Depleted Atletico Madrid look to close the gap on Barcelona


Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone will be hopeful that his side can close the gap on La Liga leaders Barcelona, with a win at bottom of the table Huesca this weekend.

With the Catalan side not playing until Sunday night, at home to Leganes, Atletico have a chance to narrow the gap between first and second place from five points to two, in Game Week 20.

The former Argentine international could not have asked for an easier game in theory, with their hosts ten points adrift of safety in the Spanish top flight, and with just one win in their last 18 league games.

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Lemar arrival at Atletico could signal Vitolo exit

Thomas Lemar Monaco

Atletico Madrid and the French national team were a constant news theme during the 2018 World Cup.

The prolonged stay-or go saga of Antoine Griezmann kicked off the tournament, with the former Real Sociedad man confirming that he was staying at the club, via THAT video.

Griezmann’s future had been a cause for concern at the end of the season, with speculation mounting that he would push for a La Liga swap to Barcelona.

However with that quelled, he went on to win the World Cup, alongside club mates Lucas Hernandez, and more recently, Thomas Lemar.

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La Roja benefit from excellent Atletico Madrid


Spain’s preparations for the world Cup this summer begin with double header of friendlies, against Germany and Argentina this week.

Head coach Julen Lopetegui is still mulling over his selection for his finals 23-man squad, however the excellent performances of Atletico Madrid in La Liga this season have made his job easier.

Atletico are the only side to have been in with a chance of keeping pace with runaway leaders Barcelona this season, currently sitting in second, and placed for their best La Liga finish since 2013-14.

Three Atletico players have been called up this time; Koke, Saul Niguez and Diego Costa.

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La Liga Game of the Week: Atleti show mettle with resounding 3-0 win over Celta Vigo


This week’s La Liga game of the week saw Atletico Madrid bounce back from a 1-0 defeat to Barcelona that all but put an end to their title hopes with a resounding 3-0 victory over a Celta Vigo side that remain outside hopefuls for a spot in next year’s Europa League.

Despite the emphatic score line that greeted the adoring Atletico fans come the tie’s final whistle, there was little to suggest for the best part of the first half.

With it appearing ever more likely that both sides would return to the changing rooms at a dead heat, Atletico’s talisman Antoine Griezmann seized the initiative for the hosts on the stroke of half time as he pounced upon an offensive header in the box at the far post, cooling turning the onrushing header and drilling it into the far top corner. Continue reading

Atletico Madrid eyes now focused on La Liga title

Atleti UCL

Atletico Madrid’s early exit from the Champions League will cause a great deal of anguish to their loyal fan base but it may represent a boost for their La Liga titles hopes this campaign. This had been Diego Simeone’s side fifth straight campaign in Europe’s premier club competition and it represents the first when they have not been eliminated by their fierce city rivals Real Madrid.

However, this exit could come at the right time to sharpen minds of Atletico on their domestic campaign. Coming on the same day as their Copa Del Rey Round of 16 draw with third tier Lleida, the club will be strong favourites to book their place in the last eight and once again have the luxury of resting key first-teamers while doing so. However, two players who they will be keen to give minutes to are Vitolo and Diego Costa – the Spanish international duo will become available for selection when the club’s FIFA registration ban lifts in January.


These arrivals will be sufficient to give Los Rojiblancos a significant boost at a crucial point in the season. For too long they have relied on Antoine Griezmann’s brilliance to lift an attack which is often wayward and frugal, with Fernando Torres, Luciano Vietto and Kevin Gameiro among those unable to provide a consistent run of form up front.

Costa’s arrival will establishing an attacking focal point, provide a greater aerial threat, more ball retention up front and most crucially of all, goals. Atleti found the net only 18 times across their first 16 matches in both La Liga and the Copa Del Rey this season – numbers not fitting of a side capable of challenging for the title.

However, they now have scored 13 goals in their last five games in all competitions while their unbeaten league run of 18 matches – stretching back to April last season, is a club record. A fortnight ago they were 10 points adrift of Barcelona but have clawed that back to just six points and with Barca’s upcoming tough run of fixtures, Simeone’s side could be going into the New Year right in the thick of the leader board.

Other arrivals are possible in January too with a squad who arguably need freshening up. There will be fewer reservations over players who are no longer cup-tied in European competition and not having Champions League knockout group stages will mean energy levels increase and momentum is easier to generate.

They will automatically be made favourites for the Europa League despite other heavyweights also dropping into the competition, such is the refusal to be beaten. It should not be forgotten that they have defeated every side they have faced in a knockout stage outside of Madrid in Europe in their record under Simeone in the Champions League.

Now they will have their eyes set on a first title in four seasons and whilst Griezmann’s future looks set to be away from Atleti, his last contribution for the club could be a monumental one.

Hay que hacer hueco en el Wanda


Ya está confirmado el nombre de dos futbolistas que pasarán a la disciplina rojiblanca en enero, cuando finalice la sanción al Atlético de Madrid. Y podrían ser más. Para entonces, Vitolo y Diego Costa jugarán a las órdenes de Simeone. Vitolo llega tras acordar una cesión en Las Palmas, para que éste actuase como intermediario hasta el mercado invernal, y Diego Costa tras la manifiesta voluntad mutua de ambas partes y la relación rota del hispano-brasileño con el Chelsea.

Ambos futbolistas tienen un perfil ofensivo, lo que conlleva un superávit en la delantera del Atlético de Madrid. Además de Griezmann, están Correa, Vietto, Gameiro y Fernando Torres. Es decir, que en enero habrá hasta 7 delanteros. Parece obvio que algún futbolista tendrá que hacer las maletas en breve. ¿Pero quién? Los nuevos fichajes son petición expresa del Cholo. Además, con la millonada pagada por cada uno de ellos y los malabares administrativos que ha hecho la directiva por ficharlos, todo apunta a que vendrán para ser titulares. La duda es en detrimento de quién. Continue reading

Vitolo a 3 bandas


No es un secreto el interés de Simeone por Vitolo. El Cholo lleva 3 temporadas tratando de fichar al internacional sevillista pero, por un motivo u otro, no lo ha conseguido… hasta ahora. Puede parecer que este año sea más complicado, dado que el Atlético no puede inscribir jugadores nuevos hasta el próximo 1 de enero por la sanción de la FIFA. Pero no, los colchoneros se guardan un as en la manga. Continue reading