Match preview: Atlético vs. Valencia

Colchoneros aiming for winning return in cup clash

Atleti host Valencia in Copa return clash  (

Atleti host Valencia in Copa return clash

On the back of two fiercely contested draws, Atlético Madrid will be looking to get back to winning ways against Valencia on Tuesday and progress to the Copa del Rey quarter finals.

Last week, Diego Simeone’s side were denied a win at the Mestalla by Helder Postiga’s last gasp equalising header, but are still strong favourites to make it through having gotten the all-important away goal.

Kick-off in the Vicente Calderón is scheduled for 21:30 CET.

The red and whites were given a tough test a week ago against Valencia, now under the management of Argentine boss Juan Antonio Pizzi, in a game dominated by the home side.

Truth be told, los Che had enough chances to win the match in the last 10 minutes alone, but could not take advantage as Atleti did what they do so often, snatching a vital goal against the run of play through Raúl García.

However, striking late on should give them a much needed confidence boost ahead of the return leg, despite slumping to a 2-1 defeat at lowly Celta Vigo this past weekend.

Simeone is playing his cards close to his chest in terms of team selection following Saturday’s stalemate with Barcelona, opting to call all 22 available first team players to the matchday squad. Mario Suárez, not seen since October, is his only absentee.

In the first leg he mixed and matched, and the suggestions are he may do something similar this Tuesday. New signing José Sosa is expected to debut, and Raúl García may also take the place of David Villa in attack according to MARCA.

The 43 year-old coach remained diplomatic as ever in his pre-match press conference, but did address the issue of fatigue his team will face competing in three separate competitions.

“The cup is a competition that has given us much joy, we will give it our full respect,” he insisted.

“Valencia come with a clear intention, to score. I imagine them playing like they did towards the end of the game last week, their last minutes were very good.”

“We are used to playing every 3 or 4 days, but it’s true in football that tiredness exists. The physios are working hard to overcome this, as we need everyone in their best shape.” he said.

“We hope to play a good game.”

The visitors have also bought a strong contingent to the capital, but will again miss top scorer Jonas through suspension. Víctor Ruiz misses out through injury, whereas Andrés Guardado, instrumental in their equalising goal in the Mestalla, is left out for technical reasons.

Centre-backs Jérémy Mathieu and Ricardo Costa, the club’s highest earner according to documents leaked last week, have doubts surrounding their fitness, but both have made the trip.

Fans were given a reality check on Saturday when they went down to Celta, but the changes in their work-rate and intensity have been clear since Pizzi’s arrival.

The former Spanish international told press his new charges would have to play to their maximum to make it through, but remained optimistic of their chances.

“We need to be play to our best – as a team and as footballers.” he said.

“The players are the interpreters of our ideas. They are the ones who make the genuine effort. We’ll be trying to play to our absolute limits, so that Valencia can progress in the Copa del Rey.”

“The team has shown consistency, despite some individual errors. We have to ensure that everyone is focused. We have to pay close attention to the second half in Vigo, because we moved away from what we had been doing.”

For those wondering; yes, he is the inspiration behind the name of the man we *paid* €15m for last year.

On Sunday, another familiar foe visit the Calderón as the second half of the season gets underway, Atleti taking on Sevilla. Should we make it through tomorrow, Betis or Athletic will await in the cup quarter-finals a few days later.

Atlético match selection

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

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think you are mistaken Billy, Jonas has only 1 yellow card in the cup, while suspension in that competition is after the 3rd yellow

    Pizzi -the player- is another weird spending by the board, and for sure, if you searched you will find the devil Jorge Mendes behind that deal
    yeah .. maybe that guy and his company have brought us some great players, and the last one was Falcao .. but I just can not stop hating him

    Tiago had a little discomfort in his ankle after Barca game, I wish he is O.K
    Tomorrow’s game will be very difficult, very tough and very complicated, and obviously it’s very very important .. so it needs a player like him

  • kris

    Tough tough tough game awaits. WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE NOT TO CONCEDE! This will be the most important! I would like for us to kill the game by scoring three goals. Club Atletico de Madrid 3-0 Valencia CF. Let’s do this boys! Aupa Atleti!

  • Will

    Really tough match.
    Valencia lost to Celta last match so their morale won’t be so high as it could be.

    Sadly I will need to follow this match from work tomorrow. I hate when it happens, I can’t enjoy the match and can’t work too.

    #AupaAtleti 🙂



  • LosColchonero

    Why can you not stop hating him? Besides popular sentiment, Jorge Mendes has been very good for Atletico. The third party deals he has brought in, including Falcao and now Diego Costa, are a win-win situation for all those concerned. As a businessman, he takes risks investing in players that might or might not become stars, he has good relations with the presidents of some teams including Atletico and Porto – who have gotten some fantastic players at virtually cut-rate prices, and for the players he guarantees a great salary, plus exposure to the big teams that would bring along with it media rights. A fact is that Atletico has had spiraling debt in the form of credits to the tax authorities and has been quietly paying it off over the years. From where would we be able to find €40m for Falcao when we owe more than €550m in taxes? It bears to keep in mind, that we were unable to pay Porto for a while, just to show you how thin of cash the club is. Truth is, Atletico never truly owned Falcao – they owned close to a quarter of the players rights. The issue with Falcao is that Mendes, who is also a business partner of ex-Chelsea chief Kenyon, wanted to sell early right after Falcaos incredible start. It was Cerezo’s insistence – and Falcao’s fine form – that helped keep him another year. A sale was inevitable, and for both Falcao and Mendes it was a major payday, while our club made a negligible amount – Cerezo on the other hand may have made some money. FYI, A source I know that was close to the Falcao-Monaco deal said that Falcao himself preferred to be sold to Real Madrid.

