Following the convincing 2-0 win in Istanbul, Atlético Madrid head to the Basque Country to face off against Eibar.
Kick-off is set for 20:30 CET.
Last season, Eibar had been mathematically relegated, but Elche’s financial problems saw the Basque side continue another season.
And they’ve done it with style.
So far this season, Eibar is undefeated, having won two and drawn the other. José Luis Mendilibar, who replaced Gaizka Garitano, is the new coach.
The team from the tiny town in the Basque Country has scored five times and only conceded once. New signing Adrián González is the club’s top scorer with two goals.
But when Atleti travels to the tiny Ipurua stadium, two old friends will be there defending Eibar’s colors. Borja Bastón and Keko.
Bastón is still under contract with Atlético and joined the Basque side on a one-year-loan after a superb season with Real Zaragoza, which saw him score 23 goals.
“The game on Saturday will be a special one for me,” said Bastón. “Atlético is a team that always play at 100 percent, but so do we. It’ll be a beautiful match.”
On the other hand, Keko joined Eibar this summer after a good season with Albacete.
The 23-year-old winger was said to be the next big thing for Atlético, but he never proved his worth and became a bit of a journeyman.
But for Eibar, he has settled and been a starter in all matches so far in the season.
A red and white reunion awaits.
Last season, Atlético won the match 1-3, with a Mandzukic double and Griezmann scoring the other. The pitch was in a horrible state, but luckily this time around the pitch seems as good as new.
“Eibar is a rival with a lot of enthusiasm, hard work and a great defensive system that allows them to pressure and quickly go on the counter,” Simeone said in a press conference after Friday’s practice.
“I think we’ll find a fast team with a lot of determination – they’ll surely give us the ball so they can steal it and counter attack.”
During the match in Istanbul, Diego Godín seemed to have suffered an injury, but the good news is he’s been called up to the squad.
Guilherme Siqueira, who had a solid performance against Galatasaray, will once again watch the match from the stands.
Simeone has called up 18 men, leaving Gámez, Siqueira, Lucas and Thomas out of the list.
He didn’t say who would play, but hinted at the possibility that both Torres or Jackson could start together.
“Jackson and Fernando are different players, one’s left footed and the other is right footed, but they can be compatible,” Simeone said.
For Eibar, Mendiibar has called up all 20 available players and tomorrow he will pick two players to cut from the list. Jaime, Lillo and Ekiza are all out injured.
Atlético match selection
Goalkeepers: Moyá, Oblak
Defenders: Godín, Savic, Juanfran, Giménez, Filipe Luis
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Óliver, Gabi, Saúl, Carrasco
Forwards: Griezmann, Torres, Jackson, Correa, Vietto