Match preview: Vitória de Guimarães vs. Atlético

Atleti seek to hold on to their lead secured in Madrid in first leg of the fixture

Reyes in first leg against Vitória (Colchonero.com)

Reyes in first leg against Vitória (Colchonero.com)

Atlético flew to Portugal Wednesday ahead of their Europa League play-off round second leg clash against Vitória de Guimarães.

Los Rojiblancos take a comfortable 2-0 lead, secured in last week’s game at the Vicente Calderón, into Guimarães’ D. Afonso Henriques Stadium.

Diego Forlán, who had initially been included in the match selection, did not travel with the team after receiving special permission from coach Gregorio Manzano to withdraw from the trip in order to resolve his future.

Canterano Borja González, who Manzano had previously left off the list, took Forlán’s spot on the squad.

Atlético issued the following statement via the club’s official Twitter account Wednesday:

“Forlán asked Manzano this morning not to travel to Guimarães because he is considering joining another team. Manzano authorised him to stay in Madrid because Atlético have a lot at stake and need players who are at 100 percent.”

Los Rojiblancos shouldn’t be too concerned about Forlán’s unavailability, as they were able to come out victorious without the Uruguayan in the first leg.

“The 20 that we travelled with are the ones who have to resolve this qualifier tomorrow and if Forlán isn’t here, we can’t rely on him,” Manzano told Atlético’s official site.

“There’s no need to keep talking about it.”

Adrián, Eduardo Salvio and José Antonio Reyes formed our attack trident in the match in Madrid, but it was Elias, who replaced Salvio in the second half, who stole the show by nabbing a brace.

If Manzano’s men manage to put one past Vitória, the Portuguese outfit will be forced to strike back with four goals, so los Colchoneros have to like their chances of making it through to the group stage of the tournament.

In a bid to rally their fans and players for a comeback, Vitória released a battle video which harks back to the times of their stadium’s namesake, Afonso Henriques, the first King of Portugal who led his people to independence from the Kingdom of León in 1139.

In addition to the absence of Forlán, Atleti will be without vice-captain Alvaro Dominguez, who will serve a one-match suspension after receiving a second booking in UEFA action last Thursday.

Atleti fans will have to wait to see star signings Radamel Falcao and Arda Turan in action.

The Colombian could not be registered in time for this fixture while the Turk continues his recovery from a muscle injury.

Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Joel, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, A. López, Filipe, Sìlvio, Perea, Miranda, Pulido
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Tiago, Elías, Reyes, Assunçao, Gabi, Salvio, Koke, Juanfran
Forwards: Adrián, Borja


  • Matthijs

    Can we see the game again om TeleMadrid?

  • palc

    hmm. The prediction league is unavailable for this tie?

  • Ringo

    I wonder how much trust Manzano will put in Koke

  • Derek Maaijen

    Matthijs, the game will be broadcasted on the local Telemadrid station but not on Telemadrid Satellite. Hopefully we’ll be able to stream the local Telemadrid channel from their website! That most likely won’t be confirmed until closer before the game.

    Palc, this year only la Liga games will count for the Prediction League. We’ll make an announcement regarding the prediction league soon with more details. Of course you could just place your prediction here, I reckon we’ll get a 0-1 win! 😀

  • Ringo

    As there has only been one official game this season, so far, it’s hard to judge the capabilities of the team.
    The first game was very promising, except for the first twenty minutes or so in the second half.

    I hope that after way too many years, a more consistent team can be put onto the field.
    Do you guys know if Manzano is more of a rotating trainer or is he someone who tries to use the same guys as much as possible?

    If I had to guess, I’d say 1-3 (win), with Borja scoring his first goal, of course.

  • Matthijs

    Thanks Derek, tomorrow I will look on the website regularly!

    I think Atleti will go to the groupstage, no doubt about that. We are going to win with 0-1, goal of Adrian.

  • k14

    1 – 2 (lose)

    No more aguero or forlan as first goal scorer in the prediction league this season ;p

  • Ringo

    Haha, I have too get rid of my Kun Aguero-habit, too, haha 😛
    Well, perhaps we should swap it with Falcao 😉
    In the right formation and form, I guess it won’t take him too long.

    Who do you guys predict will start on the wings this time? Another chance for Salvio? Perhaps it’s a good idea to start Elias…?

  • Urban

    If it was up to me I would go:

    Joel, Silvio, Godin, Perea, Filipe, Elias, Gabi, Koke, Salvio, Reyes and Adrian.

    But I expect to see Tiago (he is portugese after all) ahead of Koke and Mario ahead of Elias, and possibly Juanfran ahead of Salvio.

  • Croatia Atletista

    BUT we already had 1 prediction league match…that doesn’t count now? Cmon i had 1st place 😛

  • CH14

    DOMINGUEZ IN THE SPAIN SQUAD!

  • Gert

    I hope Borja gets to score on his birthday!

  • starvs

    found a stream that is working for now http://www.sportlemon.tv/wv-2/8/162/v-296325.html

  • amed9ja

    Atletico are already 2 nil 34min courtesy of gabi and adrian

  • Matthijs

    Pff, one of the most easy matches Atlético ever played! What a changes, but a good victory! I am looking forward to sunday!

    I think Silvio will be the best signing of Atlético this summer, he is great!