Atletico Madrid will be hoping to continue their emphatic start to the 2020/21 campaign when they visit Huesca on Wednesday.
This past weekend, Atletico Madrid kickstarted their 2020/21 La Liga campaign in the most positive fashion, registering an emphatic 6-1 win over Granada. It was a match that saw the capital outfit unleash their full attacking prowess, strengthened even more by the arrival of former Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez.
On Wednesday, Diego Simeone’s men will be hoping to maintain a similar form as they lock horns with Huesca at the Estadio El Alcoraz.
This season provides Los Colchoneros with an excellent opportunity to emerge as contenders for the league title as both the giants in Barcelona and Real Madrid go through their respective transitional phases. So, a win this midweek could be imperative if Atleti are to get an early headstart.
Huesca, meanwhile, are one of the three newly promoted teams in the Spanish top flight this season. They have already played three games in the new campaign and haven’t disappointed either, notably salvaging points against both Valencia and Villarreal. A 2-0 defeat to Cadiz was unfortunate, however.
That said, Huesca are more than capable of causing an upset and here, at The Hard Tackle, we will take a look at both these teams ahead of this fascinating encounter in La Liga this midweek.
Tactics & Team News
Huesca manager Michel has primarily preferred a 4-2-3-1 formation so far, which makes sense given the creative prowess they have in the final third. The likes of Shinji Okazaki, David Ferreiro and Juan Carlos Real could indeed play key roles in the club’s counter-attack, with Rafa Mir spearheading the attack.
⏱ Tic, tac, tic, tac ⏱
Contamos ya las horas para volver a El Alcoraz, con todo un PARTIDAZO
Hoy, ensayo general sobre el mismo césped donde mañana recibimos al @Atleti (19:00h)
¡Ganas 💯! pic.twitter.com/qnpVbuTssa
— SD Huesca (@SDHuesca) September 29, 2020
Michel does have exciting alternatives on the bench including Javi Ontiveros and Borussia Dortmund’s Sergio Gomez. The former could feature in the second half to provide some spark with his dribbling and dynamism.
In midfield, new signing Borja Garcia is hoping for his first start but things could be difficult as Michel has persisted with the reliable duo of Pedro Mosquera and Jaime Seoane in the double-pivot.
Meanwhile, in defence, Pablo Maffeo, who is on loan from Stuttgart is injured so we could expect Pedro Lopez to continue at right-back while Javi Galan may once again get the nod on the opposite flank.
These two will look to provide support to the central defensive duo of Jorge Pulido and Dimitrios Siovas, with Andres Fernandez starting in between the sticks.
Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Fernandez; Lopez, Pulido, Siovas, Galan; Mosquera, Seoane; Ferreiro, Okazaki, Real; Mir
Given the hectic schedule of the 2020/21 campaign, Simeone will be tempted to make a few rotations to the side that secured a comprehensive 6-1 victory over Granada, though he is unlikely to shift away from his tried and tested 4-4-2 setup.
Want some more Atleti action? 🤔
No worries! The last session ahead of #HuescaAtleti has been completed 🤩
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 29, 2020
Jan Oblak is among the guaranteed starters, starting in goal for Atletico Madrid. There may not be any changes in defence either, with Simeone likely to persist with a reliable back-four consisting of Kieran Trippier, Felipe, Stefan Savic and Renan Lodi.
In midfield, however, Marcos Llorente is poised to make his return to the starting eleven, following an impressive performance against Granada as a substitute. He could occupy the central midfield role, operating alongside Koke, which should force Saul Niguel to shift out wide, on the left flank.
Given the quality of the opponent, with all due respect to Huesca, Simeone might fancy starting with Thomas Lemar on the right flank, providing the Frenchman a rare opportunity to prove himself despite two awful seasons in Madrid. He should replace Angel Correa, who was sublime in the win over Granada.
And finally, in attack, Atletico Madrid’s poster-boy Joao Felix will get to start with his new attacking partner in Luis Suarez, paving the way for Diego Costa to return to the bench. He, along with the likes of Thomas Partey, Vitolo and Hector Herrera could appear as substitutes in the second half.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Oblak; Trippier, Savic, Felipe, Lodi; Lemar, Koke, Llorente, Saul; Felix, Suarez
- This will be the third match between Huesca and Atletico Madrid in La Liga. In the previous ties, Rojiblancos won both clashes by the same result (3-0).
- Atletico Madrid haven’t lost any of their last 25 meetings against newly promoted opponents in La Liga and have recorded 19 clean sheets in the process.
- Huesca have won only one of their five matches against Madrid opponents at El Alcoraz in La Liga, winning their last one vs CD Leganes in May 2019.
- Atletico Madrid are unbeaten in their last 17 La Liga games. If they avoid defeat in this game, they will match their second-best streak with Diego Simeone as a coach, just short of their 20-game unbeaten run between April and December 2017.
- After losing 2-0 against Cadiz on the second matchday, Huesca could lose two consecutive games at El Alcoraz for the second time in La Liga.
Player to Watch
Luis Suarez dominated on his Atletico debut 🙌pic.twitter.com/jeVNmX2rh9
— Goal (@goal) September 28, 2020
Suarez made the ultimate impression on his debut for Atletico Madrid this past weekend, scoring a brace against Granada. He looked at home, linking up with the likes of Correa and Felix while assisting Llorente for his goal.
The Uruguayan international already looks better suited to Diego Simeone’s attacking philosophy than the likes of Costa or Alvaro Morata, who has rejoined Juventus this summer.
However, things might get a little trickier against a Huesca side, who have looked solid for the most part. They are likely to employ a deep-defensive line so Suarez’s ingenuity in the final third along with his connection with Felix could be critical in Atleti’s chances of sealing all three points this midweek.
Huesca 0-4 Atletico Madrid
Atletico Madrid have been on a stellar run of late and have improved significantly in the attacking department. So it won’t be surprising to see this game turning into a goal-fest with the likes of Suarez and Felix likely to dominate the Huesca half. A 4-0 victory for the Rojiblancos is what The Hard Tackle is predicting.