Match preview: Atlético vs. Las Palmas

Three points a necessity for the rojiblancos in last league match of 2016

Griezmann in need of a goal against Las Palmas

Griezmann in need of a goal against Las Palmas

Atlético Madrid will be looking to repair their fragile recent form on Saturday afternoon, as they host Las Palmas in a league match at the Vicente Calderón.

The red and whites are three games without a goal and indeed a win, and fell to sixth last week after a 3-0 drubbing at the hands of Villarreal last week.

In the midst of an injury crisis, Diego Simeone will be without goalkeeper Jan Oblak after he dislocated his shoulder in that loss at El Madrigal, an injury that rule him out for most of the season. Miguel Ángel Moyá is set for his first league start since March 2015 in his place.

Filipe Luís will also miss out, as will long term absentee Augusto Fernández and Tiago, who limped off with a knee injury after makin the mistake that led to the Yellow Submarine’s first goal.

Ángel Correa is suspended, but Josema Giménez has been passed fit though after recovering from a knock picked up in training earlier in the week.

Cholo has opted to call up 19 year-old B team midfielder Juan Moreno for the clash. The canterano made his debut in the 6-0 Copa del Rey win over Guijuelo at the end of last month.

A win is essential for Atleti in order to keep pace for the Champions League places. Las Palmas on the other hand will go to within a point of the capital club should they take the three points.

Last season, they impressed at the Calderón on the opening day of the season, losing only to a deflected Antoine Griezmann free-kick.

The Frenchman, who finished third in the Ballon d’Or standings in midweek, will want to break his goalscoring duck against the Canary Islanders on Saturday having not found the net in La Liga in two and a half months.

Quique Setien’s side had enjoyed a flying start to the current campaign, but have seen their form curtail a little lately. They are one of the strongest footballing sides in the division and will no doubt pose a threat in the attacking third.

It will be the last league game of the calendar year before the Christmas break, although Atleti do host Guijuelo in the return leg of the Copa del Rey on Tuesday night.

Atlético match selection
: Moyá, Moreira
Defenders: Godín, Savic, Vrsaljko, Lucas, Juanfran, Giménez
Midfielders: Koke, Saúl, Carrasco, Gabi, Thomas, Gaitán, Juan Moreno
Forwards: Griezmann, Torres, Gameiro

  • AnonX

    To be fair, Simeone’s plan to bring in Carrasco and Gaitan in the 2nd half last week was thwarted by these 1st half injuries. But his reaction wasn’t as instantaneous as hoped by bringing in Carrasco late in the 60th to have the necessary impact on the game. This is is area where he needs more work, to be rational and overcome his fears of not conceding and losing.
    Anyways, after losing Oblak to injury, I am expecting Simeone to be more cautious is feeling a lot more insecure. I am anticipating he will be fielding the same line up of 4-3-3 with Gabi, Koke and who else Saul in the middle.
    His goal is probably to get one or two goals before the 60th minute before to brave enough to withdrawing either Saul or Koke to bring in Gaitan, Correa or Torres.
    But I am imploring and hope that even if the score remains goalless by 50th min. he should bring in the offensive reinforcements early and take a well calculated chance. This is a test for him, as a former International defensive midfielder this is his normal instinctive reaction, But for him and Atletico to progress decision must be taken rationally and professionally and this prove to be the test.
    I am wishing All the Best today and I consider if we won by not conceding, it is a positive success.

    Aupa Atleti !!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    First : I don’t think it’s an excuse that Simeone was planning to bring on Carrasco and Gaitan in the second half, why does he have to waste 45 minutes or even 60 minutes?! and when did that work out for him?! it didn’t in UCL final last season, hell, it didn’t even work out against Alaves and Leganes.

    And second : Gaitan came on as a sub in only 5 of the 15 La Liga games this season (beside only 3 times as a starter), so I’m not really sure that he was planning to bring him on against Villarreal, if the two injuries didn’t happen, his 3 subs (if he even used all of them) would have been Carrasco, Torres & Saul.

    By the way, Correa is suspended -as Billy mentioned above-, so he will not bring him on today.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    According to the press, it will be :

    So, even with Correa’s suspension, with Augusto’s and Tiago’s injuries, with the poor performance recently not just from Saul, but also from Koke, with all of that, Gaitan still can’t find his way to the starting XI.
    Why the fuck did we sign him then ?!

    I don’t think we will play a good game with this line up against a good side like Las Palmas, and if we played like shit as we have been doing lately, I’m really not sure if it’s a good thing to still somehow achieve a win, maybe Simeone still needs more negative results to wake up.

    And by the way, how come nobody ever talked about how everyone can predict Simeone’s line ups 24 hours before almost every game, the press always release it after watching Simeone testing it in the training, he always gives up the element of surprise.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Yeah but somehow this gnom is always in the fucking line up. But I agree with you that Gaitan needs to play more regulary because he is beside koke our only creative player. But lets hope that he will play Tuesday in the copa well and get more chances to start. I would even prefer gaitan to correa. For me correa is not a wing player more a central player something like a number 10.

  • AndersAT

    I agree. It makes much more sense to start in attack with Carrasco and Gaitan and IF we score perhaps go a bit more defensive though we haven’t had all that much success with our strong defense lately.

    But there may be some idea in starting breaking down the opposition with strong players and then bringing in fresh attacking players in the second half. I believe we have had succes with this strategy previously (we used to score a lot in the second half) but I don’t think it is the right way to go now, because our players get frustrated when we don’t score. We used to be more patient. And besides fast playing players that can move the ball around quick will probably be better at tiring the opposition.

  • ssyoung

    Thats it. Simeone will never learn. After so many setbacks, he still keeps starting saul ahead of gaitan. Vrsaljko, who is our only wing back who can put a decent cross is left forever on the bench. We might win this game and then Simeone will think the problems are fixed till we again start getting negative results and the whole cycle continues.


    If it’s up to me i will start with this lineup for the rest of the season : 4-2-3-1
    *and in the end of the season i release Saul Griezmann and Savic !!!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Oliver is on loan with Porto right now, and we don’t have an option to recall him in January if you want to reply that it’s what you meant.

    But I’m the one who was asked to stop commenting here, more than once, not those who don’t know who our players are, or who showed in many comments that they actually don’t know that we are under a transfer ban, or those who have nothing to say other than calling Gameiro a “gnom”.

    Some people love to keep calling me arrogant (although I don’t think I am, people who know me in real life actually call me humble) but they will not stop me from saying that I’m doing this website a favor by commenting here regularly.
    If I and 5 or 6 other people you all know stopped commenting regularly in this website, it will look very stupid, or in best cases, boring.
    And I really don’t care what will I be called because of what I just said.
    It’s not arrogance, it’s confidence, and I don’t think I’ve crossed the fine line between them.


    oops i thought it’s possible to bring a loan player even under a ban sorry, but anyway what your opinion on 4-2-3-1 lineup with the players that i had mentioned them in the previous comment?

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I’m really sorry man, I hate to say this, but I feel that you are either a troll, or a young teenager, because those are the people who would ask to sell 4 of our players -including Grizi who just finished 3rd in Ballon d’Or few days ago- while we are under a transfer ban.
    I don’t think I can have a serious, intelligent discussion with you.

  • Hannu

    So Vrsaljko starts! Thats good thing but Gaitan on the bench..


    yeah whatever