Talk of Atletico Madrid’s demise was greatly exaggerated. Their victory against PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday extended their unbeaten run to start the season to five and they have only conceded one goal in that time.
Much of the concern surrounding Atletico seems to be stemming from Griezmann’s comments about battling relegation following their draw with Leganes and Simeone’s contract being reduced by two years during the week. Fair, but a win against Sporting will put much of that concern to bed.
It should, and most likely will, be business as usual when Sporting travel to the Vicente Calderon on Saturday afternoon at 3.15 GMT.
Atletico have not lost to Sporting at home in their last 10 games against each other and Sporting have failed to score in the last three of those games. But Sporting are unbeaten in their opening three games and sit third in La Liga behind just Real Madrid and Sevilla. This will be an interesting game but Atletico might have to be the one making the moves as Gijon will look to play on the break. Sporting can move into first place as both Real and Sevilla play after them this weekend.
Jose Gimenez called for calm before the game, stating “"We have to be patient when going for the goal and open the sides of the pitch. It is going to be, if you allow me¨to make the comparison, the same as in the match against PSV, they waited for us, defended well at the back and tried to counter. I believe that is basically going to be their [Sporting] strategy for the match."
Atletico have their entire squad available to them except Miguel Angel Moya and Alessio Cerci and should line up with some variations to the side that took to the field against PSV midweek.
Sporting, on the other hand, are just missing Rachid Aït-Atmane through injury.
Possible Atletico XI: Oblak, Juanfran, Savic, Godin, F.Luis, Gabi, Koke, Saul, Gaitan, Gameiro, Griezmann.
Possible Sporting XI: Cuellar, Castellano, Amorebieta, Babin, Lopez, Cases, Alvarez, Burgui, Rodriguez, Lora, Duje Cop.