Champions League preview: Austria Vienna vs. Atlético

Atleti looking to bounce back but may be without Diego Costa for Euro clash

Atleti train at the Ernst Happel  (

Atleti train at the Ernst Happel

Having lost for the first time this season away at Espanyol a few days back, Atlético Madrid will be looking to pick themselves up on Tuesday in a Champions League clash against Austria Vienna.

Three points in the Ernst Happel Stadium would put one foot into the next round for the red and whites, although as we learned at the weekend, nothing can be taken for granted.

Kick-off is scheduled for 20:45 CET.

With Barcelona dropping points at Osasuna earlier on Saturday, the stage was all set for Atlético to move top of the league and equal Real Madrid’s long standing record of being the only team in history to win their opening nine La Liga matches.

It wasn’t to be though, a rare Thibaut Courtois mistake our undoing in a game that was settled by an unfortunate own goal from the Belgian.

However, the last thing Simeone will want is his team to dwell on the defeat, and he, more than anybody, will be trying to make sure they come out fighting on Tuesday and prove that the loss in the Cornella-El Prat was nothing more than a minor blip.

So far in the Champions League his team have impressed, picking up maximum points so far in Group G with hard-fought wins against Zenit St. Petersburg and most notably FC Porto, both without star man Diego Costa due to suspension.

It seems we will be without the Brazilian-born hitman yet again in Vienna though, despite the 25-year-old having served his four-match ban for a rash headbutt in the Europa League last season.

Costa has travelled with the team to the Austrian capital but has been walking on crutches ever since the Espanyol game, with his manager conceding in his press conference that he is highly doubtful to suit up.

“We’ll assess him again tomorrow, but at the moment it is difficult to see him playing,” said Simeone. “There is a lot of time between now and tomorrow though, so we’ll see how he responds.”

The Argentine tactician also had words about his other starting striker, David Villa, who’s run of seven matches without a goal has caused some concern among fans.

“Villa has lived his whole life scoring goals, it’s what he does. We are confident he will appear when we need him most,” he said.

Playing in the Ernst Happel will bring back mixed memories for El Guaje, having missed out on playing the Euro 2008 final there for Spain due to injury.

Former Rojiblanco idol Fernando Torres scored the winner in a famous win over Germany, but Villa’s tournament was cut short in the same stadium as he took a knock in the semi-final.

Austria Vienna don’t normally play in the 50,000 seater venue, but as their regular home does not meet UEFA standards, they are required to host European matches in the national arena instead.

Despite qualifying for this year’s Champions League for the first time in their history last year, they have not been in great form as of late and sit mid-table in their domestic league, having won just one of their last ten.

They are yet to score in their two group games so far, but did manage a goalless draw away in difficult conditions at Zenit in the last match day. They also overcame Dinamo Zagreb to qualify, winning 2-0 in the first leg in Croatia.

Manager Nenad Bjeliça was particularly complimentary towards Atlético in his press conference on Monday, in particular when speaking about his opposite number.

“Simeone is one of the best managers in the world,” he said. “He has won more titles than any other coach in the past few years, and with a squad that cannot compare with teams like Real Madrid or Barcelona.”

“It will be a tough game but we have shown that we can compete with anybody, we have belief. Atlético’s players are only footballers like us, maybe with a little more quality, but with effort you can compensate.”

Die Veilchen will be without star winger Alexander Gorgon who picked up a serious injury in their draw at the weekend. Alexander Grünwald is also out, although they are expected to have Marko Stanković and Tomás Jun available again.

For the visitors, B-team goalkeeper David Gil has entered the squad list and will line-up on the bench ahead of the injured Dani Aranzubia. Brazilian striker Léo Baptistão is the only other certain absentee.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, David Gil
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Giménez, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabi, Guilavogui, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, David Villa, Diego Costa

  • GreekRojiblanco(piserakos)

    this game is a huge contest for me… last year when we lost at la liga with a poor performance and we had a mid-week Europa league game we used to lose with poor performance… so let’s see if we have the spirit of a ‘big’ team and we can play a wonderful game and of course win… this is villa’s time to score I think, vamos el guaje!!! aupa atleti

  • kris

    Feels tough, doesn’t it after the Espanyol loss? Hope the boys step up the game and play exciting and energetic football again, not lazy and boring like we saw against Espanyol. I am predicting Austria Vienna 1-3 Club Atletico de Madrid. Aupa Atleti!

