After a lengthy and dreary international break, Atlético Madrid had to recover their form which they had before the break began. Winning 2-0 at Málaga is no easy task, and Atleti did it in classic style, without dominating the match, but rolling with the punches.
Several players remain injured or tired from travel and play time. The team to play against Real Sociedad at the Calderon will be likely quite similar to the one which played Málaga, with a couple inclusions, most notably Godín. There could be room for change in midfield if either Carrasco or Correa is preferred to Thomas Partay.
A number of weeks ago, it looked as if this game had massive significance for the top four, however, since that time Atleti have been steamrolling opponents and hitting their best form of the year so far. This has left Real Sociedad nine points back off Atleti, and likely out of the race for top four, unless Sevilla’s downfall continues.
Real Sociedad have several decent attacking players, Willian Jose who is their top scorer is coming back from injury, as well as ex-Málaga man Juanmi and also Carlos Vela is still kicking around. Sociedad have done well this season, and seem to be content with a Europa League spot, which would be a fine achievement for them.
Atleti are less concerned about this game than they would have been a couple months ago. With the derbi against Real at the weekend, all of the focus in the press and on the pitch will be on that match. However, Diego Simeone has always stressed taking a season a game at a time, partido a partido, so it is unlikely they will be unfocused for this match within the Atleti squad.
Overall this game probably won’t be a free flowing, high scoring match, as both sides are likely fatigued, especially Sociedad, who rarely play twice a week. Controlling this game will be the priority for Atlético, and winning or drawing would do just fine. A win could see them move even further clear of Sevilla, who will likely lose at Camp Nou on Wednesday, but a point would also be valuable.