Tomorrow’s league match against Getafe was supposed to be the conclusion of a joyous day for Atlético’s fans, but it will be overshadowed by the death of Juan Carlos Arteche.
The club planned the Día de las Peñas for tomorrow, with festivities during the day and several fanclubs present during the game.
While the fan day will still take place, most supporters will mourn the death of former captain Arteche, an idol to many Atlético fans.
The defender played for Atlético during an eleven-year stretch and his determination and willpower was an inspiration to many.
Quique Sánchez Flores and Antonio López, both present at the club legend’s funeral, called upon the spirit of Arteche for the match against Getafe.
Atlético just might need the extra strength and motivation. Sergio Agüero and Álvaro Domínguez are sidelined and Ujfalusi and Godín have only recently recovered from their injuries.
With Agüero injured and Forlán on international duty, Quique experimented with Reyes and Diego Costa as the forward pairing in this week’s training sessions. It seems an unlikely option, but with Forlán’s poor form and obvious fatigue we wouldn’t entirely rule it out.
We’ll need to be at our best to beat Getafe, because the visitors from the Madrilenian suburbs have proven to be tough opponents.
The track record between the clubs is even. Both teams have won twice during their six league encounters at the Vicente Calderón.
Getafe defeated an Atlético team comprised of mostly canteranos 3-0 three days after we took home the Europa League title. Most of our starters were rested ahead of the Copa del Rey final allowing us to catch a glimpse of our future stars.
The first time we hosted Getafe in la Liga, in 2005, the boys in blue were coached by none other than Quique Sánchez Flores.
That same coach has selected the following players for this match. The only small surprise is Juanito’s absence, to the disappointment of quite possibly no one.
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Joel
Defenders: Valera, López, Filipe, Godín, Ujfalusi, Perea
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Camacho, Raúl García, Fran Mérida, Assunção, Reyes, Simão
Forwards: Forlán and Diego Costa.
We should keep an eye on Dani Parejo tomorrow night. Not only because the Spain U-21 player is a very creative midfielder, but also because the curly Real Madrid canterano was linked to Atlético in the Spanish press earlier this week.
Of course, it may have been a ploy to unsettle the playmaker for the upcoming game, but Parejo is the kind of midfielder Atleti might be looking for upon Tiago’s eventual departure.
We are likely to face-off against two former Rojiblancos on Saturday night, as Manu del Moral and Javier Arizmendi are expected to start for Getafe.
The two forwards came through our ranks but played a total of only ten games for Atlético. The duo will form Getafe’s attack along with Adrián Colunga.
Coach Míchel fortunately has decided to leave Juan Ángel Albín out of the team, a player AtléticoFans thinks can be quite dangerous on his day.
Getafe’s match selection: Ustari, Codina; Cata Díaz, Mané, Rafa, Marcano, Torres, Borja, Gavilán, Parejo, Ríos, Víctor Sánchez, Boateng, Casquero, Miku, Colunga, Manu and Arizmendi.
Let’s hope we can celebrate a win on our fan day and properly honour our fallen former captain Arteche. What score do you expect? Predict the outcome of this match in the AtléticoFans Prediction League!