Match preview: Atlético vs. Valencia

Simeone's men suit up for battle at home for a chance at a European spot

Atlético's Miranda contains Valencia's Soldado  (Colchonero.com)

Atlético's Miranda contains Valencia's Soldado
(Colchonero.com)

It seems that with each passing week, Diego Simeone’s Atlético face an even steeper challenge than the last.

Riding a four-game unbeaten streak since ‘El Cholo’ got a hold of the squad back in December, los Rojiblancos will be looking to ace their latest and biggest test when Valencia come a-knockin’ at their door late Sunday evening.

The match against ‘Los Che’ gets underway in the expected frigid conditions of the Spanish capital at 21:30 CET.

All-too-aware of the importance of the clash – los Rojiblancos will be able to boldly proclaim themselves legitimate contenders for a Champions League berth with a victory – Simeone has called for supporters to pack themselves in tight at the Vicente Calderón to enliven the atmosphere and invigorate the men in red and white on the pitch.

Harking back to his own glory days at the club’s stadium, the Atleti boss also requested that the goal nets be changed back to the traditional red and white ones from the black ones that have been in use since the days of former Atlético coach Quique Sánchez Flores.

The new-look goals will be unveiled this weekend, as will the jerseys bearing montages of supporters’ photos within the numbers on the back of the players’ shirts.

Atleti youth product and team captain Gabi, who returns to the match selection after sitting out last week through a one-match suspension, is confident of a high turnout in spite of the harsh weather that will await the Rojiblanco faithful at the stadium.

“Atlético Madrid supporters have never failed us, whether it’s cold or it’s snowing,” the 28-year-old said in a pre-game press conference.

“They know we need their support, that it’s an important day for us all and that with a victory tomorrow, the dream of finishing within the top four will be very much closer.”

With the match week’s early results favouring Atleti, the stars have aligned for Cholo’s hombres to wrest a European spot from the clubs above them if they can avenge their 1-0 loss at Mestalla from the second round of the season.

Brazilian midfielder Diego, who like Gabi served a one-match ban last week, is back to reclaim his role in the starting line-up as the architect of the Colchonero attack.

Veterans Assunçao, because of illness, and Antonio López, through injury, were left off the squad along with Sìlvio and Fran Mérida, who have yet to convince Simeone they are worthy of a place in the 18-man selection.

The only predicted changes to the starting XI fielded in Pamplona are Diego and Gabi in for Koke and Mario.

Los Rojiblancos will look to flex their defensive muscles once again and extend their very impressive 2012-long clean sheet run, but to do that, they will have to shut out a potent Valencia side led by a lethal Roberto Soldado who is competing head-to-head with our own Radamel Falcao in the league goalscoring chart.

Unai Emery’s men come into the encounter sandwiched between two Copa del Rey semifinal fixtures against Barcelona.

They were able to hold the Liga giants to a 1-1 midweek draw at Mestalla, and will take on the Blaugrana at the Camp Nou in the return leg this coming Wednesday.

Simeone warned earlier in the week that Los Che “will be a tough and difficult opponent on Sunday regardless of what happens in the Copa.”

Midfielder Sofiane Feghouli and defender Ricardo Costa will be unavailable for Valencia through suspension.

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

Valencia match selection:
Goalkeepers: Diego Alves, Guaita
Defenders: Miguel, Barragán, Víctor Ruiz, Dealbert, Rami, Mathieu, Jordi Alba
Midfielders: Albelda, Ever Banega, Tino Costa, Pablo, Bernat, Piatti
Forwards: Jonas, Aduriz, Soldado

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco

Head over to the AtléticoFans Prediction League to give us your prediction for Atlético vs. Valencia!


  • falcao

    i would like to see Dominguez insted of Miranda in defensive line….
    Courtois
    Juanfran Godin Dominguez Felipe

    Diego Tiago Gabi Turan

    Adrian Falcao

  • DJ

    God I hate Atletico Madrid, just as much as the cheating pricks from Sevilla.

    I have to admit Atletico will provide a test for our boys, its 50/50, should be a good game.

  • God I hate Valencia, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Athletic and all you cunt cheating lucky ones! Atlético plays way better than any of you! And Valencia has the luck in the world, and if you’re going to talk shite here, then frankly you can fuck off!
    AUPA ATLÉTI!

  • Davide

    Let’s pump Valencia tomorrow like Rocco pumps his co-workers…

  • Soalri

    I’d love to see it this way…

    ………..courtois…………

    fràn..godin..perea..filipe

    ………gabi..tiago……….

    …adriàn…diego…turan

    …………..falcao………..

