Atletico Madrid will be hoping to end their recent winless streak when they lock horns with Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano this weekend.
Atletico Madrid will be aiming to end their five-game winless run across all competitions when they take on Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano in Matchweek 23 of the 2019-20 La Liga on Saturday night.
The Rojiblancos are under intense pressure after a run of poor results with their most recent game ending in a 1-0 defeat to arch-rivals and neighbours Real Madrid. Diego Simeone’s side are now sixth in La Liga, thirteen points below leaders Real and need to get things back on track, if they are to stay in the hunt for a Champions League qualifying spot.
Granada, on the other hand, find themselves in the tenth position in the table with 30 points from 22 games, just six points shy of Atletico Madrid. Diego Martinez’s side are on a three-match winning streak in all competitions, most recently beating Valencia 2-1 in the Copa del Rey quarter-final and will be hoping to carry forward that momentum this weekend.
The reverse fixture earlier in the season ended in a 1-1 draw with German Sanchez cancelling out Renan Lodi’s goal for Atletico Madrid. Ahead of this match-up on Saturday night, we at The Hard Tackle take a closer look at both the teams.
Team News & Tactics
Atletico Madrid have a number of injury concerns heading into the contest this weekend. The hosts will be without the services of Kieran Trippier, who is ruled out till next month, while Alvaro Morata is also a major doubt after picking up a thigh injury against Real Madrid last time out.
The likes of Koke, Diego Costa, Joao Felix, Hector Herrera, Santiago Arias and Jose Maria Gimenez are also doubtful for the game against Granada, while defender Felipe is suspended for the tie. There will be a few forced changes that Simeone will have to make following the derby last week.
In goal, there is no looking past the excellent Jan Oblak, while Sime Vrsaljko ought to continue at right-back in the absence of Trippier and Arias. Renan Lodi, who scored in the reverse fixture against Granada, is a shoo-in at left-back. Stefan Savic is a guaranteed starter at the heart of Atletico defence and is likely to be partnered with Mario Hermoso.
Saul Niguez should once again start on the left flank, while Angel Correa should continue on the right side. No changes are expected in the central midfield axis of Marcos Llorente and Thomas Partey either.
With no Morata, Costa and Felix, Simeone is short on options in attack and should go in with Vitolo and Yannick Carrasco, who was impressive on his second debut for Atletico against Real Madrid.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savic, Hermoso, Lodi; Correa, Llorente, Partey, Niguez; Vitolo, Carrasco
Granada also have their fair share of injury issues as manager Diego Martinez will be unable to call upon Neyder Lozano, Fede Vico, Quini, Angelo Montoro, Alex Martinez as well as Maxime Gonalons on Saturday night. There are likely to be a few changes to the side that defeated Valencia in the cup tie.
— Granada C.F. ❤️⚪️ (@GranadaCdeF) February 7, 2020
Rui Silva ought to return in goal having sat out against Valencia last time out while Victor Diaz should also come back into the starting XI at right-back. Carlos Neva will continue at right-back while German Sanchez should see a change in partners at the heart of the Granada defence with Domingos Duarte likely to start ahead of Jesus Vallejo.
Yangel Herrera and Yan Brice Eteki should start in the midfield double pivot for the visitors on Saturday night in the absence of Gonalons. The creativity will come from Carlos Fernandez, who will slot in as the No. 10 against Atletico Madrid.
Antonio Puertas is likely to be retained on the right flank, but Alvaro Vadillo could be set to make way for Darwin Machis on the opposite flank. The wide players will be key in fashioning chances for main striker Roberto Soldado, who scored a double against Valencia in the last game.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Silva; Diaz, Duarte, Sanchez, Neva; Herrera, Eteki; Puertas, Fernandez, Machis; Soldado
- Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in their last 18 La Liga games against Granada (W13 D5), keeping a clean sheet in 12 of them.
- Granada have won just one of their 23 visits to Atletico Madrid in La Liga (W1 D3 L19), 2-0 in October 1959.
- Since the start of 2018-19 season, Atletico Madrid have lost just two home league games (W21 D7 L2), against the current top two teams (1-3 against Real Madrid in February 2019 and 0-1 against Barcelona in December 2019).
- Granada have lost their last eight La Liga away games against sides from Madrid, conceding 26 goals in total (3.25 on average), and failing to score in four of them.
- Atletico Madrid have only scored 22 goals after 22 games in La Liga this season, their worst goal tally at this stage in the top-flight.
Player to Watch
The 26-year-old returned to Atletico Madrid last month, two years after leaving the club to move to China. Upon returning, Carrasco made his second debut for Los Rojiblancos coming on as a substitute in the derby against Real Madrid and looked bright in his short cameo.
Carrasco boasts a solid record against Granada, having been involved in five goals in four appearances against them in La Liga (3 goals, 2 assists). In contention to start on Saturday, the Belgian international will be hoping to put on a strong performance and help Atletico get out their recent slump.
Atletico Madrid 1-1 Granada
Injuries, especially in attack, have hurt Atletico Madrid in recent fixtures. Diego Simeone’s men have struggled for goals, scoring just once in their ongoing five-match winless streak across all competitions. Granada, on the other hand, have won three in a row and will be in confident mood ahead of their visit to the Wanda Metropolitano.
The two sides are likely to be involved in another tight contest, with chances not likely to come in abundance. Atletico, despite their recent slump, have a strong record at home against Granada, which is why we at The Hard Tackle are predicting this one to end in a 1-1 stalemate.