Match preview: Elche vs. Atlético

Rojiblancos seek another win to stay the pace with their rivals

Atleti vs. Elche (1973-74)  (www.colchonero.com)

Atleti vs. Elche (1973-74)
(www.colchonero.com)

After a long, midweek trip to Zenit, Atlético once again travel east to meet an opponent.

This time, their destination is a little closer to home: Elche.

Kick-off at the Estadio Martínez Valero is set for 16:00 CET this Saturday.

With first place guaranteed, Diego Simeone left several key players in Madrid when he took his team to Russia for the penultimate game of the Champions League group stage.

The side he fielded, featuring Guilavogui in the fold for the first time, delivered an assured performance and almost won; Adrián’s excellent goal was cancelled out by an unfortunate Alderweireld own goal.

Up next for Cholo’s men are Elche, back in the Primera División after a quarter of a century and currently occupying an admirable 10th position in the standings.

Speaking on Friday, the Rojiblanco boss was wary of his opposition and explained why this could be a bad time to face the Franjiverdes at their home.

“Elche are a tough, difficult team, who play well collectively,” he said.

“The wings are working well and they link up well in the final third. They also have players with great touch to play in through balls.”

He continued: “When you play away from home, it’s difficult because of the support of the opposition fans, and in this place even more because they’re coming off a victory over Valencia, a very good team.

“This makes them grow. Consequently, we have to think about our way and hopefully we can play a good game tomorrow.”

Though his men demolished higher-ranked Getafe last weekend, Cholo dismissed the notion of an easy game ahead of the clash at the Martínez Valero.

“I don’t know the word ‘easy’, because the reality of football is fluid. Everything can change in a moment.”

“We live on reality and the reality is that Elche have always been competitive and tactically they’re fluid, because they can accommodate different playing systems well.”

One of Atlético’s defining features is their unrelenting focus, drive and purpose. Asked how his team are able to maintain this, the Argentine offered a familiar reply:

“The best way to remain on course is to believe in what you’re doing. They believe that football is game-by-game, because they assess us at how much we can deliver tomorrow.”

“This way we ensure that we can play the upcoming game. Fantasies, the intangible, can’t be touched; what can be touched are three points.”

Mario remains on the sidelines with a knee injury. Léo Baptistão and Giménez miss out as well with an ankle knock and a light ankle sprain respectively.

Juanfran suffered an infected toenail, but he has been included in the match selection.

Midfielders Gabi, Arda and Raúl García are all on four yellow cards in the current campaign, and will be suspended if they receive another one tomorrow.

Atlético match selection

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

Referee: Carlos Delgado Ferreiro


  • kris

    A good test for us to see how we will perform away from home at this point. In football, like Simeone stated, NO OPPONENT IS EASY AND NO OPPONENT SHOULD EVER BE UNDERESTIMATED. Anybody can win the game of football at any point and history has proven us that. But, this will be a great match to watch, and the Atletico boys will be very eager to pick up all three points to go joint top with Barcelona on the La Liga table. Vamos Atleti.. I predict Elche CF 0-2 Club Atletico de Madrid. Forza Atleti!

  • Dircil

    It’s gonna be tough but we won’t visit there just to draw or lose!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    in the only 3 games we didn’t win in La Liga & CL, we conceded an own goal :
    Courtois against Espanyol, Juanfran against Villareal & Alderweireld against Zenit

    so, just don’t score an own goal today and we will win !

    and to those he didn’t hear about this yet :
    Thibauting (the viral Phenomenon started by the great rojiblanco and one of this site writers, Martin Rosenow) is a candidate for “Word of The Year” in Belgium
    It’s competing with another 4 words in sport category for a place in the Dutch dictionary

    http://futbol.as.com/futbol/2013/11/28/primera/1385605919_453281.html

    I don’t know if there is a public voting or not, but if anybody knows I wish he tells us and I wish we all vote for “Thibauting”

    great job Martin,
    proud of you, and proud of myself for being one of your readers .. we all are

  • jesse

    Atletico are in it to win it.

  • Pantic#10

    I think we should continue with Guillavogui and Toby, and Adrian of course; but i think we’ll see the wise Tiago to clear the midfield.
    If Juanfran isn’t recovered, go with Super-Man/quillo!
    RG8 on the bench, so he can rest and unleash his full forces against Porto!!
    Ready for a Maravilla party?

  • pantic#10

    The starter 11:
    Courtois, Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe, Tiago, Gabi, Arda, Koke, Diego Costa, Villa
    our best team on the field.

  • kris

    Tiago needs to stop getting those cheap yellows. It doesn’t suit him at all.

  • kris

    Another yellow, this time for Guaje.. What’s up with these cheap yellows?

