Atlético Madrid welcome neighbours Getafe to the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday evening, already knowing that nothing less than a win will do even at this early stage in the season.
The derby between the capital’s two biggest clubs may not be for another two weeks, but both teams will be motivated after the visitors won their first game of the season against Málaga over the weekend.
Kick-off in the capital is set for 20:00 CET.
It took two and a half months to score his first league since returning in the winter, but since Fernando Torres headed home an early opener against Getafe back in March, he has really found his feet again.
On Saturday, he came off the bench to provide an assist and score a delightful chip in Atleti’s 2-0 win at Eibar, taking him to within just one goal of a century in the famous red and white.
His combination with Ángel Correa earned the headlines after the match, and the two could find themselves starting up front together tomorrow after Jackson Martínez and Luciano Vietto‘s misfiring first half performance.
Koke is the only player not available for Getafe’s visit, as he was ruled out for up to 3 weeks yesterday with a hamstring injury. However, Cholo has tried Antoine Griezmann in a wide role lately, which gives us another option in his position.
Perhaps more likely to deputise though is Óliver Torres, who also impressed from the bench against Eibar. Saúl could also step in, having done so back in February when his fellow canterano picked up a similar injury.
Guilherme Siqueira takes Koke’s place in the matchday squad, as Lucas, Thomas and Jesús Gámez miss out again due to technical decision.
In his press conference, Simeone spoke about Getafe, his squad, expectations, and insisted that he continues to think no further than the next match.
“We’re just taking it game-by-game,” he told press, who insist on asking questions about the title race despite knowing this is the answer they will most likely get every time.
“I’m not going to analyse so many games right now. We live in the present, we’re still seeing how the players are recovering from Saturday so I won’t decide my team until tomorrow.”
The Argentine also spoke about Torres’ form, and his changes that helped win in Ipurúa.
“Fernando is in great shape,” he said. “He came in really well prepared from pre-season where he worked really well. He needs to have a lot demanded of him and that’s what we are doing, we know he has the quality.”
“He and Correa came on and scored on Saturday, but against Barcelona we brought on Jackson who didn’t score so we didn’t get that one right, it’s a big responsibility.”
“I’m happy with the competition in the squad and the enthusiasm the players have to be part of it, hopefully they can give us many options.”
Cholo’s opposite number Fran Escribá makes the short trip with his team to familiar territory, having spent the best part of two seasons in ‘the Mono Burgos role’, assisting Quique Sánchez Flores between 2009-11.
Despite doing a great job at Elche, he hasn’t had it all his own way just yet at Getafe and lost his first three games in charge, before finally getting off the mark with a 1-0 win against Málaga on Friday night.
Escribá isn’t los Azulones only connection to their city rivals, as they have two players currently on loan from Atleti – defender Emiliano Velázquez and midfielder Bernard Mensah, who signed from Vitória Guimarães back in July.
Despite the Uruguayan playing in last season’s corresponding fixture, neither player will be available for the away side, and join the injured Yoda and Roberto Lago on the sidelines.
Getafe are still yet to score in nine meetings with Simeone’s side, but did win at the Calderón ten years ago this week. Mariano Pernía of all people got the only goal.
After the game, Atleti will return to training and begin preparations for a big sequence of games, with Villarreal, Benfica and Real Madrid all to come before the international break.
Atlético match selection
Goalkeepers: Moyá, Oblak
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Siqueira, Savic, Juanfran, Giménez
Midfielders: Tiago, Griezmann, Óliver, Gabi, Saúl, Carrasco
Forwards: Torres, Jackson, Correa, Vietto