Match preview: Atlético vs. Real Betis

Atleti looking to return to winning ways on Saturday afternoon

Lucas will be given the rare opportunity to start on Saturday

Lucas will be given the rare opportunity to start on Saturday

Regaining the La Liga crown may be a distant possibility for Atlético, but there is still a lot on the line for los Rojiblancos as they take on Real Betis on Saturday afternoon.

Kick-off at the Vicente Calderón is set for 16:00 CEST.

With an international break to soothe the pain of defeat from Atleti’s last match against Sporting, Atleti know that they need to return to winning ways if they are to keep their grip on second place, and record a second finish above Real Madrid in three seasons.

With the focus in Spain on El Clasico, and the clash between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Atleti need to quietly get on with their business and take all three points from the struggling Andalusians.

With Betis six points clear of the relegation places in 13th place, the danger isn’t truly over for Juan Merino’s men, but they will face a troubled Atleti side on Saturday. Los Colchonero’s have been struggling with injury, and several key players are missing for Atleti.

Diego Godín has returned to training, but will still miss the match in Madrid. Giménez will join his compatriot on the sidelines which will see Lucas step in to the Atlético defence.

Also missing in Stefan Savic, who misses out on a place in the squad after failing to recover. Atlético add Samuel Villa and Nacho Monsalve to the squad list to fill the voids left by injury.

With Carrasco not back to full fitness, Thomas may find a place for himself in the starting eleven after impressing so well in his stint earlier this season.

Diego Simeone may also choose to rest Antoine Griezmann, now that the title is looking increasingly unlikely. Atlético of course have a big encounter with Barcelona to look forward to at the Camp Nou on Tuesday evening.

In the first meeting between these two sides in November, a single Koke goal was enough to settle the score in Atlético’s favour.

Atlético fans will hope that being a goal up will not be enough reason for Diego Simeone to shut up shop, and that the Argentinean learned his lesson from the defeat to Sporting a fortnight ago.

Atlético squad to face Real Betis:
Goalkeepers: Oblak and Moyá.
Defenders: Juanfran, Gámez, Lucas, Monsalve, and Filipe
Midfielders: Gabi, Augusto, Saúl, Samuel Villa, Thomas, Koke, and Kranevitter
Forwards: Correa, Vietto, Griezmann, and Fernando Torres

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Poor Oliver, the kid just can’t catch a break, even when half of the team are injured and there is a chance that he will play -especially that Carrasco is one of the injured players and Saul would probably play as a center back- he gets injured too .

    It even seems that some people have forgotten that we have a player called Oliver, like Nick who didn’t mention him at all .. it’s really very sad .

    Nick also seems to has given up on the title, and I think the timing is strange, the week of El Calssico, where there is a good chance that the gap will be only 6 points, until last game you was always optimistic and you never stopped talking about the title, and even after the defeat in Gijon Barca dropped 2 points against Villarreal and the gap increased by only one point, did you change your mind because of that single point, or is it something else ?!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I don’t think Grizi should or would be rested, he is young, the two games he participated in at the international break were friendlies, and he only played 45 & 60 minutes, and we are not playing against the dirty Sevillan team, but against the nice one .

    The one who I think he really really should be rested is Filipe, the 30-year-old who played 3044 min. so far, who runs at least 10 km every game, and who just played 180 minutes in two very tough games with Brazil, 6000 miles away .
    We can’t afford a tired Filipe at Camp Nou .

    And next season, please Cholo, sign another fucking LB who you really like and “trust” and who will actually play, a LB, a striker and a creative midfielder (since you hate Oliver) .
    Just 3 players, of your choice, and we have the money to sign 3 great players in those positions, you just have to choose them wisely and use them correctly .

  • Kris

    I am guessing because of the mentality of Simeone and the team. Remember our goal for this season was to finish third and reach the quarter finals. It would be a taboo if we did anything better than that.

  • AaX

    I am telling it now, Our offensive game against barca especially at Camp Nou will be most vital than our usual defensive orientation in this upcoming Champions League Match of the week. So this game (against Betis) will be most crucial to ignite and start off Our goal scoring Machine And hope Simeone have learnt from previous outing. No reservation !

    VAMOS Atleti !!

  • Ringo

    Óliver is injured.

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    SMFH. AT least the excuse for Oliver not playing is his injury, Sigh i hope we win today