Match preview: Atlético vs. Celta

Atleti chasing 3 points to keep their season on track

Mandzukic out with nose injury (pic: PA)

Mandzukic out with nose injury (pic: PA)

Atletico return to league action this week with a visit from Celta, keen to gain some consistency in results after a topsy-turvy start to the season.

Kick-off at the Vicente Calderon is set for 20:00 CET on Saturday evening.

With magnificent wins over Real Madrid in both the Spanish Super Cup and last week in the league, Atletico fans could be forgiven for thinking we have enjoyed an excellent start to their title defence.

However in reality, these big victories have added gloss to what has been a poor start – with a loss to Olympiacos, a drab draw with Rayo on the opening day and an unconvicing win against Eibar the low points.

Los Colchoneros will be looking to bounce back after the loss in Greece, but will be without the spearhead to their attack, with Mario Mandzukic ruled out through a facial injury.

The Croation took an elbow to the face from Kasami in the opening stages of our match with Olympiacos, and has undergone surgery today at the FREMAP clinic in Majadahonda.

Still missing is Cristian Rodriguez, who is still recovering following an injury sustained on international duty with Uruguay.

Returning to the side should be Miguel Angel Moya, who has had a fantastic start to his career at Atlético.

He was relegated to the bench for Tuesday’s match in Greece, with Jan Oblak starting ahead of the Spaniard. Our €16 million signing only had a single save in 90 minutes, and conceded three goals – failing to capitilise on the opportunity to dislodge Moya.

Expected to replace Mandzukic up front is Raul Jimenez, after 60 minutes against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu last week. He will act as the focal point for the Atleti attack, with Griezmann expected to start following his excellent display as a substitute in Athens.

Koke, despite a bad game for Atleti, still managed to pop up with an assist in midweek. The need for the 3 points has not been lost on him.

“We were a little hurt [after the defeat to Olympiacos],” said our number 6.

“We were eager to start the Champions League with a win, but it could not be. We have another game against Celta on Saturday which we’re looking forward to.”

“We have to be strong at home and win.”

Atleti are still without Simeone, who serves the third match of his latest touchline ban.

It has now been 1,001 days since Diego Simeone took over as Atlético manager, and Koke knows more than most the importance of having Cholo on the sidelines.

“He means everything to me personally. He’s given me the confidence to go out and play matches as I am, eager to win every match. He’s made Atlético grow both in a football sense and personally,” said Koke.

There are no players suspended for either side, while Augusto Fernandez and Oubina should miss the match for Celta through injury.

In the same match last season, Atleti ran out 2-1 winners.

How do you rate our chances?

 

 

 

 


  • after playing in Saturday vs Real & Tuesday vs Olympiacos, we have to play in mid-week again this week vs Almeria on Wednesday then the next week vs Juve
    6 games in 19 days .. rotation is a must

    and Simeone is already rotating, in all positions, even the goal, except for 2 :
    the right back & the central defenders .. they must have some rest, especially the 30 year old Miranda, and who will turn 30 in 2 months Juanfran
    and while Gimenez should have no problem playing next to his teammate in Uruguay National Team Godin, I don’t know if Gamez can fit in immediately with the team (hasn’t debuted yet) and successfully replace Jnaufran ?!

    My line-up is :
    Moya
    Juanfran – Miranda – Godin – Siqureia
    Gabi – Tiago
    Arda – Koke – Grizi
    Jimenez

    and I would put Jesus Gamez on the bench, and if we secured the win with 3 or more goals, I would give him some playing time

  • That’s a great line up. Jimenez alone ahead could work. But I would try something with Cerci too. A French+Italian forward line could be wild.

