Atlético Madrid will be looking to keep in touch with Barcelona at the top of La Liga on Thursday night, as they make the trip south for a Halloween clash against Granada.
The red and whites’ impressive away form was ended last time out by Espanyol, so Simeone and his team will be looking to get back on track on the road at Los Cármenes.
Kick-off is set for 20:00 CET.
Since that defeat in the Cornellà-El Prat ten days ago, Atleti have hit eight goals without reply in wins over Austria Vienna and Betis, but have no margin for error should they want to remain in contention at the top.
League leaders Barcelona moved four points clear on Tuesday with a win at Celta and also have the Catalan derby on Friday, which they will be expected to win. Should we drop points tomorrow, a real gap could be in danger of opening up.
On the back of a 5-0 win on Sunday though, the Rojiblancos will be travelling full of confidence, and take on a side who have found the net just twice in five home matches so far this season.
However, we will again be without main creative force Arda Turan, who is still nursing a minor injury. Our only other real wide player, Cristian Rodríguez, has also been left out.
Léo Baptistão also remains on the sidelines, meaning our choices in attack are a little limited. Youngster Óliver Torres could keep his place in the side following a superb goalscoring full debut, although Raúl García is likely to be preferred.
In his press conference, Simeone outlined the threat his team is faced by Granada, and also spoke about his incredible omission from FIFA’s Coach of the Year list.
“Last season we had a very tough game in Granada, they made it very difficult and played with great intensity. Tomorrow I imagine the same,” he admitted.
“They are a team who have recently changed their style of play, but still come with a lot of excitement and enthusiasm. We will have to give our best to take what we want.
“I’ve always said, I do not look to take credit or win personal awards, I just try and do good in the eye of the people who employ me. I have to continue working with my team, trying to do my best for the club, which is what matters most to me,” he finished.
Granada will also be missing key attacking players for the clash, with both Dani Benítez and Piti, scorer of 18 goals last season for Rayo Vallecano, both ruled out for certain.
On Saturday, manager Lucas Alcaraz eased pressure with a 1-0 win away at Elche courtesy of a Manuel Iturra header. Their sole home win of the season came a month ago against Athletic Bilbao.
Athletic also happen to be Atlético’s next opponents, and after tomorrow’s match, the team will travel back to Madrid and begin preparing to face the Basque side on Sunday.
Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Courtois, Bono
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Gabi, Guilavogui, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa