After the discouraging loss against Barcelona last Sunday and a fired-up Real Sociedad level on points, Atlético Madrid will need to secure a win against Deportivo La Coruña, at all costs.
In the reverse fixture of this match, Atleti won 1-0 with Antoine Griezmann scoring the winner after Augusto Fernández tore his ACL. Atlético will have to be just as wary of Deportivo this time, as Pepe Mel recently replaced Gaizka Garitano after a run of dismal results which has left the Galicians one point above the drop zone.
Deportivo lost each of their past four games and only scored two goals in those matches, conceding ten. Mel will feel the pressure of facing Atlético in his first game as Depor’s manager, but he will also be looking to encourage his players to go play the game where they feel most comfortable.
Diego Simeone during his press conference expressed that this match will be a difficult and “complicated” one as Deportivo will be looking for that fresh & winning start. However, Simeone will make sure his rojiblancos perform at the highest level and win three points, which are essential as Real Sociedad are level on points after a draw with Eibar on Wednesday.
With Sevilla playing against Athletic Club later in the day, Atleti will be hoping to prolong Depor’s misery for at least one more round of fixtures. The team will likely see much of the ball and can’t really afford to be inefficient on the night, making this game a tough one. But a win would mitigate the damage caused by Sunday’s loss to Barcelona.
Lucas is included in the squad list after his domestic abuse case was resolved with a community service sentence. Saúl Ñíguez is suspended after receiving too many yellow cards.
Location: Estadio Riazor, A Coruña, Galicia, Spain
Kick-off time: 7:45 PM GMT/BST, 2:45 PM EST, 11:45 AM PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: beIN LaLiga (Spain), SKY GO Extra/SKY GO UK (United Kingdom), beIN Sports en Español/fuboTV (United States)
For listings in other countries, head over to livesoccertv.com.
Prediction: Deportivo 0-2 Atletico with goals from Fernando Torres and Yannick Carrasco.
Squad list: Goalkeepers: Moyá and Oblak.
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Savic, Vrsaljko, Lucas and Giménez.
Midfielders: Koke, Carrasco, Gabi, Thomas, Gaitán and Caio.
Forwards: Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Correa and Gameiro.