After a disappointing away trip to Leverkusen on Wednesday night, Atleti need to refocus on the league this weekend as they travel to the Ramón Sánchez-Pizjuán to take on Sevilla.
Kick-off on Sunday evening is set for 19:00 CET.
The Andalusians are part of a chasing pack behind Atlético in the table, along with both Valencia and Villarreal, and Atleti will know how important it is to keep them at arms length.
And if a game against Sevilla wasn’t tough enough, next week Atlético welcome Valencia to the Vicente Calderón.
One game at a time, and Atleti have been boosted by the news of Koke returning to the squad list following almost a month out with a hamstring injury.
The canterano has certainly been missed by Atleti, with the team only securing a win and two defeats since the derby. Both losses came on the road.
It’s also a possibility that the midfielder will come straight back in to the starting 11, which means we will see more changes in the centre of the park, after Saúl picked up an injury to his kidney in Germany, and required a stay in a Leverkusen hospital.
“I’m very happy that Koke is returning,” Simeone said ahead of the match on Sunday. “He’s a different type of player and we need him on the field. We are assessing whether or not he will start tomorrow. It could happen.”
In other team news, Siqueira had a yellow card rescinded after he was sent off against Almería, however he picked up a hamstring injury in the opening stages of the Champions League game in midweek and will miss tonight’s match.
This may mean we see the return of the mythical Cristian Ansaldi, who hasn’t played for Atleti since the 2-0 win over Deportivo in November.
Although Simeone could do what he did against both Barcelona and Leverkusen (to varying degrees of success) and start Jesús Gámez at left-back.
The last meeting between these two clubs was back in September, when Atleti crushed the visitors 4-0. This time around, it won’t be so easy.
“We are playing against a team that is doing very well,” Simeone said. “They’ve been working hard for two years, with a continuity and balance that makes them very competitive.”
“This is an important match in the league for us, and for Sevilla.”
Atlético squad list:
Goalkeepers: Moyá and Oblak.
Defenders: Godín, Ansaldi, Jesús Gámez, Juanfran, Miranda, Lucas.
Midfielders: Raúl, Koke, Tiago, Mario Suárez, Arda, Gabi, Cani.
Forwards: Griezmann, Mandzukic, Raúl Jiménez, Fernando Torres.
Form guide (last six in the league)
Sevilla – LWLLWL
Atlético – WWWWLW