  • Mrtn

    Just like Ahmad said we really need to rotate with so many games to be played in a short period.
    This could be the perfect chance to bench Gabi after 4 disastrous performances (Mario shouldn’t even make to the bench…) and I would prefer Koke to take Gabi’s place alongside Tiago in the middle.
    Up front we should field 3 attackers behind the lone striker, my preference is Cerci – Arda – Griezmann – RG8
    I would start with Ansaldi in the defence and Moya in the goal.
    I hope to see a high pressure attacking game with many goals, quality possession, staying concentrated after taking the lead. We have to learn how to play dominant, with the likes of Griezmann, Arda, Cerci, RG, Koke we got so much talent and skill in the team so we should play like that.
    VAMOS ATLETI

  • my line up almost exactly, only Ansaldi instead of Siqueria
    we must reply for the defeat in Greece and for the 8-2 for Real vs Deportivo,
    less than 4-0 I won’t be satisfied

  • Brad

    Close one there for Tiago

  • Brad

    Celta score with Moya off his mark….

  • Brad

    and Griezmann almost strikes back immediately…

  • Kris

    What a cool goal by Pablo Hernandez.

  • Brad

    only too bad it came against Atleti

  • The 26 million spent on Oblak and Jimenez could get a world class player. I’m getting used with Atleti playing with 10 when Jimenez is in.

  • Brad

    It seems like they lack the fighter they had in Diego Costa up front…Jimenez is crap and Greizmann is…well, French.

  • Kris

    Miranda always doing something stupid. Fucking stop!!

  • Brad

    MIRANDA!

  • Brad

    well, he stopped doing something stupid

  • Kris

    Yes. Lol. We can’t get our striker to score but Miranda is thinking he is a midfielder in the back though. Not his game.

  • Kris

    Don’t say that about Griezmann. he has been fantastic this game.

  • Brad

    It’s almost like a lot of the players have forgotten or not yet found where they belong.

  • Brad

    Griezmann showing his creative chops

  • Brad

    Diego Godin! Diego Godin! Diego Godin, Dieeego Godin!

  • Kris

    The back two=the front two?

  • Brad

    The back two > the front two?

  • Brad

    I mean, i’ve heard of box to box mids, never box to box center backs!

  • Kris

    Griezmann has been great. Koke has done a good job. Arda is magestic in his role. Ansaldi has done a well enough job but the back 5 still gots to learn to communicate. Tiago has done his job properly, Gabi not as great as Tiago. But so far, the weak link has been Jimenez and sometimes the back seven.

  • Adnan Khan

    I don’t know what to say about jimenez. He is not impressing me for sure. Maybe we should just let the youngster hector hernandez play in his position. :/

  • Brad

    Long balls to the other team’s keeper are not helpful…

  • Brad

    dammit Miranda…

  • Kris

    That’s what I mean by Miranda not doing what he should be.

  • Brad

    Ugh…Mandzukic with a broken nose is better than Jimenez…

  • Brad

    Dammit Jimenez…STAY ON SIDE

  • Brad

    RG8 on for Greizmann…I hope this pays off

  • Brad

    And the ref deciding if a red and white shirt goes down in the box it is NOT a penalty

  • Brad

    RG8 shoots a long one and forgets he’s not THAT kind of a striker…when he is a striker

  • Mrtn

    Can’t understand why Griezmann and not Jimenez…

  • Brad

    me neither

  • Brad

    RG8 gets slapped in the face and the ref ignores it…

  • Brad

    Jimenez ALMOST does something useful…

  • Brad

    Celta’s keeper playing an amazing game

  • Brad

    Fouls:
    Atleti 7 – 14 Celta

    and they say we’re a dirty team

  • Brad

    Jimenez off, Cerci on

  • Brad

    Celta somehow manages to get ONLY their third yellow…

  • Brad

    and for a second time, the linesman steals our game winner with an offside call…

  • Brad

    and the ref blows for full time without the ball in play…Celta draws it on a miracle goal and a few gifts from the officiating team

  • Bad performance again.
    OK, no Jimenez anymore. He played all the matches so far and got no assist, goal or participate in any dangerous play. For me, it’s enough for now.

  • Amr Misir Mukadaffi

    This reff…. After the first break, Orellana rushed to the Offical and yelt to him, and said ‘ Why didin’t u gave a penalty ‘ The reff felt intimidated, and at minute 53 he gave Celta a very very cheap penalty…

  • Brad

    I jest. Though he seems to be good on the attack, but hasn’t quite adjusted to the idea that he might have to get tough and press sometimes