  • LosColchonero

    Another interesting fact is that Mendes had bought a portion of the rights to Diego Costa at a cut rate price, less than €500k, from Costa’s Brazilian club. Atletico had actually sold off their portion to Vallodolid, and then exercised their buy-back option. Costa is now valued €25m+.

  • LosColchonero

    Atletico may not have the cash to buy players, but it certainly does have the exposure to the top leagues, as both Porto and Atletico are feeder clubs to some of the top teams in the world. The relationship with Mendes, gets us good or great players such as Guilovogui, and exposes them to the big boys. If the players succeed with us, they will go the way of De Gea, Aguero, Torres, and Falcao.

  • Billy Edwards


    Jonas is not in Valencia’s squad, he was sent off in the last round and got a 3 match ban.

    And I’m fully aware of the Mendes involvement with Pizzi’s transfer, hence saying *paid*. A match preview is not the place to go into that.

  • Paulo

    LOSCOLCHONERO: You clearly are not a true colchonero as you see atletico as a feeder club to the top teams in the world and are content with it, when we actually are one of the top teams in the world!

  • Jeronamo

    Jeezed can we focus on the match @LOSCOLCHONERO?

  • pantic#10

    my 11:
    Insua – Miranda – Toby – Juanfran
    Gabi – Guilavogui
    Sosa – RG8 – Adrian
    Diego Costa

    Aupa Atleti!!

  • Will

    Very bad news for my both teams today.
    Seedorf has left my Botafogo in Brazil to join AC Milan as head coach. The guy is a fantastic person, hope he won’t have time to change their team for our clash in CL.

  • piserakos
  • Jeronamo


  • laudhes

    Very important match tonight, very tough as well, the only possibility for Valencia to expect some achievement…be careful colchoneros!!
    Aupa Atleti!!

  • Jeronamo

    I’m beginning to get kind of nervous with cholo naming some guys so often in matches at this tough patch of the season. Injuries and fatigue always worry me

  • Zakaria

    I know it’s too early to judge but am not liking Sosa so far . Hope am wrong

  • palestine-atletico

    So far very weak performance from the whole team!!

  • AndersAT

    does anybody have a good link?

  • Sajedeh

    Does any body know who are 11?

  • laudhes
  • laudhes

    So far I don’t like Sosa at all, honestly, he don’t look like a diferent one, just an ordinary player

  • Jeronamo

    Good goal. Nice work by Godin, great delivery by Gabi

  • AndersAT

    I would like to see Guilavogui in this game. But great with a goal.

  • AndersAT

    and maybe Adrian… He has talent, he just have to wake up.

  • laudhes

    Cebolla Rodríguez

  • laudhes

    definitely Raúl García is a goal scorer. Great goal, as ever

  • pantic#10

    guys have you seen his two saves?? absolutely fantastic!

    Sosa did a lot of corners…then Gabi took his place on the corner kick and….bang another assist by our Iron-Captain 😉

    Another spectacular game by Arda.

    El Navarro RG8 is always on the score-sheet. what a great season for him.

    Gabi and RG8 to Brasil 2014. they deserve it.

  • Will

    I couldn’t follow any minute of the match!!!! How did Sosa play? And Courtois? Arda? Costa?
    Where’s AHMAD when we need a huge review of the match? 😀

  • Will

    We have PANTIC#10 also! Thank you! 😀

  • Chewie

    I liked Sosa, his crosses were spot on and he took corners precisely as well. Not a bad performance for a debut. RG8 was extraordinary – he even made a couple of potentially dangerous passes! Our defense after the goal was impeccable. Sometimes Simeone’s Atletico is not a joy to watch, but always a joy to support. Tremendous confidence and discipline.

  • Chewie

    Courtois made a couple of crucial saves and about 10 in total, I think. Arda was on fire, cutting through the defense into the box all the time. Costa wasn’t imressive, and Koke who came on in the second half had an uncovincing performance. Oh, and Filipe today was brilliant, making the moves towards the center, playing one-two combinations with Arda and later Cebolla, who also had his chance. Of course, Gabi was rock solid and our defensive duo actually won the game with Godin scoring a crazy header. In brief, the team did really well as a whole, so every player had a chance to shine.

  • Will

    Thank you, CHEWIE. You should show up more often around here..

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    @Will : I don’t usually comment during the games,
    Pantic is the one who does that 🙂

    I’m not a fast typer .. beside I sometimes tweet during the game, so if I posted in both twitter and here I’ll miss the whole game !

    agree with you about CHEWIE, I enjoy his posts too
    his writing is organised, focused and with perfect English

    indeed I love to see him posting more often

  • Chewie

    Thanks for the kind words, guys. I actually show up here quite often, not always posting though. I’ll work on that 🙂

  • I am actually grateful to the holder of this web site who
    has shared this impressive post at at this time.

  • Val

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the pictures on this
    blog loading? I’m trying to determine if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog.
    Any feed-back would be greatly appreciated.

  • Simply wish to say your article is as surprising.

    The clearness in your post is just spectacular and i could assume you are an expert on this subject.
    Well with your permission let me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
    Thanks a million and please continue the rewarding work.

    Also visit my site :: salaries for vet techs