Match preview: Celta Vigo vs. Atlético

After a welcome international break, Atleti travel to Vigo in search of first win

Griezmann was on target at Balaídos last season

Griezmann was on target at Balaídos last season

Having started the season with two disappointing draws, Atlético will be looking to get off the mark in La Liga on Saturday against a Celta side also desperate for their first win of the campaign.

The rojiblancos have faced a lot of scrutiny for their performances against Alavés and Leganés, and can’t afford to lose any more ground with a tough month of fixtures to come.

Kick-off in Balaídos is set for a new time of 13:00 CET.

Atleti will once again need to focus on finishing chances as only 9 of 37 total shots have been on goal this season, with only one finding the back of the net.

The attacking prowess of Atlético went from bad to worse in their second match against Leganés, meaning a shakeup in the midfield might be needed to right the ship.

Simeone is often reluctant to change from his defensive 4-4-2, but moving Koké and Saúl to the center with Gaitán and Carrasco on the wings may be the best way to face teams that cede possession to Atlético. The side certainly needs more creative players all over the pitch.

Celta has also struggled out of the gate after finishing 6th last season. They were upset by Leganés in the first game, 1-0, and failed to hold on to a 1-1 tie with Real Madrid, allowing a goal with just 9 minutes left in that contest.

The Celestes will also be looking for their first win, and will probably not make many changes from the 4-2-3-1 that were beaten at the Bernabéu.

Sergio Álvarez, a thorn in Atlético’s side in previous meetings, played in goal behind a back line of Jonny, Facundo Roncaglia, Cabral, and Hugo Mallo that is still looking for its first clean sheet this season.

In the midfield, Pablo Hernández and Nemanja Radoja backed up Theo Bongonda, Daniel Wass, and the injured Orellana, who has the club’s only goal so far this season. John Guidetti, the lone forward, assisted that goal.

Celta Vigo proved a tough opponent against Real Madrid last time out, and if recent results mean anything this should be a tricky one for Atlético in one of La Liga’s toughest stadiums.

The rojiblancos won both league matches last season, but were knocked out of the cup at the hands of Celta in a 3-2 loss in the Calderón.

Former Celta captain Augusto Fernández has not been called up by Simeone for the match, he stays in Madrid with Thomas Partey and new signing Sime Vrsaljko due to technical decision.

Miguel Ángel Moyá and the returning Alessio Cerci also miss out through injury, but otherwise we have a full strength squad to choose from.

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

  • rquaresma

    Gaitan – Koke – Gabi – Saul

    this time please, or we riot !!!

  • snᴉsɐlB

    according to MD our midfield is gonna look like this in 4-3-3:

    Koke – Gabi – Saul

    i would dig that…

  • Mitch

    Must WIN!

  • RokoNZ

    Can someone explain to me why Vrsaljko isn’t even in the squad? As a Croatia supporter this is incredible unless he is injured. Really bad decision for our number one right back to go to Atletico and be a bench player at the most important time of his career

  • Mitch

    According to the press, its “technical” !

    I like too see Gaitan & Vrsaljko!