The need of Valencia examines the ambition of Atlético

Simeone’s men seek to consolidate third place against a rival who wants to keep relegation away


Atlético de Madrid is looking for a third consecutive victory this Saturday against Valencia at the Cívitas Metropolitano (9:00 p.m. / DAZN) that will consolidate it in third position in LaLiga Santander, in a match in which the ‘che’ team wants to endorse the good sensations of the last weeks to try to get away from the bottom of the table.

The doubts that threatened, before the World Cup in Qatar, with ending the reign of Diego Pablo Simeone in the rojiblanco team seem far away. Outside of Europe and the Copa del Rey, the mattress team has managed to focus on the domestic championship, where they have accumulated 48 points after nine consecutive days scoring -six wins and three draws-.

The overwhelming victory against Sevilla (6-1) returned him to the ‘podium’ of the classification, and Monday’s victory against Girona (0-1), together with Real Sociedad’s draw in Mallorca, allowed him to consolidate his position with a three point advantage over the San Sebastian team (45) and six over the fifth, Real Betis (42).

And it is that the ‘Cholo’ have recovered their best defensive version, protected by their line of five back, which they have known how to combine with an increasingly offensive and personalized version in the duo formed by Antoine Griezmann and Memphis Depay.

The Frenchman -author of the only goal of the Atlético victory in the first round at Mestalla- has become the leader of the rojiblancos, while the Dutchman has responded with three goals in the last four games, beating Álvaro Morata, who , in his fourth consecutive substitution, came to the rescue of his team in Montilivi with a goal in the 91st minute.

In principle, Simeone could bet on a single change in the starting eleven, with the recovered Rodrigo de Paul accompanying Koke and Marcos Llorente in midfield. Back, Nahuel Molina and Yannick Carrasco will occupy the wings again, with Stefan Savic, José María Giménez and Mario Hermoso forming the axis of the defense.

Opposite, Valencia, with the same points as relegation (26), needs a victory that allows them to put land in the middle of the danger zone, from which they have managed to get out with the arrival of Rubén Baraja on the bench.

With ‘Pipo’ already at the controls, the ‘che’ team fell at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez (1-0) in the debut of the coach from Valladolid, but only reacted a few days later by beating Real Sociedad at home (1-0 ). He showed his face and died on the shore at the Camp Nou (1-0) before taking flight, and leaving the burning posts, with a win against Osasuna at Mestalla (1-0).

Now, the former Valencian player will look for his first victory away from a rival that Valencia has not beaten since 2014. Since he won 3-1 in October of that year in the capital of Turia, he has conceded ten defeats and drawn six draws against the rojiblancos.

In search of breaking the statistics, they will recover captain José Luis Gayà and a reference man like the Uruguayan Edinson Cavani, who could be in the game despite the good form of Hugo Duro. Instead, Jaume Doménech, Antonio Lato, Gabriel Paulista and Marcos André will continue in the infirmary.



ATHLETIC MADRID: Oblak; Molina, Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso, Carrasco; Marcos Llorente, Koke, De Paul; Griezmann and Memphis.

VALENCIA: Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Diakhaby, Özkacar, Gayà; Musah, Guillamón, André Almeida; Samu Castillejo, Kluivert and Hugo Duro.

–REFEREE: Munuera Montero (C.Andaluz).

–STADIUM: Cívitas Metropolitano.

–TIME: 21.00/DAZN.

By Lay

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