Match preview: Atlético vs. Valencia

Atleti need all three points against Los Che to keep pace with Barça

Costa slips past Mathieu (Eurosport)

Costa slips past Mathieu (Eurosport)

Atlético jump back into the fray of La Liga on Sunday after a two-week break from league play, taking on ninth-place Valencia at the Vicente Calderón.

Diego Simeone’s men will aim to keep their, what many would say are far-fetched, title-hopes alive when the clash against Los Che gets underway at 21:00 CET.

It’s been a while since Atleti have defeated Valencia in league action.

It doesn’t really feel like it given that the men in red and white have had their way with their upcoming foes in European competition in recent years.

Our last win in league play though, was a wacky affair at the Calderón back in February of 2010.

The Valencians will surely come into the match bearing a residual grudge. Despite their recent stretch of mediocrity, Atlético’s opponents will no doubt be looking to prove they’re still among Spain’s elite.

But Miroslav Djukic’s men are contending against a veritable Rojiblanco force.

Atleti come into this encounter unbeaten in their last seven games — including a comfortable triumph over Porto in Champions League play at the midweek — with a perfect record at home and having secured three clean sheets on the trot at ‘Cholo Castle’ in Primera play.

The Valencia boss feels that Sunday’s test will serve as a telling barometer for his squad.

“We would like to see where we stand against one of the best teams in La Liga,” Djukic explained during his pre-game press conference.

“We want to start mounting a comeback in La Liga.”

The Serbian’s counterpart appeared inclined to agree, with ‘Cholo’ stating that “[Valencia] have found more balance and that offers them the possibility to start adding up points.”

Simeone continued: “We expect a team with very good players from the middle of the pitch up to the front; they stretch out the flanks and have a lot of options in the middle.

“When a club have so many good players, we have to keep our focus, because they are evidently dangerous.”

Only midfielders Mario Suárez and Josuha Guilavogui are unavailable to coach Simeone, so veteran Tiago will likely get the nod alongside Gabi.

Goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is back from injury and ready to make his return after 34-year-old Dani Aranzubia stepped in for him in consecutive fixtures.

Valencia are expected to have their entire squad at their disposal, with Juan Bernat and Daniel Parejo reportedly having recovered from their respective injuries.

Real Madrid managed to rally from a two-goal deficit away at Osasuna on Saturday but, nonetheless, left two points behind in Pamplona in the 2-2 draw.

The Merengues’ mishap will allow us to expand our lead over our eternal rivals to five points with a victory against Valencia.

Unfortunately, league-leaders Barcelona bested Villarreal at the Camp Nou by the narrow scoreline of 2-1, so Atleti need three points to stay in the race with the Blaugrana.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois, Bounou
Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luís, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Cebolla, Gabi, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Costa

  • Chance to spread a gap with R.Madrid.
    Hope Villa can score against his former team..

    By the way, when is our SUPER MARIO’s back? who knows any progress?

    VAMOS Atleti!!

  • Dircil

    It will be a tough match but we will do the best we can to secure at least a narrow win!

  • pantic#10

    the good news is that Soldado plays in UK….so our forwards will not be kicked in the face 😉 remember Falcao?
    Filipe – Godin – Miranda – Juanfran
    Tiago – Gabi
    Koke – Arda – Villa
    Diego Costa

    But probably RG8 will start again instead Villa. we need our heavy weight against Valencia.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I know it will be a very difficult game .. just like all our games against Valencia
    but yet I’m waiting for a 4-0 win that will put us ahead of Barca with goal difference

    and if we win tonight, it will be our 700th victory at Vicente Calderon, which will be also the last centennial victory in Atleti fortress, as there will be less than 100 game at Calderon before they move to the new stadium, La Panieta season 2016-17

    and Kim, Mario is expected to be back at Barcelona game,
    January 12th, and there is a little chance that he could catch Malaga game, Jan 4th

  • kris

    Exactly what I want Ahmad. Club Atletico de Madrid 4 – 0 Valencia CF. Aupa Atleti’

  • kris

    Rakitic doesnt want to sign a new contract with Sevilla and is linked to be headed to Atleti?? If this is true,, this is great. The guy has been such a beast ever since last season and this season he’s been the perfect sweeper for Sevilla. Would love to have him playing for us…

  • Jimbo_With_the_Dancingshoes

    amen @kris!
    Iv’e been a fan since he come from Schalke 04 a few seasons ago. also the only reason why I don’t completly hate Sevilla. He’s a true leader and would be a great addition to our team, firstly because he knows the league and secondly he is still young. For me I would choose him over any of the other (except Diego (of course)).

    but back to the game for tonight, we should be able to win Valencia havn’t been playing at their best to say it at least.
    Aupa Atléti!