  • kris

    My ideal starting eleven if Costa is missing would be the following: (4-2-3-1)
    Mario Suarez-Gabi
    Koke Oliver Arda
    Villa or Costa if he is available but not the two at the same time. Start Oliver in between the wingers and behind the striker.

  • starvs

    Kris, I too love Juanfran, but you are expecting a bit much of him.

    Otherwise fully agree with you, although Oli starting in CL may be too ‘big’ for him, in the estimation of Cholo at least. That is why we need Diego, but instead move Arda there and start Cebolla? Or Adrian? Can’t be Raul…

  • The being too big a game right now is rubbish. He has little experience but sometimes you guys act like he’s a 14 year old who just signed up for football and had a few lucky good games as a sub.
    as I said, he has little experience, but he’s able to start, for sure.
    Remember Camacho? Manquillo?
    He can do this.

    He’d probably be better than usual since the team is usually best in the beginning, so he could get a chance to play in the team at best and gain starter experience.

    He could always be taken off at half time if tired or whatever.

    Also, I think there’s a chance we’ll see Manquillo start, with Juamfran playing for Spain, etc.

  • Or look at it this way: could it be worse having an extra involved midfielder than someone who’s involved as much as Villa been lately?
    That 14 year old I’ve been talking about would almost be more useful.

  • Atleti10

    Oliver will be a great player but he’s not ready. The last few games hes come on in he has looked nervous which lead to misplaced passes, unlike him.

    I would love to see him play as there is a greater chance he will do something special than RG8 or Cebolla but being practical I don’t think this is the right time.

    We need Diego badly. Teams are dropping deeper against us preventing us from hitting on the counter, we need a Diego like player capable of breaking teams down. Lets not forget hes nearly 29 which gives him two good years at the end of which Oliver will be ready to start.

    Finally lets hope Villa steps up and repays some of that huge wage hes on.. I’m beginning to think our ‘Signing of the Season’ is more of a financial burden than anything else. I will remain hopeful for another day at least.

  • pantic#10

    We must do 6 points against Austria Vienna. it’s one of the weakest team of Champions League this year.
    Tonight we’ll win 2-0. Villa and Arda!!
    Aupa Atleti.

    If Villa doesn’t score against Vienna….better start to play with Momar N’doye (which i think he’s very promising!)

  • kris

    This is the right time. This game is the right time. Like Pantic said, Vienna are one of the easiest teams in the CL this season on paper, but we must not underestimate any of our opponents. Having said this, Raul Garcia won’t be able to do any damage to the opposition unless he is scoring a goal, while Oliver could break down the defense of the opposition with his dribbles and great passes. If you start him now, he will start having more experience and will learn what it’s like to play with the big boys. Don’t expect him to be extraordinary though, but he will be useful.

  • Jeronamo

    How can people keep saying that Oli is not ready???? Do you guys really think that he can show his best form or play a good game if he only plays a couple mins from off the bench? Seriously the guy is good enough to start in any competition, for heavens sake he played against Barca so why can’t he play against Austria Vienna… Just because it’s labelled the Champions League doesn’t mean its not football, stop behaving like its a cup final and have belief in Oli, if some of you can be patient enough for Villa and believe that RG8 is soo good ( i don’t get that either) why not have the belief that he can do what diego did????

    Aupa Atleti!!!

  • marcelo

    must win game for us. Will reduce the pressure on us in the next 3 CL games if we get the 3 points tonight.

  • starvs

    For the record, my objection to this being to big a game was from Cholo’s perspective, I mean he certainly can’t be worse than a not 100% healthy R.G. (or probably even a 110% health R.G….)

  • Jeronamo

    @starvs lol I know.. I didn’t mean you tho

  • Will

    And Costa is in! 🙂

  • pantic#10

    wow beautiful choreography by Austria Vienna. great atmosphere!
    Toby and Tiago as starter!
    Miranda, Koke, Diego Costa, filipe, curtois, gabi, RG8, Arda, Juanfran

    No Villa, ok it’s official…we have a problem.