  • kris

    Should have been another for Juanfran. SMH.

  • Jeronamo

    Wtf are we playing?

  • kris

    Tiago, OFF THE PITCH!He can’t afford to get red carded in this game. Just no. Tiago off the pitch.

  • kris

    We haven’t found fluidity in this game yet.. So much misplaced passes, it’s like these players have never played with each other.

  • Jeronamo

    This is frustrating to watch maybe a goal will wake these guys up

  • kris

    Elche should have scored. Decent counter.

  • kris

    Arda and Koke need to switch sides right now. This isn’t working.

  • palc

    That’s a good and peculiar point Ahmad. No more O.G’s please.

  • kris

    You can try but you shall never get past The Rubber and The Wall.

  • kris

    SMH…

  • kris

    Finally a decent play from Arda..

  • kris

    That’s the Koke we want.. The best crosser in the league..

  • kris

    Why isn’t Guaje trying??

  • kris

    It has to get better in the 2nd half.. PLEASEE!!!!

  • Jeronamo

    That first half gave me a fucking headache

  • pantic#10

    OMG terrible 1st half.

  • kris

    Thank you Raul.. Villa was offering us NOTHING at all. Thank you Raul Garcia.. I appreciate. Elche 0-1 Club Atletico de Madrid.

  • Jeronamo

    Happy for koke but this is still a horrible showing

  • Pantic#10

    Ahah RG8 is our lethal weapon, our terminator!

  • kris

    Disallowed Arda golazo.. The keeper had both his hands on the ball.

  • kris

    Adrian in for Arda.

  • kris

    GOOOOOOL DE COSTA!!!GREAT BALL FROM ADRIAN!! AND A GREAT FINISH FROM COSTA!! YES! YES! YES!!

  • Jeronamo

    Now that was a good goal. Great play by adrian and great finish by the beast

  • Jeronamo

    Lol spot on kris

  • Jeronamo

    Good win. Awful performance still

  • kris

    Bad showing. Good win. Aupa Atleti!

  • kris

    lol once again Jeronamo. dafuq is dis? ahha.

  • piserakos

    Great coaching Simeone!!! Well done… I critisesed you many times about this bad today all the subs were great… I would change also tiago with the yellow he had problems and he had poor passing rate. Well done Adrian you were great. We could perform better at least at the 2nd hald we were better and we won… Aupa Atleti

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    just as I said before :
    4-4-2 outside the Calderon is a bad plan, it makes us lose the midfield battle
    it works at home because the visitors usually play with defensive plan and leave the midfield for us, some of them may even play with 5 defenders

    and tonight when Simeone realized that and changed the style from 4-4-2 into 4-2-3-1 we scored 2 goals

    I believe with Adrian getting his shape back (what a great assist tonight) he should start in such closed games beside Koke & Arda with Costa as a sole striker in front of them
    and put Villa on the bench as a wild card

  • kris

    Precise point, Ahmad. 4-2-3-1 is the best formation to use because we have the players who can do the job. I think playing Oliver or Koke behind Costa and Arda/Koke or Adrian on the wings will help us when they attack directly through the midfield. We need and want to see more of Oliver. He has to play more. He didn’t even dress tonight.

  • Pantic#10

    @Kris & Ahmad: i can’t agree more. Quote every single word

  • Dircil

    ok so 4-4-2 is used when playing at home and 4-3-2-1 is used to secure at least a minimum win when playing away from home 🙂

  • Andres (Lolaya)

    Maybe its just me but I thought Atletico played a decent 1st half. Not anything to our expectations but people are saying it was terrible and I don’t understand.

  • kris

    It was not really any sort of Atleti standards. Let’s put it that way.

  • Mario

    We won the game, It’s fine result. Anyway, I hope Ruben Perez will not be loaned out anymore. He has shown stable play since Deportivo. (Except Getafe) He can be replacement of Tiago.

  • Dircil

    By the way, I’ve learnt from the British media that MU keens on buying Koke and Atletico is willing to sell him at a decent price if they get De Bruyn on loan from Chelsea! Is that true people? I don’t know if the credibility of this news is somewhat solid _ _! For me Koke is definitely better than the Begian given what he has done for Atletico so far!

  • piserakos

    dircil don’t trust the british…. acording to spanish pappers atleti won’t accept a fee less that 35mill.

  • Dircil

    is Koke eager to join MU? That is the most important part for me 🙂

  • Adnan Khan

    De bruyn is a shitty player in my opinion. Koke is 100 times better and more experienced. We dont need players like de bruyn who still need experience for that we have oliver torres. Even oli is better in my opinion. So please no de bruyn :/