Match preview: Sevilla vs. Atlético

Top of the table clash in Andalusia between two of La Liga's in form sides

Atleti won 3-0 in the Pizjuán last season

Atleti won 3-0 in the Pizjuán last season

Still undefeated in all competitions and off to their best start since the 2013-14 title-winning season, Atlético Madrid are back in La Liga action at Sevilla on Sunday.

The red and whites will be looking for another win to maintain their place at the top of the table, but are in for a tough game against a side that are in good form under new manager Jorge Sampaoli.

Kick-off at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán is set for 16:15 CET.

Rain is on the forecast on Sunday afternoon in Seville, which could have an impact on the match in Europe’s warmest city.

A 7-1 drubbing of Granada followed by a 1-0 win at Rostov means Atlético are in top form heading into this fixture. The goals have been spread around the team, with Carrasco, Gaitan, Correa and Tiago have all finding the back of the net in the last week.

It’s Carrasco who has really stolen the headlines lately, his fine recent form earning him a new contract that will keep him at the club until 2022 and hopefully discourage his long list of potential suitors.

The Belgian scored a hat-trick against Granada and also hit the winner in Russia on Wednesday, and will be one of the key players on his return to the Pizjuán – the stadium he made his Atleti debut in last year.

Augusto, Jose Giménez, Miguel Ángel Moya, and Alessio Cerci will all miss the match due to injury, but Saúl could be back in the starting lineup after coming on in the 89th minute on Wednesday.

Third in the standings – above Barcelona going into the weekend – and also going strong in the Champions League, Sevilla could be Atlético’s toughest opponent yet this season.

They are at full strength and have won four straight in all competitions including two away games, an area where they struggled last season.

Manager Jorge Sampaoli, who took over this season after Unai Emery left for Paris Saint-Germain, has been using a 4-1-3-2 lineup. Sergio Rico starts in goal with Mariano, Nico Pareja, Vicente Iborra and Sergio Escudero across the back line.

Steven N’Zonzi is the deep lying midfielder with Vitolo, Franco Vázquez, and the rejuvenated Samir Nasri in the more forward roles. Wissam Ben Yedder and Atlético loanee Luciano Vietto have lead the line in attack.

Vietto is in the squad and could play against his parent club on Sunday, but Matías Kranevitter has been left out due to technical decision. Atleti will hope to avoid a repeat of the Léo Baptistão situation against Villarreal last season.

Pablo Sarabia, Ben Yedder, and Vietto are tied for the team lead in goals, each netting three so far this season. The team likes to spread the ball around as Samir Nasri and Franco Vázquez have also found the target twice.

Atlético won the away fixture 3-0 last season with Koke, Gabi, and Jackson Martínez appearing on the score sheet. The home game was not as straightforward as the two teams grinded out a 0-0 draw.

Simeone is confident in his team selection though, giving little away in his pre-match press conference.

“I have several options because the internal competition is very strong. Sevilla is very competitive because of how they are playing at the moment.”

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

  • Jeronamo Pakor Jones

    This is a tough game we have next. We’ll have to fight for it as usual tho so here’s to hoping for the best.
    Aupa Atleti!

  • Atletico fans of Belgium??

    A draw or a win would be great ! Sevila is not the team you go to their home and win but if any team could win there then it is Atletico.
    we are great in winning away games, Celta 0-4, Valencia 0-2 , while Barcelona & Real all struggle to win at such places.
    And last year we won there 0-3 .
    Hopefully we win , Aupa Atléti !!!

  • Mitch

    If I were Cholo, going all out to WIN!

    Goalkeepers: Oblak
    Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Savic, Vrsaljko
    Midfielders: Koke, Carrasco, Gaitán
    Forwards: Griezmann, Torres, Gameiro

  • Anders

    Well I hope you aren’t Cholo then because that formation looks reckless. Is Juanfran and Gabi injured? or why did you leave them out for a difficult game like this? I would much more prefer to have the two Spaniards playing and having a bit more defensive balanced team compared to what you are suggesting.

  • AndersAT

    I expect a great game. Lets hope we can get the 3 points. I think we should take a little bit of a conservative approach with Carrasco, Koke, Gabi and Saul with the to frogeaters in front. Perhaps Correa or Gaitan instead of Saul.

    By the way I really hate Barca. That game against Valencia. They were clearly second best and still managed to get 3 points. With one goal that should have been disallowed… they really suck.

  • Roberto

    Have You seen Valencia against Barca yesterday? It is a wonder that atleti won la liga 2014. The referee support of real madrid and barca is evident and able to see for everyone. I do not knwo, why the Spanish Football officials do not work against this terrible UNFAIR PLAY? Its the same in Otaly with Juve, Inter and Milan. In England and Germany this stupid idea of deciding 100% for the big ones in case of uncertainty does not exist. Are their any spaniards who can explain me this highly unfair tradition?