Match preview: Racing vs. Atlético

Diego Forlán returns to the line-up in Santander

The home game finished 0-0 (

The home game finished 0-0 (

On Tuesday Atlético travel to Cantabria for a midweek round of la Liga action. We kick off at 9PM local time at El Sardinero against Racing de Santander, currently 12th in the league table.

While Atleti will want to take all three points back to Madrid in their Europa League chase, the home side are in need of a victory as well considering they currently sit only four points above the drop zone.

Racing seem to have found some form right on time to avoid relegation though, beating Mallorca and Hércules in their last two games. Atleti meanwhile lost to Málaga on Saturday, after having gone unbeaten in the previous five matches.

Quique Sánchez Flores will be forced to make several changes after our last match, as he will have to deal with both suspension and injuries. Diego Costa will sit out the away trip after picking up a yellow card against Málaga, and will be replaced by Diego Forlán. The Uruguayan is a safe bet in matches at El Sardinero, where he has scored four goals in his previous four matches with Atleti.

Our coach will also have to replace his centre back duo of Luis Perea and Diego Godín, who both picked up injuries. The latter was injured this morning but should be available on the weekend, while Perea might miss out on the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury.

Also not available is Juanfran, whose father passed away Sunday evening.

Despite the absentees, Quique is confident about their replacements.

“We’re missing important players, but their substitutes are very capable,” Quique told the club’s official site. “I no longer think about [Saturday’s] loss. We now have to focus on doing our best in the final three matches so that we can qualify for the Europa League.”

There is also good news for Atlético, because Portuguese midfielder Tiago returns after the injury he suffered last week. Also new in our match selection are Pulido, Fran Mérida and Alberto Noguera. There are 19 players in the squad which means one player will be dropped, possibly depending on Tiago’s fitness.

Match selection:
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Joel
Defenders: Valera, López, Filipe, Ujfalusi, Domínguez, Pulido
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Raúl García, Elias, Fran Mérida, Assunção, Reyes, Koke, Noguera
Forwards: Forlán and Agüero

Don’t forget to post your prediction in the AtléticoFans Prediction League!

  • starvs

    Koke Tiago Elias Reyes midfield one time please dealer.

  • Shit we’re missing a lot of people and this is a tough game…
    Now as Uruguayo is back as a starter, it is going to be interesting to see how this will turn out…hopefully all three points for Rojiblancos!
    Aupa Atléti!

  • Heißenberg

    I would like to see Pulido and Dominguez in the center of defence. And more Forlan please

  • Ringo Schut

    I’m pretty sure Quique will use Ujfalusi as CB and Valera as RB, but I’d also like to see Pulido start…

    I’m also interested in a trio of Koke, Mario and Elias, but Quique didn’t dare to last weekend, so why would he now?
    Besides, Tiago is back. Plus: at least it’s not Garcia, who costs you control against sides like Malaga.

    Only ‘big’ question for me: Koke or Elias?

    De Gea; Valera, Ujfalusi, Dominguez, Filipe; Tiago, Mario, Koke; Reyes; Forlan, Agüero.

  • palc

    Maxi Rodriguez scored yet another hattrick for Liverpool. His seventh goal in three matches. And tenth in 27 matches this season.

    I miss him 🙁 great player with great attitude.

  • NiñoTorres

    This will be tough, Racing are in form and a win will pretty much secure safety for them. However, I am a lot more confident with us in away games than last season, we actually look like we may score a goal now 😛

    I also would love to see Pulido start, but he (and Noguera) played a full match for the B-team on Sunday night so may not be fully match fit. It would be nice to see Fran Mérida for the first time since February as well!

  • urban

    Am i the only one who believes that fran deserves his chance?

  • Flo

    No, urban. I hope so too!

  • Javi

    Urban, i too want to see Merida, its a shame QSF has not used him this year

  • urban

    I mean seriously, he fits the best to quique’s tactic with a false left wingers who actually plays more in the middle (better than koke and elias), he never played worse than RG who is being used all the time and in opposition to some of our players he REALLY LOVES the club, even though he is not for a long time with us.

  • sash

    Yeah I agree, I hoped to see more of Fran this year. Quique used him on the left a couple of times the first year, but that was before he settled for this tactic? I think Fran would be good in that position..