  • AndersAT

    Valencia has lost alot of quality these last years, and they don’t look like a top 4 team ind Spain anymore.
    Concerning rakitic, he would be a great addition. I would take him over Diego. I Think he is more stabil, and more of a warrior wich is what i like.

  • ali_

    yeah on paper this valencia is not THAT valencia, but we will see. tho i think its gonna be hard only until the 1st goal. after that we will win this.

  • kris

    Lol eagerly waiting for the game. I always look forward to the weekends just to see Atleti play and of course other top European games like right now Spurs vs Liverpool is on. Suarez is such a c*nt I love him.. Him and Costa have a similar playing style except Suarez is more technical and probably the best forward inside the box..

  • kris

    Plus, we have the best fans in the world at the Calderon… I am really hoping we win this, and I know we can with the support of the fans!!

  • EC

    I’ve really liked Rakitic for the last few years and he has been brilliant so far this season, easily sevilla’s best player. He would definitely improve our team. Koke on the right Turan on the left and gabi, Rakatic in the middle would be terrific.

    As for the game I think it will be tough but iam going for 3-1 Atleti

  • kris

    Playing with the strongest lineup available…

  • pantic#10

    can’t wait to see this match! it’s important to keep barca as close as possible.

  • kris

    I don’t get the way we are playing at the moment..

  • kris

    Muy muy aburrido. Hopefully we can play better.. I don’t like when we play with the strongest team because we try not making any mistakes and we play too carefully which doesn’t give us that many chances to score. We need a shooter in this team because you create chances when you are shooting, and if the shot is on target you force the goalkeeper to work, which will eventually lead to a mistake from them, and that gives us chances to score.. Hopefully RG8 comes in.

  • Zakaria

    The day has come where we look forward to see RG8. Agree with youh kris we need a shooter and we need to play better on the 2nd half. Am kind of worried

  • Will

    [57′] Come on!!!!!!! We have to beat Valencia!!!

  • Will

    [58′] Diego!!! DIEGO!!! DIEGO COSTA!!!!!!!

    Just the way he enjoys!

  • pantic#10

    Yes finally!!! yes yes!
    Diego Costa

  • kris

    Por fin! Goolazo de Diego Costa!!

  • kris

    Feghouli most likely didn’t enjoy that kick in the balls.. Yes!! Raul Garcia coming in!! Now we gonna score!!!

  • kris

    Like I said!! Bloody hell. He can’t stop scoring. Perfect sub!! Damn.

  • pantic#10

    RG Fu***ing 8! yeahhhhhh


  • Will


    So cool I kept following Raul Garcia with my eyes during all the play. Way to go, Raul..

  • Dircil

    lol at RG’s goal! he often spots the ball anywhere it goes inside the penalty area!

  • colmiak

    rg8 is gonna make everyone a believer at this rate
    my god 5 mins in, goal 😀

  • Will

    Please, do not let Diego kick the penalties.. he is awful!

  • pantic#10

    Another bad penalty by Diego Costa…too bad!

  • kris

    Exactly Will, damn. I hope he makes up for this. He had his chance to go joint top of the scoring charts.. Damn!!

  • kris


  • Will

    Second chance for him now.. Please, Diego no..

  • Will

    [80′] Ok.. now he did it nicely.. DIEGO!!!!!!

  • kris


  • pantic#10

    Good the second ahahah 🙂

  • Will

    Adrián in, Arda out.
    Arda played well and runned like a monster to help the defense.

  • kris

    DAMN! OOH! Miranda kick to the chest of Juanfran. I hope he is fine!! Please.!!

  • kris

    DAMN! SO CLOSE TO BEING LEAGUE LEADERS!! WOOOH!! MUCH MUCH BETTER 2nd half. Raul Garcia’s introduction was all that was needed.. !!! Damn, that was close!!

  • pantic#10

    Juanfran is made of iron. he feels no pain.

  • Dircil

    very consistent play of our defence!

  • Silchas

    Nice game, but i hope Mario gets well soon, because Tiagos passsing is awful to watch.

  • piserakos

    Well done!!! Vamos por La Liga!!!! Diego Costa was fantastic today and all the team espatiallly at the second half, Arda had a poor game and that wasn’t Villa’s game. Any way anyone noticed Simeone say “uno mas” after Diego Costa’s penalty??? Haha ole ole ole Cholo Simeone.

  • Colchonero in SF

    “Raul Golcia” ’nuff said.

    Am I the only one who believes Koke’s only weakness is his lack of finishing?
    Too many times he doesn’t convert chances that are sitters or they go over or off the post
    Today’s shot over the bar, his left footed curl against Real Madrid off the post etc.

    I love Koke- I think he’s brilliant but he needs to develop a scoring touch to establish himself as world class.

  • Jeronamo

    RG8 has to be striker. I’m convinced