Atlético Madrid will face Osasuna on Saturday evening, eyeing a chance to extend its club-record unbeaten run to 22 league games.
Historically, Atlético have not enjoyed great success, with 13 wins from 38 visits to El Sadar. But Atleti have lost just one of the past 13 league meetings and have won the past four meetings by a 13-0 aggregate scoreline.
“We’ve handled things well so far, we need to continue with this same consistency,” Diego Simeone said Friday. “Tomorrow, we will face an opponent that is always tough and complex.”
Both sides have kept four consecutive clean sheets entering this match. Despite losing star striker Chimy Ávila to another knee injury, Osasuna sit seventh in the table with a positive goal difference — while Atlético sit sixth, with a game in hand and a plus-nine goal difference.
“We have to improve in defense, because our strength has always been having a strong block,” Simeone said. “But we are also growing in other aspects, and that generates that famous (blanket problem), whether you cover yourself more on the top half or the bottom. We need to balance the situation.”
José Giménez’s slow return to fitness will continue in Madrid, as will Saúl Ñíguez’s recovery from an unspecified muscular ailment. Simeone has left Luis Suárez in the capital, too, as he decided to hand LaLiga’s joint-scoring leader a rest before a midweek trip to Moscow.
However, Simeone expects João Félix to star once more even as Suárez will miss out. The Portuguese scored twice against Red Bull Salzburg on Tuesday, and he scored twice the last time he played in Pamplona.
“I have spoken about João many times, and I explain that he is very important for us, that he is in a good moment and looking for consistency that makes players grow and take up important positions,“ Simeone said.
Possible XI Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Savić, Hermoso; Koke, Herrera, Correa, Vitolo; Félix, Llorente
Date Oct. 31, 2020
Location Estadio El Sadar, Pamplona, Navarre, Spain
Kickoff time 6:30 p.m. CET, 5:30 p.m. GMT, 1:30 p.m. EST, 10:30 a.m. PST
Available TV/streaming Movistar LaLiga 2 (Spain), DIRECTV Sports (Argentina), beIN Sports 1 (Australia), iQiyi (China), Match! Football 1 (Russia), SuperSport LaLiga (South Africa), beIN Sports (United States)