Match preview: Atlético vs. Vitória de Guimarães

Atleti will look to seal the fixture at the Calderón before traveling to Portugal next week

Atlético prepare for Thursday's clash  (clubatleticodemadrid.com)

Atlético prepare for Thursday's clash
(clubatleticodemadrid.com)

Atletico host Vitória de Guimarães at the Vicente Calderón Thursday evening in the first leg of their Europa League play-off round fixture.

Los Rojiblancos got past Norwegian side Stromsgodset in the third qualifying round, while Vitória sent Danish outfit FC Midtjylland packing in the previous stage of the competition.

“Vitória are a difficult opponent,” manager Gregorio Manzano warned in the pre-game press conference on Wednesday.

“They have players with experience in Portuguese and European football and have achieved recent successes, such as playing in the Portuguese Super Cup against Porto and reaching this Europa League qualifier after a solid season last year.

“We know we have to do things well if we want to get past this round. We are confident in our chances, but we have an opponent before us that we know we can’t take lightly at all.”

Atleti fans were hoping to count on rumoured targets Radamel Falcao and/or Pablo Daniel Osvaldo for this tie, but neither player will make it in time to be registered.

“Now isn’t the time to talk about transfers,” said midfielder Tiago a day before the match. “We’re focussed on Vitória de Guimarães.

“It’s important to get the fixture off on the right foot, and if we achieve a good result, we will go to Portugal a little more relaxed, but it will not be easy.”

Despite rumours in the Spanish and Italian media suggesting Diego Forlán was on his way out of Atleti, the Uruguayan remains in Madrid and could start on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo returns to the team after being sidelined for over six months in his recovery from knee surgery.

Diego Godín and Elias have also been included by Manzano after missing out from the fixture against Stromsgodset.

Koke and Jorge Pulido are back from Colombia and on the squad following their elimination from the U-20 World Cup quarter-finals with Spain.

Fran Mérida was left off the selection along with fresh signing Arda Turan, who will be unavailable because of an unspecified muscle injury.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Joel, Courtois, Asenjo
Defenders: Antonio López, Filipe Luis, Godín, Sílvio, Domínguez, Perea, Miranda
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Reyes, Assunçao, Gabi, Salvio, Juanfran, Elias
Forwards: Diego Forlán, Adrián López


  • 7th

    at least give merida chances.

    hope he goes for Real betis,

  • Davide

    I would love it if Forlán stayed and that we don’t get Osvaldo! He would be perfect if Falcao is brought in. Cacha can drop deep and go for distrubution and long shots.

    This is my ideal/dream midfield and offensive line (i am benching Tiago and going for canteranos):

    …………Koke……….Mario………….
    ..Reyes………Forlán………..Turan..
    …………Radamel Falcao……………

  • k14

    Wasn’t able to see any of the recent atletico games, but didn’t the couch switch to 4-3-3 ?

  • k14

    Coach* :p

  • SoLobo

    So… We want to buy Falcao, Porto wants to sell us Ruben Micael as well… But we don’t want Ruben Micael!! And the question is… Do we really have better playmakers (center midfielders) than Ruben Micael?? Get him instead of Diego.

  • Idan

    must win in this game!

  • Matthijs

    We don’t need Micael, we have enough midfielders now. Manzano need to play with Mario and Tiago in the center!

    Can we follow the game on TeleMadrid??

  • CH14

    More importantly, whats the latest on La Liga strikes etc? :S

  • Martin Rosenow

    The match will be available online on Telemadrid’s website.

    As far as the strikes go, the matches are almost certain to be canceled this weekend.

    There’s one last meeting tomorrow (Friday), but apparently it has to do with whether or not an agreement will be reached in time before matchweek 2.

  • we have to finish this match at home hopely we finish vitoria off at vicente calderon
    ATLETICO 4-0 VITORIA
    FORZA ATLETICO

  • CH14

    3-0! Reyes, Adrian, Forlan!

  • Minimum 2-0 to Atléti! AUPA!

  • Matthijs

    WTF, NO FORLAN???

  • Urban

    I guess that means he is leaving…

  • Matthijs

    Pff, that’s shit!

  • Horse shit deal! He should stay!

  • 20corona

    If Forlan leaves i will be so disapointed! Fu**ing Shit everything was going so well…