Beware of ‘wounded beast’ Atletico Madrid


The midweek 4-0 humbling away at Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League will have stung Atletico Madrid, and they will be looking to make an immediate La Liga response this weekend.

The defeat was Diego Simeone’s heaviest during his seven year tenure at the club, with Lucien Favre’s exciting young side simply too much in attack for Atletico.

Having stabilised their La Liga form following a inconsistent start to the season, Simeone and his players will be rocked by a result that few saw coming, despite Dortmund’s impressive displays in the Bundesliga this season.

Simeone will be demanding a reaction from his players as they welcome Real Sociedad to the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday night.

The nature of their capitulation in the second half in Germany will have irked the Argentinian boss, and his players will have been told in clear terms that he is unhappy, in training this week.

Their cause was not helped by the absence of central defender Jose Giminez, with left back Lucas Hernandez slotting into a central position, which was exploited by Dortmund’s free flowing attack.

Giminez is expected to return for the weekend clash, alongside international team mate Diego Godin.

Simeone also made tactical and personnel tweaks to in midfield and attack, which ultimately upset the balance of the team in Germany.

He replaced Rodri with Thomas Lemar in midfield, with the Frenchman deployed out wide, and altering the three man central unit from the previous game against Villarreal.

With extra space in central areas, Dortmund were able to use their pace to attack Atletico from deeper areas, and cause problems in midfield and attack.

Simeone also brought Diego Costa back into the team, for the first time in three weeks due to injury, in place of Nikola Kalinic.

While Costa is always going to start, when fit, the style of Dortmund’s quick movement in midfield meant there was very little for him to work with when he did receive possession.

Rodri should come back in to the starting XI, and Costa retain his place for the Sociedad clash.

However the whole squad is likely to have felt the wrath of Simeone in the last few days, and consistently his side have shown their best when placed with their backs against the wall and being criticised.

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