    The referee is from my country, hope he don’t do disasters 🙂

  • AndersAT

    Does anyone have a good link?

  • pantic#10

    What a shot by Juanfran! good start.

  • pantic#10

    @andersat: do you have sopcast? i’m watching it in hd quality from a link available on rojadirecta

  • Will

    And Koke, again, outstanding…

  • pantic#10

    Great gol! RG8!!!! i knew it and i said that he’s strong as “falso nueve”, this is the best module for him! yeahhhhhh

  • Will

    @Andersat, I’m following through here:

  • AndersAT

    Great, Thanks.
    Missed the goal though… Lots of love for Raul Garcia!

  • Will

    And Diego Costa, again, outstanding…


  • pantic#10

    Diego Costa what a dribbling

  • AndersAT

    Great Goal. Great comeback after the Espanyol game.
    I would like Villa to come in for Costa at the break. Give Costa some rest, and hopefully VIlla could get a goal from a counterattack.

  • Pantic#10

    Crossbar by Austria Vienna…and they’re was a penalty for them.

  • Dircil

    so far in this match, Toby has played very solidly!!!!

  • pantic#10

    very good first half, all the team played well, very focused.
    Austria Vienna became very dangerous in the last 15 minutes, obviously they’re under 2 goals so they must attack.
    Hope to see a good 2nd half, we have the possibility to hit them by counter attack.

  • pantic#10

    Porto – Zenit is 0-0
    if it ends with this result we’ll have 5 points on Porto and 7 on Zenit!!

  • Will

    Porto is down to 10 players since minute 06! Zenit has a huge opportunity playing away.

  • pantic#10

    bravo Insua!! assist to Diego Costa.

  • pantic#10

    Diego Costa did an “elastico” trick near the corner 🙂
    Cebolla in the Beast out.

  • Jeronamo

    This has been a poor second half

  • Zakaria

    Good game so far, boring though. This is a good chance for villa to score and replace rg8 he sucks as a striker

  • Will

    Zenit has beaten Oporto by 0-1. Hahahahah

  • pantic#10

    finished, we played a maybe boring 2nd half but smart control of the game.
    So Zenit won, goal by Kerzhakov, we still have 5 point from them and 6 to Porto.
    Good night to you all!

  • A win against Austria already guarantees qualification to the next round.
    I like the prospect.

    Again no Oliver 🙁

  • piserakos

    we played as a big team has to we dominated them and we faught back from a bad game… we won too easily… it was nice that we played at 4-5-1 espatially against those type of teams we should use this formation more often. RG8 had a good game for his standards, costa was fantastic(what he did at the second goal), koke created a wonderfull goal with his though pass, arda was arda and insua looked great… also toby with miranda were good enough and what i liked was adrian, he played only 10 minutes but guys he was like the good adrian the europa league adrian waiting to see more of him… anyway we won we probably are going to finish first if anything weird going to happen but we have to fight at the remaining games cause i) every win is 1mil euros and every draw 0,5mil and ii) we need points so next year we will be at group A at uefa champions league group-stage draw….
    mine personall goal for this year champions league was the querter-final i think we are close enough cause hopefully we are going to have a ‘weaker’ team at top-16. i think we will rotate more at cl

  • marcelo

    Great result and really relieves the pressure on us now in the next 3 games. First season back in the CL and almost through to the Quarters. Thank you Cholo for returning us to where we belong 🙂 Aupa Atleti!

  • starvs

    We were certainly benefits by being in by far the easiest group, but regardless, #graciascholo

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Juanfran has picked up his second yellow in the competition, only one yellow away from suspension, now knowing that the yellow cards are not dropped after passing from group stage to knock out stage but they are carried on, I guess Juanfran has to take another yellow against Austria Wien if we won (and qualified) so that he will serve the suspension in group stage and enter the knock out stage cards-free

    and if any other player picked up 2 yellows I guess he should do that too, but not in that stupid and very obvious way that Real Madrid players and their idiot coach Mourinho did !!

    I hope El Cholo and his staff are aware of that .. and I’m sure they are