Match preview: Atlético vs Celta

Atletico take on Celta in early league kickoff

Adrián will miss out on the chance to become  Celta's recurring nightmare  (asia.eurosport.com)

Adrián will miss out on the chance to become
Celta's recurring nightmare
(asia.eurosport.com)

Before yet another international break starts, Atlético receive struggling Celta on the eighth match day of La Liga. Kick-off at the Vicente Calderón is set for 12:00 CET on Sunday.

Though his men have won every game in La Liga and are two points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid with a game in hand, Rojiblanco boss Cholo Simeone cautioned that they’ve “played only seven games” and that “the only way to remain good is to be vigilant.”

Celta have only managed to win once this season, way back in August. Last season, the red-and-whites defeated Os Célticos both home and away, but it took an Adrián wonder goal to secure victory in a tedious game at the Vicente Calderón.

Speaking on Saturday, Cholo praised his upcoming opponents and their manager, Luis Enrique, describing them as a team “with a very good playing style” and a manager with a “clear playing philosophy”, respectively. He analyzed their current side, as well:

“They’re a team with a good game, good combinations, with Nolito on the left, who plays deep; Charles up front, who can do damage; Krohn-Deli, who’s always dangerous; Augusto, who always has a presence; and a good goalkeeper.”

Though the Colchoneros play their seventh game in twenty-two days on Sunday, Cholo indicated there wouldn’t be many changes, if any, to the team. He also explained why he always insists on approaching everything game-by-game.

“I always look, according to the properties of the game, for the players with whom I believe we can win the game, regardless of whether we have to rest a player for physical reasons. I imagine they’ll be fine for this game,” he said.

“The hardest thing in football is to maintain ambition, humility, and collective effort. If you manage to find this, you get the most from your team. Our goal is to get to that place. We only look at opponents for the points we can win against them. And tomorrow there are three points, just like at the Bernabéu.”

Mario returns to the squad again after recovering from a knee sprain, which forced him to miss out on games against Porto and Real Madrid. Adrián is still out with injury, and Raúl García joins him after spraining his ankle midweek. Giménez and Guilavogui have been omitted from the squad as well, for technical reasons.

Atlético match selection

Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Koke, Arda, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabi, Óliver
Forwards: Villa, Diego Costa, Baptistão

Celta match selection

Goalkeepers: Sergio, Yoel
Defenders: Hugo Mallo, Fontàs, Aurtenetxe, Jonny, Toni, Cabral, David Costas
Midfielders: Borja Oubiña, Álex López, Rafinha, Madinda, Krohn-Deli, Augusto
Forwards: Nolito, Charles, Santi Mina

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco


  • kris

    Celta Vigo are gonna come into this match to really play against us having only gained 1 point in the past four games. We have to do our possible best to keep a CLEAN SHEET in this match as goals conceded will be key and score as many as we can without wasting chances.. We need all the three points from tomorrow! I know we can do this. I predict Club Atletico de Madrid 2/3-0 Celta de Vigo. Aupa Simeone! Forza Atleti!! We can do this!!

  • Ian

    It’s kinda wierd how toby and guilavogui haven’t palyed a single game for us…

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    now after Atleti came back again to what they used to be, a champion team, one of -not just Spain’s- but also Europe’s giants, these kind of games like the one against Celta (this morning !) which is supposed to be an easy one will get much more difficult ..

    now the weak teams will give 110 % of their efforts against us, they will try to complicate things for us
    they will play solid defense, and this is not good for us, we are not very good in possession and creativity .. in fact we hate possession !
    the games in which we win the possession are mostly bad ones, I can give you many examples from the last season

    we are very good in counter attacks which makes many of our games against the big teams much easier than the ones against the weaker teams

    I was very worried before Osasuna game, and it did was a difficult game,
    but before Real game I was very confident that we will win

    and now I’m worried again from Celta ..
    it will be very hurtful and will cause some problems for us if we didn’t win the next game after we won against Real Madrid at Bernabeu

    I guess an early goal today is very important for the team and for the fans
    and it’s also very important to go to the international break with perfect score, 24/24 .. and with 5 points above the (very lucky) Real Madrid

    and finally, I wish Villa finds his way to the sheets again,
    he cost me a lot of points in the Prediction League !!

  • Yon

    Ahmad, dont worry!!!! Koke will find a way to get the ball to Costa!

  • Tommy

    No game next week and we haven’t played for 5 days so I predict probably the strongest possible team bar maybe Mario (who probably isn’t fully fit) and one of the back four (I’d like to see Manquillo or Alderweireld). I think it’s important that Toby gets a game here and there in case Miranda or Godin get injured, it would be dangerous to go into a big game with a CB who has never played for us before.

    Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Alderweireld, Filipe, Gabi, Tiago, Koke, Arda, Costa, Villa!

  • With their performances, I don’t see why it would be a bad idea to hand Oliver a start next to or, better, behind of Costa, instead of Leo or Villa, today.

    Plus Celta might try to close it down, so Oli’s positional and passing ways might be best, tactically, too.
    Also, it gives more freedom to Koke. To switch positions with more players.

  • colchonero in sf

    We might just end up rueing our chances. Costas missed penalty and Miranda completly missing an unmarked chance with the head.

    Nervous bout this one….

  • pantic#10

    AHAHAH what a funny scene on the goal:
    Godin said to Costa: ” no buddy this goal is mine” laughing..
    and Diego Costa, with the eyes of a child:” c’mon i want it…” ahahah
    good, now let’s close this match.

  • starvs

    Team looking very strong at half, but missing chances, good we got the one, but cannot let up…

  • kris

    What is wrong with Villa? HOw do you MISSS THAT? OMG perfect chance to finish the game and OMGG ugghh,, frustrated.. Bring in Oliver.

