Match preview: Atlético vs. Real Sociedad

Atlético closing in on European spots

Agüero in great form earlier this season(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Agüero in great form earlier this season
(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Atlético host Real Sociedad on Sunday night in the 31st round of la Liga. Earlier this season we beat the Txuri-urdin in a spectacular 4-2 win in Anoeta, with goals by Agüero, Forlán and Simão.

Before last week those three players were leading Atleti’s topscorer table, which is remarkable considering the Portuguese left our club in January. But after his hat trick against Osasuna Diego Costa has upped his tally to eight goals and is now a serious candidate to start in the Vicente Calderón tomorrow.

Sergio Agüero and Diego Forlán must have been envious of Costa’s prolific finishes in El Sadar and debates in Spain this week focused on who El Kun’s partner should be on the weekend; Costa or the Uruguayan star. Agüero himself returns after sitting out a one match suspension.

Ahead of this match, our number 10 said he was confident, but he also warned of our opponents:

“This will be a difficult game, like all the matches we have left. We have a good team and we’re in good form, so we’ll do our best to get a good result,” said the Argentine.

While the forward returns to domestic action, we will be without captain Antonio López, who picked up a knee injury earlier this week and will miss the next few weeks.

Atlético are also without Juan Valera and Fran Mérida, who have been left out of the match selection by Quique Sánchez Flores.

Match selection
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Joel
Defenders: Filipe, Godín, Ujfalusi, Domínguez, Perea
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Raúl García, Elias, Assunção, Reyes, Juanfran, Koke
Forwards: Forlán, Agüero and Diego Costa

Sociedad match selection
Goalkeepers: Bravo, Zubikarai
Defenders: Martínez, Estrada, Mikel González, Labaka, Ansotegi, Demidov
Midfielders: Xabi Prieto, Elustondo, Markel, Rivas, Aranburu, Zurutuza, Griezmann, Sutil
Forward: Tamudo and Ifrán

Referee: Álvarez Izquierdo

Ahead of the weekend, Atlético sit only one point behind a European spot and with Athletic Bilbao losing we could even close the gap with the team currently in 5th place.

Do you think we will win? Don’t forget to post your prediction in the AtléticoFans Prediction League!

  • Ringo Schut

    Quique: “Raul Garcia > Fran Merida”

    I don’t hate Garcia as much as most of you do, but this is one of the reasons I really don’t mind to see Quique leave in the summer.
    I know he had good tactics versus Osasuna, but that’s not enough to win me over.

    Quique was our manager during our EL-win, but remember the way we did it. He had influence, but he gets more credit than he really deserves, in my opinion.

  • Ringo Schut

    *With “we” and “our”, I mean “Atleti” and “Atleti’s”, of course. Darn those automatism 😛

  • palc

    If we win tonight and Valencia beats Villarreal, dare we still hope for CL qualification?

    Atleti’s remaining matches:

    H vs Sociedad 3pts
    A vs Espanyol 1pt
    H vs Levante 3pts
    A vs Deportivo 1 pt
    H vs Malaga 3pts
    A vs Racing 3pts
    H vs Hercules 3pts
    A vs Mallorca 3pts

    Sum 42 pts+19pts=62 pts

    Villarreal’s remaining matches:

    A vs Valencia 0 pts
    H vs Zaragoza 3pts
    A vs Sevilla 0 pts
    H vs Getafe 3pts
    A vs Mallorca 0pt
    A vs Almeria 1pt
    H vs Real Madrid 0pt
    A Osasuna 0pt

    SUM 54pts + 61pts

    Sevilla’s remaining matches:

    A vs Getafe 1pt
    H vs Villarreal 3pts
    A vs Almeria 3pts
    H vs Real Madrid 1pt
    A vs Osasuna 1pt
    H vs Sociedad 3pts
    A vs Espanyol 1pt

    SUM 46pts + 13 pts= 59pts

    Atletico has the easiest fixture ahead. Sevilla has the hardest. Villarreal’s fixture isn’t too bad either, but bare in mind they also have the EL to think about. I haven’t taken Espanyol nor Bilbao into consideration, because they both suck and won’t stand in our way. ( except for those home lossess against them)

    So I congratulate all my fellow Colchoneros. We will be playing in the Champions League next season!

  • Gert

    Anyone able to record and upload the match or post links to the match (Nick??)? I won’t be able to see it live …

  • Nick Poskitt

    Maybe, if you’re lucky… 🙂

  • Javi

    Late breaking news: “” interviewed Luis Aragones
    Who stated he would coach Atleti if they want him.
    Please Santa Clause get us an early present!

  • RojiBlanco

    Xabi Prieto, Griezmann. Let’s hope the backs will survive.

  • Gert

    Nick, I tend to be lucky sometimes… still need to take the picture though!

    I fear Griezmann a lot… We have to be very careful on the flanks… I hope for an early goal (in our advantage of course)

  • palc

    Luis Enrique has also been rumoured….

  • We are having a great game against Real, hope youre watching.

    And Aragones would be great indeed, but I also read on one of the AS redactors’ blog (I guess it was Manolo) that Rafa is the favorite.

  • Nick Poskitt

    I’d much rather have Steve McClaren than Rafa Benitez…