Match preview: Celta vs. Atlético

Atleti look to keep up good run of form as they travel to Vigo

Sergio was on a mission the  last time we played Celta

Sergio was on a mission the last time we played Celta

After enjoying home comforts for their 4-0 win over Real Madrid last weekend, Atlético Madrid travel to Balaídos to face off against Celta Vigo on Sunday evening.

Kick-off in Galicia is set for 21:00 CET.

After a magnificent start to the season, Celta have been struggling ever since their 0-1 win at the Camp Nou.

The Galician side currently sit in tenth place with 25 points. After their win at the Camp Nou, Celta lost eight matches, drew three and won just once. They find themselves just six points above the relegation zone.

Atlético’s last match against Celta ended in a 2-2 draw. Celta’s goalkeeper, Sergio had a brilliant performance after making 15 saves to ensure the game ended a tie.

Sergio wishes to repeat the same performance tomorrow.

“That was a game where things went really well for me,” said Sergio in a pre match press conference. “I’m happy for that and I hope I can repeat it.”

“I used to be a nobody, but now after that match in September everyone knows who I am.”

Simeone can’t count on Arda Turan, Raúl García for this match. Both are suspended after picking up a booking in the derby last Saturday. Koke is also out, after straining his injury in the same match.

“Everyone knows who Koke and Arda are. They are creativity and talent,” said Simeone in a pre match press conference. “Their absences along with Raúl’s will make the rest of the team have to work even harder to neutralize their absences.”

These key absences will allow some rotation in the starting 11 and Cholo has several options as to what his line-up will be.

An unfamiliar name called up to the squad is Carlos Marín. The goalkeeper is 17 years old and a regular feature in Atlético’s youth ranks. He has appeared in the UEFA Champions Youth League seven times. He’s maintained three clean sheets and conceded five goals in total. Marín has also been called up for the Spain U-17 squad seven times so far.

Cholo doesn’t usually call a third goalkeeper for the match, but it’s possible he sees something special in the 17-year-old keeper.

There is a strong possibility that winter signing Cani will start for Atleti. His preferred position is vacant due to Koke’s absence. However, Cholo may prefer playing Saúl after the young Spaniard’s brilliant performance against Real Madrid.

Cholo hinted however that the attacking trident made up of Griezmann, Mandzukic and Fernando Torres may start against Celta.

“In the 4-3-2-1, we can play with Mandzukic and Griezmann as the two and Torres as the one up top,” said Cholo.

Another possibility is Cholo starting Gámez as right-back and playing Juanfran in his traditional right-winger role.

Miranda, Juanfran and Griezmann all have four yellow cards and if they were to see a yellow this match they would miss the following match against Almería at home.

Should the players see the fifth yellow against Almería they would miss the clash against Sevilla at the Sánchez Pizjuan.

With a win at Balaídos, Atlético could become the away team with the most victories at the stadium. Right now Atleti are tied with Barcelona with 19 wins at Balaídos.

A win would bring Atlético up to 53 points and keep up the chase with Real Madrid and Barcelona.

Atlético squad list:
Goalkeepers: Moyá, Oblak, Carlos Marín
Defenders: Godín, Siqueira, Gámez, Ansaldi, Juanfran, Miranda, Giménez
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Gabi, Saúl, Cani
Forwards: Griezmann, Mandzukic, Raúl Jiménez and Fernando Torres

Form guide (last six in the league)
Celta – LDLLWD
Atlético – WLWWWW

  • I didn’t read in any of the “major” sports websites I’m used to visit everyday about the idea of playing Gamez as a right back and Juanfran in his old position, the right wing
    Have I said before that many writers in this website and in other “small’ websites and blogs are much better sport writers than most of those in the “prestigious” sports newspapers and networks ?!
    I believe I did

    16 games are remaining, for Madrid (who played tonight) & Barca, there are 9 at home and 7 away, but for us, 7 at home and 9 away
    So, if we want to keep La Liga trophy in our cabinet, we have to be very good on the road, but it shouldn’t be very difficult, we have already visited The Bernabeu, Camp Nou, Mestalla, Anoeta, Estadio de los Juegos Mediterráneos where we never won before this season, and the quagmire in Eibar
    (I would have added San Mames if it was the old one, but the new one is our stadium)

    We also need to know how to win with a lot of absences if we want to compete for the title, this situation we are in right now could probably be repeated several times

    Celta’s game is both an away game and with a lot of absences in our squad, so it should tell us how far we will go this season

    If Simeone heard this, he would give me a slap on the back of my head like the one he gave to the 4th ref in the super cup .. don’t tell him

    Partido A Partido

  • Chewie

    Valencia, Sevilla, Real and Barcelona have won. Seems like the title might go to the Catalans this year, they look very impressive while Real’s having some trouble with injuries and form. Of course, a win today is a must, any other result will complicate the situation and put us under pressure. Celta is a tough team, so our bench-warmers better show what they’re made of. Now’s the time to shine.

  • They do look strong but they’re only 6 points ahead of us as of right now. We must beat Celta later and then we can see which position we’re in.

  • Since they yet to play El Clasico, mathematically, if Barca won all their remaining games they will win La Liga, or win El Clasico 2-0 and draw in the Calderon
    But it’s not easy as it sounds, last season Barca -just like Madrid- dropped many easy points in a strange way, it could happen again this season, especially with the non-stopping off-pitch problems that clearly affect them

    While for Madrid, their performance is getting worse every week, and we all know how their balance and their inner peace get strongly shaken with the slightest problems

    I’d say it’s up to us, 4 wins against Celta, Almeria, Sevilla & Valencia will give us a very big momentum, and it will make a big gap between those last two and us, and it will make us only think about the title

    I think tonight’s game is a key

  • By the way, Atletico B are FINALLY out of relegation zone in group 2 of Segunda B after being there for 7 or 8 weeks, 3 wins in a row in the last 3 games, the last one was earlier today, 2-0 vs Real Union
    While Atletico C left the relegation zone in Tercera 3 weeks ago after being there for a long time as well

    But while Atletico C are 9 points from relegation places, B team are still in danger, one point from the play-off position (the 16th) and 2 points from relegation