  • pantic#10

    OMG!!! Villa!!! what a mistake!!!

  • kris

    Thank you for bringing in Oliver. Good tactical change at this moment.. Well done to Simeone..

  • pantic#10

    @Kris: we had the same reaction 🙂

  • kris

    GOOOOL DE DIEGO COSTA!! 11 goals in the league!! Who can stop Diego Costa?? He is too strong, fast, and skillful for these players.. Love the guy.. Well done for making up for that missed penalty!!

  • pantic#10

    Diego Costa again! ABSOLUTELY KILLER! what a warrior, The beast of the manzanares!

  • kris

    Oh, I absolutely love the atmosphere in the stadium!! My god this is beautiful.. I bet you would never hear the Camp Nou being as loud as this, singing so passionately.. great job today…

  • kris

    Damn bad mistake from Mario Suarez. Better get one back right now to make it 3-1.

  • kris

    Guilavogui makes his debut!!

  • kris

    Damn, at least we won well.

  • pantic#10

    Thibauting! great save on Nolito!
    Iron-Gabi! i hope he’s not injured.

  • AndersAT

    Great with a win. A bit to much tension ind the end for my taste.
    I feel bad for David Villa. I would really love for him to get some goals. I think Oliver Torres need a bit more precision ind his passing, and don’t hold on to the ball for so long.

  • kris

    Oliver didn’t really make that many passes today.. Yehh, I agree with not holding the ball for so long, though.. but he could really hold the ball for long and not have the ball taken away.. If you noticed, all players except for Costa were below average or at most average today. I don’t know why, but that’s just the way it was today.. Celta tried their best. This match would’ve been different had we not converted easy chances.. Hope we fix this soon. Glad this came before going to Intl. break. Now, we have a little bit of time to work on what we need to do better..

  • kris

    ^had we converted

  • Alex21

    I didn’t start watching until the second half, but wasn’t that impressed. The goal from Costa was very nice. However, I truly thought Celta would end up tying with the way they were pressing. Villa’s miss was absolutely abhorrent, and obviously Simeone thought so too. When Oliver came on, I thought to myself, “alright, we will get some creativity in the middle”. But that never really happened. Oliver had some technical problems. He’s a great young player, and I’m excited he’s getting minutes, that’s all he can do for now. Get his minutes to improve. I wouldn’t want to see him start, but love the 30 minute sub minutes.

    Our defense kept getting penetrated on the wings, mostly on Juanfran’s side. Cheeky clinical goal from Celta. Courtois’ free kick save was a thing of beauty. Glad we came away with 3 points, but whew…..

  • Oliver had the bad luck of being on when the team seemed tired down, which made it hard for him to play his game today. It’s hard for a CAM to do your thing when most you see is long passes to Costa, who did great today.
    Didn’t catch much of the first half, but the second the team came across a bit too chaotic.

    Good time for a break.

  • Silchas

    we have missed to much chances today or against real and someday it will go bad for us.
    Its normal that that the attacking players getting tired, if they run and shoot over 70 minutes. thats the reason why Celta got stronger and their goal and our match at tuesday.
    But what really annoys me are this stupid goals against us. In the last game they happened every time out of nowhere and were totally lucky for opponent.

  • piserakos

    ouff that was close one… i saw alll the game so i will talk about whole of it. On the first half we dominated celta we pressured like hell we had many chances and we were too good, unfortunatelly we lost a lot of chances and we couldn’t score(fortunatelly we scored at least one) but we could finish the game from the first half.. On the second we started tha same way but again we lost many chances and (only) scored one time… after that we looked really tired and we sited back thanks god we won… now we have all the time to rest, work and help the 2 newcomers get in the team… aupa atleti

  • farhan

    waiting for VILLA to score
    cmon,
    MARAVILLA

  • I think it’s mostly important Guilavogui get used to the team, since Gabi and Mario are in very tiring positions.
    Alderweireld is useful, but CB usually takes a little less running, etc.
    It would also help canteranos like Oliver feel more comfortable, with energetic players to get the ball to his area.

    Ps I liked the captain armband around Koke’s arm

    Ps2 Villa looked almost depressed after his huge chance just before his substitution. Very annoyed look on his face.
    Wouldn’t mind seeing Oli, Adri or Leo get chances to prove themselves. Although it’s not good to write off David too soon.

  • farhan

    am a big fan of DAVID VILLA for me he is best striker so i just cant wait to see him in his form

  • pantic#10

    damn…Gabi is injured…he’ll probably be out for 1 month, let’s see tomorrow medical test.
    If you haven’t see the match he did a really bad hyperextension of the leg.
    From the website:
    Gabi tiene un esguince en grado II del ligamento lateral externo de la rodilla izquierda.
    Animo Iron-Captain!

  • kris

    I hope he is fine. He is el capitano, he adds so much in our pressing game, always works tirelessly every game, I hope it’s not a major injury and gets fit as soon as we return from the break.. It might give some chances for Joshua to improve though,, let’s see. I hope Gabi is hurt severely and will return really fast..

  • Silchas

    villa is also injured and must cancel the nationalteam. Del bosque istead nominated Michu for Villa

  • I think you mean “*not* injured severely”, Kris, haha.

  • Silchas

    So gabi is out for 3 weeks and will miss the maches against Espanyol and Austria Wien, maybe he can play against Betis.

  • pantic#10

    “good” only 3 weeks! and we have 2 “easy” matches.
    Time for Guillavogui to show his talent (and he has a lot of potential to become a starter in the future, even in nation team!)
    But i guess we will play with Tiago-Mario those matches.

  • Jeronamo

    Why hasn’t there been an official match review written as yet???