This week your favorite team kicks off the weekend as Atlético Madrid are set to play Elche on Friday night. The match starts at 20.30 CET.
For Los Rojiblancos it’s a chance to earn their 8th consecutive victory and to increase their lead over Copa del Rey winners Real Madrid, whose match has been postponed to May 7th.
Atlético will be without Arda Turan and Javi Manquillo, who are still recovering from injury.
Other than that Diego Simeone has all of his men available. That includes Diego Costa, who has recovered in time from that nasty cut he suffered when scoring against Getafe.
Prior to the game, Diego Simeone called upon the fans to support their team with three home games left.
“I hope to see a full stadium for the games that are left against Elche, Málaga and Chelsea”, the coach said.
He added, “We have to think about a way to win a difficult game against a hard working team, like Elche. They defend well and are dangerous on the counter attack.”
Elche, currently in 15th place, will do everything in their power to get a result at the Vicente Calderón. With five games left they are currently four points above relegation, but they’ll need a couple more to secure safety.
The Franjiverdes are managed by Fran Escribá, former right hand of Quique Sánchez Flores. In his first year as head coach of Elche, Escribá won promotion to the Primera División and it appears as if he’ll manage to keep them in it too.
“We are confident we can win at the Calderón if we play with as much intensity as they do. They’ll limit our spaces so we’ll have to make the most of our opportunities”, Escribá said during Thursday’s press conference.
He continued, “Atlético have a great team and are very strong at home. We know they are the league leaders, but we will have our chances.”
The former Atlético assistant wants to get a result on Friday, but did admit he wishes the best to his old team. “After this game, I wish Atlético all the best. It would be good for La Liga if another team were to win it.”
Atlético match selection
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, C. Rodríguez, Gabi, Diego, Sosa
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa
Elche match selection
Goalkeepers: Manu, Toño
Defenders: Damián, Botía, Lombán, Pelegrin, Sapunaru
Midfielders: Rivera, Aarón, Mantecón, Javi Flores, Carles Gil, Fidel, Márquez, Sánchez, Rodrigues
Forwards: Boakye, Coro, Herrera