  • Soalri

    @Stefan, I love what you said 🙂

  • rojiblanco93

    Well done Stefan, know to the important things in these world. Atletic and Espanyol draw yesterday in a legendary 3:3 , so its our turn to be back in business!!!

  • rojiblanco93

    now*

  • DJ

    still riding on the high of a new manager, this is where it ends, this is where you fuckers come back down to the pit where you belong.

    Valencia will make you lot realize that nothing has changed and you are same old PATHETICO !!!

    Can’t wait.

  • dgsozkan

    @DJ . Are you a kid or something ? Go shit us in your team’s website. Grow up already.

    Next game will be the Simeone’s biggest challenge so far. I believe in him. I’m sure next game we will continue to rise.

  • Davide

    DJ//

    Well i see somebody is scared of Atlético. Violent outbursts of fear and nervosity from other supporters are always welcome! Makes us feel big, and you small.

    Someday in the distant future Valencia might even have as many liga and copa trophies as Atlético, but i wouldn’t advice you to bet on it, you are most likely to loose all your savings.

  • ratchet

    valencia are on the verge of bankruptcy. when you win trophies come back but until then PISS OFF DJ!!

  • @DJ
    Rock over so. you just jealous how we playing right now and as davide said scared and nervous. Rock from this site and PISS OFF!!!!!!!

  • ratchet

    COULDNT SAY IT BETTER MYSELF ^^

  • ali_

    DJ:

    i dont understand the “supporters” who writes to other teams fanpages just to tell how shitty they are, how bad they playin, etc. i feel sorry for u. seriously.

    btw im sure u still going to elementary school. if not… then i feel sorry for u again.

  • Ringo

    Just leave him:
    Remember, you support Atleti because you like them, not because you hate others, right?
    No use for this discussion.

    Let’s hope for a good game and may the best one win, which I hope is Atleti.

  • @DJ
    Come on man, be a bit more supportive i mean i hate barcelona but….. i dont bad talk them and i think you should do the same
    @Ali_
    I doubt he is in elementary school because too know them ‘big’ words you gotta be at a higher level.
    Lets hope for a good game and may the best party win, a quote from the great ‘Ringo’.
    AUPA ATLETI EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • shlomgar

    We now have the opportunity to go 4th place tonight!
    let’s hope the guys will do their work tonight, either way I’m super exited for the game! Wish I was in Madrid today

  • ratchet

    DJ’s definately a kid..

  • Solari

    DJ………go home lil boy it’s late for you…

  • leika

    Joel and Pulido playing for Rayo Vallecano now. Diego Costa on bench.

  • @Ratchet
    I’m a kid too you know
    I’m only 13. Javi lozoya is not a kid and everyone else on this site

  • is not a kid*

  • leika

    And Diego Costa scored an equalizer. Looks like it’s going great for our guys at Vallecano

  • for real leika??

  • yeah i seeing it

  • ratchet

    @ Randy German, when I said kid, i meant like a 2 year old, im 15 myself.

  • ratchet

    This has been such a boring match, but how falcao didnt score ill never know, weve gone worse judging by this match, new coach sydome seems to have run out…

  • ratchet

    what a disappointment…

  • AtletiFanInPhilly

    Solid game, albeit a bit disappointing. Atleti had a few chances–and definitely more chances than Valencia–but couldn’t convert.

    You have to be pleased with another clean sheet. While we all wanted a win, this is by no means a bad result.

  • Disappointing, very disappointing but we played well. All in all a good game. Thanks Ratchet

  • palc

    We should’ve bought a new forward. Because Salvio is so poor. He didnt to anything when he came in, other than losing the ball. At least Arda never lose the ball, although he also had a poor game. If we had Reyes, we would’ve created more chances.

  • ratchet

    @ palc, i agree with salvio being poor, but we wouldnt necesserely created more with reyes being on the pitch. falcao could have done a bit better.

  • palc

    @ ratchet
    We lacked that final pass. Or that long range distance goal to win it. We lacked Reyes.

  • ratchet

    you have got a point, that bit of magic just wasnt there.

  • @DJ
    Pit? Belong? Open your eyes man, start using them for a bit, there is really a purpose why God had an off day when he created you and put them into your head (too bad he didn’t add a brain). And the fuck would you know about Atlético? You’d know fuck all. And wipe up the shit in front of your own ass you bat flying dickhead:)
    Aupa Atléti!

  • Ok Stefan, thats enough you can stop now. We get it, he has some problems, big deal. So stop this bullshit we are atletico he is ‘antiletico’.

  • GTG to bed guys l8rz See you tomorow

  • You’re right:)