Tomorrow at 16.00 UTC+1, Atlético play against Sevilla in the sixth round of la Liga.
The last time the two teams met was in the Copa del Rey final last May, which Sevilla won 2-0 at the Camp Nou in Barcelona.
Since then there have been some changes to both teams’ personnel. Sevilla sold Squillaci and bought two Italians midfielders. One of them, Cigarini, scored the only goal in Sevilla’s Europa League match last Thursday against Dortmund.
But the most notable change has been on Sevilla’s bench. Antonio Álvarez, who took over from Manolo Jiménez during last season’s league campaign, was fired earlier this week. He had failed to qualify for the Champions League, and led the team to just two wins in the first five la Liga matches.
After last Sunday’s 2-0 defeat to Hércules, Álvarez was replaced by Gregorio Manzano, the man who led Mallorca to a fifth place last season and coached Atleti in 2004-05.
With Manzano on the bench Sevilla beat Dortmund, in Germany, last Thursday, and the coach will hope to continue his good start.
Sevilla match selection:
Palop, Javi Varas; Martín Cáceres, Konko, Fernando Navarro, Escudé, Alexis, Zokora, Renato, Romaric, Cigarini, Guarente, Diego Capel, Perotti, Kanouté, Luis Fabiano and Negredo.
Like Sevilla, Atlético faced German opposition in the Europa League this week. At home we weren’t able to beat Bayer Leverkusen, in a match which disappointingly ended 1-1.
Quique Sánchez Flores had few players to pick from for this week’s match selection. Former-Sevilla man Reyes is suspended after the red card he picked up against Zaragoza, while Sergio Agüero injured himself in training on Thursday. The Argentine seems to be sidelined for two weeks and will miss Argentina’s trip to Japan.
In defence we are still without the injured Diego Godín, but at least Tomas Ujfalusi returns from his two match suspension in la Liga.
Sánchez Flores has decided to call up veteran Juanito to replace Godín, where AtléticoFans would have preferred to see Jorge Pulido.
We’re also surprised that the coach has decided not to take a replacement for Agüero, which now means we won’t have any offensive substitutions on the bench, assuming Fran takes Reyes’ place in our regular 4-4-2.
It’s also possible we’ll shift to a 4-2-3-1, like we did in the second half against Bayer Leverkusen, when Mérida was brought on to replace Diego Forlán.
The few options up front makes many fans wonder why Jurado was sold and whether it was a good decision to keep Diego Costa over Eduardo Salvio.
Predicted XI: De Gea; Ujfalusi, Perea, Domínguez, López; Fran, Tiago, Assunção, Simão; Forlán and Diego Costa.
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Joel
Defenders: Valera, López, Filipe, Juanito, Ujfalusi, Domínguez, Perea
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Camacho, Raúl García, Fran Mérida, Assunção, Simão
Forwards: Forlán and Diego Costa
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