tito, Casado, Labaka, Arribas, Botelho, Jordi
Midfielders: Rafa García, Movilla, Míchel, Javi Fuego, Michu, Lass
Forwards: Raúl Tamudo, Piti, Koke, Delibašić, Pacheco

Referee: Carlos Clos Gómez

Head over to the AtléticoFans Prediction League to give us your prediction for Atlético – Rayo !

  • Javi Lozoya

    This is gonna be a very interesting match to watch, I wanna see what are Manzano’s line ups changes since Falcao is returning from a 3 week abscence although he played againts Celtic for a few minute and Turan is gonna miss this match, and Mario is returning, I suppose that Pizzi should start in Turan place, and thankfully Godin is not gonna play tomorrow, that’s a relief, hopefully Miranda does a good job.

    Pretty much the lineup is gonna be;Asenjo, Perea, Miranda, Alvaro and Filipe Luis, Mario and Gabi/Tiago, I wish Koke plays but I highly doubt it, Diego, Pizzi/Juanfran and Salvio on the wings, and Adrian/Falcao although I think Adrian should start because he has playing rithym.

    On the other hand, Rayo is doing a good season thanks to their otstanding manager, Ramon Sandoval but we are a better team and are gonna win the match.I’m looking forward to see promising Lass and Dani Pacheco who supposedly is an Atletico player, hopefully he plays some minutes, because I hope he can become an otstanding player with Atleti in the future, he is a very young and promising player but he needs to get playing time.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Dani Pacheco is/was nicknamed “The Killer/Assassin” by his team members from his time at the different youth teams he has been with.

  • Javi Lozoya

    That’s because he can score from anywhere on the pitch supposedly.

  • DJ

    valencia up to their usual tricks and winning, they are such a quality team.

  • Javi Lozoya

    Agreed. Valencia among is a quality club because among other things,their owners priotize sporting success over earning money and profits, btw, I heard a rumour about Emery joining Atleti next season, if that is true then, that’s probably the best news so far of this decade for Atleti.

  • DJ_ZA

    @ Javi Lozoya – So they sold Villa, Silva and Mata to improve their success rate? and profit had nothing to do with it? yeah, right.
    They’re just fortunate to have a great coach who’s capable of getting the best out of his team. As for that rumour….. that’s probably all it is. Not that I wouldn’t like him to make the move, but why would he join Atleti?

  • Javi Lozoya

    You speaking as if Valencia had no debts to pay, that’s why they sold their best players, that’s pretty obvious.
    FYI, Valencia doesn’t earn as much profit as Barca, Madrid, or Atleti, they’re probably the 4th most popular team in Spain but they don’t earn that much profit and they have debts and bills to pay, you sound like as if just because Valencia sold their players they must be a rich club and they’re owners care only about the money, and it’s not like that.
    Remember the Nike made jerseys Valencia used to wear with the Toyota logo on them?, well, because of the so many debts Valencia had they had to terminate their respective contracts with Nike and Toyota, and switch to Kappa and Unibet and eventually now their manufacturer is Joma, so that must answer yor questions of what did Valencia do with the profit gained with the sellings of Villa, Silva and Mata.

  • Javi Lozoya

    And Valencia is not just “fortunate”, they’re a pretty serious club, and they know what they want, it’s not just “good fortune”.

  • DJ

    right now Atletico’s debt is higher than valencia’s and valencia earn more money from CL, TV rights, Kit maker JOMA-£15M-that is why they switched, more season tickets holders, etc.

    Athleto, real and Barcelona have more debt than valencia but valencia are dealing with the issue. Our management takes the £45m earns from the sales on Aguro and buys one player, they waste money on players it will sting us in the bum in the not too distant future.

    We have to give respect to Valencia and learn from what they have done. We are in more debt with less funds coming in and we spend more, you do the math.