Match preview: Leganés vs. Atlético

Winning the only option for Atleti in neighbours' first ever home La Liga match

Carrasco on the ball in friendly at Leganés last year

Carrasco on the ball in friendly at Leganés last year

After conceding a draw in the final minutes against Alavés last week, Atlético Madrid have their first away test on Saturday night against newly-promoted Leganés in the outskirts of Madrid.

The home side are debutants this season in La Liga, meaning Cholo’s men will be the first ever top flight visitors to the Municipal de Butarque after their away win at Celta Vigo on the opening weekend.

Kick-off in the capital is set for 22:15 CET.

Antoine Griezmann will make his 2016-17 debut in this game, with Atlético needing to bounce back to remain in contention for the La Liga title.

Tiago will lose his spot in the squad, as Cholo opts for a more attacking side than the 4-4-2 that played Alavés. Lucas and Thomas were also dropped from the squad although Vrsjalko could make his debut.

Atlético will need to focus on finishing chances this time around as only 6 of their 27 shots were on target last time out. They looked better in the second half when Torres joined the side, but the first XI certainly has enough fire power to score goals against newly promoted sides.

Leganés should field a similar team to the one that upset Celta 1-0 last Monday. That would mean a defensive 5-4-1 featuring Jon Serantes in goal with Adrián Marín, Diego Rico, Martín Mantovani, Bustinza, and Víctor Diaz manning the backline.

Gabriel, Alberto, and Unai López play the midfield with Darwin Machís likely to replace David Timor after his suspension. Guerrero is the lone striker.

Most would predict Atlético to start the season with six points since they were matched up against two newly promoted sides, but Leganés could be another tough opponent after their upset in Balaídos.

Located just south of Madrid and beginning their first season ever in the Spanish top flight, Leganés are a team with plenty of attacking pedigree scoring 59 goals last season, tied for the most in the Segunda División. They also only conceded 34, second only to Girona.

Simeone spoke about the match in his press conference on Friday, underling the importance of a win after failing to take all three points against Alavés.

“I imagine a very enthusiastic Leganés playing at home,” said the Argentine. “We will have to interpret the match quickly to come away with the result we want.”

Leganés manager Asier Garitano had confident words on the other hand, saying, “I am not afraid of Atlético. We’re just focused on being better and improving.”

Atlético match selection
Goalkeepers: Oblak, Moreira
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Savic, Vrsaljko, Giménez, Juanfran
Midfielders: Koke, Augusto, Gabi, Saúl, Carrasco, Gaitán
Forwards: Torres, Gameiro, Correa, Griezmann

  • Dawa

    This time start with Gaitan and Carrasco. Looking back at match day 1, I think Torres deserves to start over gamiero…

    And maybe simeone should refrain from substituting Gabi until we have a two goal lead. Man, that last game kept me blue for the whole week.
    If we mess this one up, because of the international break….I won’t be able to take it.
    On the plus side, Griezmann is here so we probably won’t waste so much chances!
    Aupa Atleti!

  • Ringo

    I don’t see Simeone benching any of Gabi, Saúl and Koke, so I think we’ll see the 4-3-3. Griezmann – Torres/Gameiro – Gaitán/Carrasco up front
    The offensive subs will get us a 4-2-2-2 like against Alaves again, I guess, since Augusto would be the only CM left on the bench just in case.

  • Koke

    As long as we always have three attacking players on the pitch (Griezmann, Gaitan, Torres, Gameiro, Carrasco, Correa) at all times I can’t really complain about the lineup. I’d say give Gameiro another chance to start, because last time out I think he was more unlucky than bad. Plus, we don’t want to destroy his confidence early in the season so that by October he’s already feeling alienated and pressured – look at how that turned out for Jackson and Vietto.

    Griezmann obviously must start, so I think the last starting spot is a toss up between Carrasco and Gaitan. I think Simeone will start with Carrasco since he’s been here longer, but I’d love to see Gaitan play a half if possible. Correa, Torres, and Gaitan should all come off the bench if they do not start.

    Now that Oliver is gone, the MOST attacking midfield lineup we could possibly field is Saul-Koke-Gabi in a 4-3-3. I think that’s kind of sad. I suppose if it’s in a 4-4-2 maybe Simeone will occasionally use Gaitan as a midfielder, or even Gaitan and Carrasco on either side, but I’m not sure I see that happening too often. In any case, I really hope to see some chance creation and goals in this game.

  • Atleti lover

    So our confirmed starters are Saul augusto Koke Gabi greizman gameiro. I don’t know how does simeone think!!!!! You are playing against leganes not Real Madrid or Barcelona! Why he doesn’t learn from last game!! I don’t see Koke and Saul as play makers no body see them as play makers. Why did he buy gaitan, Carrasco and correa????? This is bull shit
    He should start with
    Carrasco Greizman Gaitan/Correa

  • snᴉsɐlB

    for fuck’s sake gabi, augusto, koke, saul on the midfield…

  • snᴉsɐlB

    seems like we got a meltdown from the starting lineup at the same time