Koke ruled out for a month with hamstring injury

Our midfield maestro strains muscle in 4-0 win over Real Madrid

Koke goes down in the Real Madrid box (pic: official site)

Koke goes down in the Real Madrid box (pic: official site)

Despite the vast array of positives that came out of Saturday’s win over our arch-rivals, there were some negatives that threatened to put a downer on the derby celebrations. 

The most obvious was the injury to Koke, who is expected to be out for four weeks with a hamstring strain. The midfielder pulled up only ten minutes into the 4-0 murder of Real Madrid, and was replaced by Saúl, who had a great game scoring a goal and assisting one but ultimately wound up injuring himself too.

Koke will miss the first leg of the UEFA Champions League tie against Bayer Leverkusen in a fortnight, whilst the Spaniard will also miss the league games against Celta, Almería and more than likely the tough away trip to Sevilla on March 1st.

The 23-year-old has eight assists and a single goal in his 20 league appearances this season, aswell as 2 goals and four assists in the Champions League so far.

It’s the match against Celta on Sunday for which his absence is most troubling, as Atleti are somewhat short in the midfield department.

Saúl is out through injury, sustained in the build-up to Atleti’s third goal, whilst Raúl García and Arda Turan are both suspended following bookings in the derby.

Who would you play in the match against Celta? Are you happy with Mario in the centre? 


  • Bloc Party

    Saul – Mario S. – Tiago – Garcia

  • Bradave

    Saul and Garcia are injured / suspended!

  • Bloc Party

    I completely forgot about Garcia 😀 let Cani take his place then

    And as to Saul, I though his injury was not that serious. He should be ready after 6 days.

    if not we’re screwed. Maybe Griezmann can be moved to his original position and Torres paired up with Mandzu. After we score, either one of them can be replaced by Gabi/Tiago/Suarez and we won’t concede. So:

    Saul/Griezmann – Mario – Tiago – Cani
    — Griezmann/Torres — Mandzukic —

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    Nope. Even if he has a good game I don’t like Mario playing for us

  • Bloc Party : Just now you realized that we are screwed ?!!

    We were screwed after 7 minutes of the second half of our game vs Madrid when both Arda & Raul got themselves suspended in a very stupid & unprofessional way, while we already lost Koke in the first half

    But Saul is fine, he trained normally today, but still, we don’t have enough players in the midfield, and this will happen a lot this season, more injuries could happen, and more suspensions will definitely happen

    I think this season, all positions are well-covered -in different degrees- in a better way than the last season, all but the attacking midfield :

    In the goal we have Oblak as a sub who is way better than Aranzubia

    In the back we have Gamez who has a much bigger experience than Manquillo, Gimenez who is absolutely better than Toby, and Ansaldi who is now -at least by his number of minutes- our backup LB is better than Insua

    In the center midfield we have 4 players after the return of Saul, while last season we had just 3 after benching Guilavogui the whole first half of the season then laoning him in the second without bringing in a replacement

    And in the attack we have Mandzu-Grizi who replaced Costa-Villa in the best way, and we have Torres who scored 3 goals already, the same number Adrian scored the whole last season

    The only problem is the attacking midfielders, just 4, Arda, Koke, Raul & Cani
    While last season -in the second half- we had 6 : Arda, Koke, Raul, Cebolla, Sosa & Diego Ribas, and the last 2 helped us a lot, the golazo of Diego vs Barca in the CL, and the 6 assist of Sosa in La Liga

    Saul can play as a winger or attacking midfielder (in fact, I think this should be his usual position) and Grizi can play that rule as well, but is it enough ?!
    Arda & Raul won’t stop receiving yellows, while Arda gets injured too often, and if Grizi played in the midfield we will have only Mandzu & Torres in the attack, since things don’t seem working very well with Jimenez

    As weird as it sounds, maybe our chances in wining a title this season or at least going to Berlin depend on Cani !!

    I will not ask too much from him, just 6 assists like Sosa and one golazo like Diego, and the great golazos are one of the things Cani is famous for .

  • Adnan Khan

    How is the Angel Correa situation? Has he returned to madrid? Is it possible for him to play for atletico for the remainder of the season?

  • As I personally expected, Simeone forced his opinion, which was keeping Correa with the team even if he is not eligible to play this season, the transfer window is over and we didn’t loan him
    Simeone preferred to keep him close and watch him in training everyday, and in May, he will leave again to play in Sub-20 World Cup, and it should be another fruitful tournament for him after the SudAmericano

    However, if Miranda got his Spanish passport this season, can Correa play ?!
    For La Liga, I don’t know, but in the CL, we didn’t add him to our 25-player list, we only added Torres & Cani, so he can’t play

  • Adnan Khan

    I see. It’s good to hear that he will be playing matches with the Argentina squad and not just train with the team. He needs match time. Let’s hope he comes backs for pre-season with the absence of any new injuries. Can’t wait to see this lad in red and white!

  • pahas

    These 5 matches coming up now are the most important of the year because they will show if we are going to win any titles this year..we have celta away which is not easy..almeria at home which is ok and then leverkusen for the ucl in a match that we shouldn’t lose and then sevilla and valencia two very difficult teams especially when having to play them in a row..these are crucial matches..with or without our important players we have to win..and we can do it if we trust our bench players…you saw what saul is capable of..and I believe that others like cani can do this stuff too..with rotation and by correct choices and a good analysis of the matches we can achieve 5 wins..thats what I believe!

  • Chewie

    Even Gabi is a better goalkeeper than Aranzubia.

  • ringo

    I think Griezmann and Cani should start as the attacking midfielders, sparing Saúl for the second half, Mario and Gabi as defensive midfielders.
    Maybe add Tiago or Saúl there and play with one striker, but maybe start with both Torres and Jiménez, for pace up front.
    But that might be too many changes at once.
    Therefore I’m thinking of the 4-3-2-1.

    Maybe then mandzukic would be most fitting, although Torres might suit well as lone striker. But this all is just speculation

    Nonetheless, I’d go for this :

    Moyá;
    Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Siquera;
    Mario;
    Tiago, Saúl;
    Griezmann, Torres, Cani.

    Where I see Mario as the strongest sole CDM, and Tiago and Saúl as stronger moving forward than Gabi, where I think he is our best double pivote contestant, but in this formation I think the three I’ve chosen would make Griezmann and Cani feel most comfortable, and perhaps help them connect better with Torres (or Mandžukič).
    I’m hoping for some Jiménez minutes in the second half though, for Grizi or Torres, Gabi for Saúl and Ansaldi or Siqueira for Cani with Siqueira playing as left winger.

    First thoughts though