On Thursday at 18:30 CET, Atlético play the return leg of the 3rd qualifying round of the Europa League.
The first match against Stromsgodset was won 2-1 with Reyes appearing on the score sheet twice.
Although the Norwegian outfit are still unknown to most of us, Atleti are expected to face a tough challenge in the Marienlyst stadium on Thursday night, where the home team is usually stronger than in away games.
Godset currently sit in 3rd position in the Norwegian league and only need a single goal to knock us out, after Oyvind Storflor scored a vital away goal in the Vicente Calderón last week.
In the Tippeligaen this weekend, Stromsgodset beat Lillestrom 3-1, as they remain only three points off the top spot in Norway.
The Rojiblancos won’t have to worry about the weather conditions in Drammen this time of the year, but the Norwegians do have a big advantage during their home games.
The club has an artificial pitch, which Atleti has tried to prepare for by practising on the same type of turf at the Cerro del Espino this week. Coach Gregorio Manzano even brought the official ball of the Norwegian league, which will be used during the match tomorrow.
Manzano has made two changes in his squad selection. Paulo Assunção has been called up given that Mario Suárez still hasn’t fully recovered, while Juan Valera takes the place of Miranda. The Brazilian defender was sent off last week, and with Jorge Pulido away on international duty and Diego Godín not eligible to play, Manzano is left with just two centre backs for this match.
Elias, like Godín, is not registered for our Europa League qualifiers and is also unavailable to the coach.
Our summer signings Sílvio and Adrián do travel to Norway, even though the duo picked up knocks during training this week. It’s expected they will be fit enough to start against Stromsgodset.
Goalkeepers: Joel, Courtois
Defenders: Valera, López, Filipe, Sílvio, Domínguez, Perea
Midfielders: Tiago, Raúl García, Fran Mérida, Assunção, Gabi, Salvio, Reyes, Juanfran
Forwards: Forlán, Adrián and Pedro
Referee: Mark Courtney
Ahead of the two games against Stromsgodset we invited Ole Aasheim, the president of the Norwegian Atlético peña, on This is Atleti. Check out the podcast for detailed information on our opponent.
Like the previous encounter, Telemadrid will televise this match. Keep an eye on their website to find livestreams for the game!