Match preview: Atlético vs. Stromsgodset

Diego Forlán included in match selection for Europa League clash

The start of more Europa League glory for Atleti?

The start of more Europa League glory for Atleti?

It’s only July but Atlético are getting ready to kick off their first official game of the new season.

On Thursday night at 21:00 CET, we host Stromsgodset at the Vicente Calderón in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

It’s the first of 19 games Atleti will hopefully play en route to the final on the 9th of May 2012 in Bucharest.

Earlier this week, we took a closer look at our first opponents, Norwegian side Stromsgodset, and the list of players that Atleti submitted to the UEFA for these qualifying matches.

As we expected, Thibaut Courtois was a late addition to the list, but it’s uncertain whether he will start against Godset.

At the pre-match press conference, Gregorio Manzano refused to comment on his goalkeeping decision, so we’ll have to wait until he hands in the team sheet to find out who will be defending our goal on Thursday.

We don’t expect our ‘keeper to be called upon very often against the side that currently sits in third place in the Tippeligaen.

The coach was also asked about the big news that came in on Wednesday, but he refused to comment on the Kun Agüero transfer, which at the time of the press conference had not been confirmed.

At that point Manzano was also unaware that he would be without Diego Costa, who was set to start. The Brazilian striker suffered a severe knee injury during Wednesday’s training session and will be sidelined for six months.

Fortunately for Atleti, Diego Forlán had decided to return to Madrid immediately after his Copa América success to help us qualify to the next round. With only new signing Adrián and canterano Pedro available up front, we assume Cachavacha will start, as it is expected we’ll see two strikers in a 4-4-2 formation.

Manzano is also without Mario Suárez, who is again suffering from groin pain. The midfielder underwent surgery earlier in the summer and seemed to have left his problems behind him, but the injury was re-aggravated after our friendly games in Granada.

We expect to see the following players against Stromsgodset, although Miranda and Tiago might also take up a spot in the starting XI:

Joel; Sílvio, Perea, Domínguez, Filipe; Juanfran, Gabi, Raúl García, Reyes; Adrián and Forlán.

Match selection:
Goalkeepers: Joel, Courtois
Defenders: López, Filipe, Sílvio, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Tiago, Raúl García, Fran Mérida, Gabi, Salvio, Reyes, Juanfran
Forwards: Diego Forlán, Adrián, Pedro

  • Gert Jacobs

    No new predicition league yet … ?

  • Ringo Schut

    What are Salvio’s chances?

  • Derek Maaijen

    Gert, the 2011/12 AtléticoFans Prediction League will start with the first round of the Europa League, granted we make it! That’s the round after this one. Otherwise we’ll wait till La Liga kicks off, but I’m confident we’ll brush Stromsgodset aside!

  • Raed

    no I think Forlan will be tired, i hope that we can see:
    Joel – Silvio – Perea – Dominguez – Luis | Gabi – Tiago | Juanfran – Merida – Reyes | Adrian … 4-2-3-1

  • starvs

    I like that a lot Raed except I would like to see Forlan play.

  • Idan

    Vamos Atletico !

  • javi

    I also would like to see Forlan instead of Juanfran…after all he came half around the world to play. We should start him and if he is tired bring in someone else the second half, not the other way around like QSF would do.
    Also, Valencia is saying Mata is available for 23m, id take him in a heartbeat before Osvaldo. I know that he would not be playing CL but money talks and we just saved 7m a year in kuns salary, so we could pay him enough to forget about cl for a year..

  • Chalet

    … forget about CL for a year…..

    I like your thinking, Javi!

  • javi

    Imagine Mata and Forlan feeding Adrian and Salvio….

  • starvs

    Less than an hour till the season kicks [email protected]@!

  • RojiBlanco

    Wait, no 4-3-3? I though Manzano was going for that.

  • starvs

    He said he was going 4-2-2 for this game for some reason, likely not enough time to adapt.

    steam for anyone looking that is working for me
    credit javi

  • Davide

    Not impressed by this old and boring formation so far. We need a playmaker asap. Team totally lacks creativity through the middle. Need to take out Tiago or Gabi, too defensive.

  • RojiBlanco


    Forlan -> Adrian -> Reyes. Beautiful.

  • RojiBlanco

    Well, Adrian to Reyes works :p

  • Lubo

    Someone mentioned that Miranda could be our new Perea? I thought it was a joke, but when I saw him playing today, he is even worse. He was totally unimpressive today, not only for his red card. Unsure with or without ball, bad marking, he made a penalty (fortunately refs didn’t see that). His self-confidence will be very low after this match.

  • starvs

    love the uniforms, white square on back interrupting the stipes with the name/number in blue looks great.

    like what I’ve seen from silvio, through the leg end of first half and back heel pass to Forlan were both nice. Paired with Filipe we could have a very dynamic/threatening left/right back duo.

    literally less than 10 seconds after Raul Garcia comes on they score, from a set piece of course.

    Adrian looked pretty solid too.

  • Davide

    Guess who scored for Stromsgodset? Well you guessed right, it was Storflor, the offensive midfielder that Tiago was marking in the game before Raul Garcia took over Tiagos duties. Raul Garcia had been on the field for ten seconds before he lost the plot.

    Garcia reaaaaally needs to leave Atlético, i can’t stress this enough.

  • palc

    We really should be saying Raul Gar see ya! 5 seconds on the pitch and then they score.

    Also negative marks to Joel once again. Should have saved that goal. My patience is running out… Miranda seems slow and bad at marking. Why do we keep signing defenders from South America? They can’t mark.

  • 7th

    well, I was playing pint ball during the game, and was worried all the time, hahah, then seen we won, and miranda sent off, and adrian made 2 assists, and REYES scored 2 goals. looool

    so, I am looking to find the goals but no luck just yet.

    AUPA ATleti

  • Javi

    Miranda, Joel, juanfran, RG, bad
    Forlan, Reyes, Adrian, tiago, Luis, Silvio, Salvio good
    Perea, Dominguez, Gabi ok

    We have a lot of work to do in one week
    Let’s sign mata to start with

  • RojiBlanco

    I thought Gabi was doing very well, especially in the first half.