Match preview: Atlético vs. Almería

Atleti return home looking to bounce back from Celta loss

Atletico de Madrid Training Session

It’s the return of the champions to the Vicente Calderón on Saturday evening in the first match at home since the 4-0 victory over Real Madrid a fortnight ago.

Kick-off between Atleti and Almería is set for 20:00 CET.

The euphoria of beating arch-rivals was dampened by the 2-0 humiliation against Celta last weekend, but the visit of Almería provides Atleti with a fantastic opportunity to bounce back and put pressure on the top two.

Sitting six points behind Barcelona, and seven points behind Real, nothing less than three points will do.

Diego Simeone welcomes back both Arda Turan and Raúl García to the squad list, after both missed out the defeat in Balaídos through suspension.

Arda will come straight back into the team, whilst our number eight will have to make do with the bench.

Koke is still missing, but Simeone is happy that the return of Arda will be enough to get Atleti back to winning ways.

“In the match against Celta, we were missing Arda, Koke and Raúl. A player like Arda is different – he can help us attack by finding space on the pitch. He can combine the defence with the midfield, and the attack. When he’s good, he disrupts the opposition. It’s clear he’s one of our most important players,” Cholo said.

Torres drops to the bench, and Simeone will go back to using Griezmann and Mandzukic up-front, after the disaster of last week.

“We’re only thinking about this match,” said Simeone at his pre-match press conference.

“We’re playing well, despite the match in Vigo. Our fans will drive us against Almería.”

Simeone confirmed that the starting XI will be Moyá; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Siqueira; Arda, Gabi, Tiago, Saúl; Griezmann and Mandzukic.

Atleti squad list:
Goalkeepers: Oblak, Moyá.
Defenders: Godín, Siqueira, Gámez, Juanfran, Miranda, Giménez.
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Raúl García, Arda Turan, Gabi, Saúl, Cani.
Forwards: Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Mandzukic, Raúl Jiménez.


  • Ringo

    MAYBE IF SAÚL PROVES HIMSELF WE’LL GET TO SEE KOKE AND SAÚL PLAYING TOGETHER MORE OFTENLY.
    THEY MIGHT HAVE TO REPLACE GABI AMD TIAGO RATHER SOON.
    WOULD LIKE TO SEE A PREVIEW OF THE PARTNERSHIP SOON, IF POSSIBLE.
    IF MARIO LEAVES MAYBE CAMACHO WOULD LIKE TO RETURN AND THEN WE’LL HAVE ARDA ÓLIVER GABI KOKE SAÚL CAMACHO CORREA GARCÍA FOR FOUR POSITIONS,
    WELL COVERED I THINK.
    THEY’RE ALSO THE KIND OF PLAYERS THAT’D GIVE ROOM FOR 4-3-3 AGAINST CERTAIN OPPONENTS OR 4-2-3-1
    JIMÉNEZ AND GRIEZMANN COULD DROP BACK A BIT AND TORRES AND MANDZUKIC AS DEEPEST STRIKERS

    WITH THE SQUAD GETTING USED TO EACHOTHER MORE WE MIGHT BE AT OUR STRONGEST YET IN THE COMING SEASON
    BUT CAN’T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT TOO EARLY
    MAIN POINT BEING WE WOULD ONLY NEED TO GET A NEW PLAYER IF ONE (OR EVEN TWO) PLAYERS WERE TO LEAVE US, AND I’M EXPECTING TIAGO TO BE A DEPARTING PLAYER, NOT YET NECESSARY OF REPLACEMENT, IN MY OPINION.

  • Ringo

    THAT BEING SAID I THINK THE FORMATION LOOKS GOOD
    IF THE FIRST HALF IS SOLID AND PROFITABLE ENOUGH ID PUT ON JIMÉNEZ AND TORRES IN THE SECOND, I KNOW ITS PARTIDO A PARTIDO BUT THE PLAYERS NEED TO BE FRESH FOR LEVERKUSEN TOO

    THIS ACTUALLY SHOULD BE A WIN WITH OUR SQUAD, although almería are pretty good too

  • Ringo

    Also sorry for the caps lock
    became an automatism after a joke conversation just before coming here

    sorry sorry

    my points were serious though

  • If Atlético beats Almería with authority, then Atlético will know that Turan is the player
    we all think he is. It also tells Cholo what type of players we need to buy
    during the summer transfer. Atlético should win this, that loss last week cut deeply and the Atlético players now have something to prove.

  • Chewie

    Barcelona lost to Malaga. Valencia and Real will most probably win. A week ago our right for a mistake expired. Tonight’s game must be won.

  • And last week you expected that Barca will win La Liga and I replied that I think they will drop some easy points .. and here it is
    Same thing is true about Madrid, you also are saying that they will win tomorrow, and I will just say : remember their away game vs Cordoba last month and their away game vs Elche themselves last season ?! .. yes, they got lucky in both games and won with 2 late penalties, but it won’t happen every time

    I wouldn’t write us off from title race yet, but that doesn’t mean anything, what really mater is does Simeone and his players believe that ?!
    I honestly and sadly don’t think so

  • Among the 16 coaches who are still in UCL, I think Simeone is the only one who won’t make any rotation, not a single player, he even didn’t at least give us the right to expect and wish for some rotations, and he announced his starting line up a day before !

    At least two players needed to set on the bench tonight :
    Juanfran, who is 30, who is on 4 yellows, and who doesn’t get enough rest, and who was the one limping in the extra time of UCL final for same reason, but he was one year younger
    And Miranda, with his shaky performance from day one of this season, but yet he got his spot back and sent the very impressive Gimenez back to the bench, and who is also on 4 yellows

    If Simeone believes that we can not beat Almeria at the Calderon with Gamez & Gimenez then we have a very big problem

    But despite all this criticism from me to Simeone in the last few weeks, I really wish the negotiations with Natalia -his sister and agent who is currently in Madrid- becomes successful and he renews until 2022 as the press is suggesting
    We all know that Simeone still lacks some skills, but he is a very quick learner, and despite all the criticism, we all know the he is the best coach for Atleti, and it is very scary to think about an Atleti with Simoene

  • Chewie

    Well, I’m just stating the obvious. Though Real and Valencia may drop points, the odds are they won’t. And Barca can still win the league. However, I already realised how pointless it is to talk about the probabilities mid-season.

  • AaX

    Simeone is just being Simeone. Lets just get the points and get prepared as soon as possible against Leverkusen this midweek. I think it would be quite a tough game so best well prepared. Forza Atleti P E A C E

  • Barca do still can win the league, but what I just said about us also applies to them : it seems that they don’t believe it themselves !