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Atlético Madrid-Getafe CF: A mini-derbi to end 2020

Simeone’s men put a dominant record on the line Wednesday night.

Real Sociedad v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander
Jan Oblak has kept nine clean sheets in nine appearances against Getafe.
Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

Though Atlético Madrid enter Wednesday night’s game against Getafe looking to maintain its position as LaLiga leaders, the pre-game chatter has centered on a player whose time at Atlético came to an end on Tuesday.

“(Diego Costa)’s given us a lot, we’ve given him a lot,” Diego Simeone said in his pre-match availability. “He needs new challenges because he feels good, strong, (and) in form.

“Wherever he goes, he’ll do well, because he’s a fighter.”

Costa celebrating his final goal for Atlético, a penalty versus Elche on Dec. 19. After initially joining the club in 2007, he scored 83 goals and registered 36 assists in 215 appearances as a rojiblanco.
Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Atlético confirmed it had terminated Costa’s contract Tuesday morning, less than 48 hours after AS reported the 32-year-old had asked for his release — six months ahead of schedule. Costa, citing personal reasons for his departure, was said to be disgruntled regarding his role in the team and upset that Atleti would not entertain letting him go to Sevilla next month.

“The club has been able to help him without being harmed, and that generates peace of mind,” Simeone said.

“We haven’t seen each other for a couple of days because Diego didn’t come to train while he was negotiating (his departure). The nicest thing that remains is that we can hug each other when we meet, (we can) celebrate and remember,” he said.

While the club sorts out a replacement for Costa — rumored to be Napoli’s Arkadiusz Milik — Simeone will have his team ready to face José Bordalás’ Getafe. Though Atlético’s city rivals have taken a leap forward under Bordalás and played European football for the first time last year, they still haven’t snapped a lengthy dry spell in this fixture.

I mean, the statistics against Getafe since Simeone’s arrival as coach are simply astounding:

  • Since a 3-2 loss under Gregorio Manzano’s stewardship on Nov. 6, 2011, Atlético have outscored Getafe 30-0 in league play (33-0 overall if one includes two Copa del Rey meetings from 2012).
  • Atlético have won 14 of the past 15 league games against Getafe.
  • Atlético have recorded 15 consecutive shutouts in LaLiga against Getafe (17 if you include the cup games in 2012).
Real Sociedad v Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

“Getafe have not had positive results, but they have improved (lately),” Simeone said. “I cannot imagine a Getafe (tomorrow) different from the one that competes — whoever plays.”

Bordalás will be without key defenders Erick Cabaco and Damián Suárez, midfielder Allan Nyom, and forward Cucho Hernández through suspension. Meanwhile, Simeone will make do without Kieran Trippier, who is set to begin his 10-week ban for alleged betting violations. Šime Vrsaljko is set to make his first league start since February in his place.

“Hopefully the damage done to Atlético Madrid can be reviewed, because Atlético have nothing to do with this situation,” Simeone said. “We believe that the English Federation benefits, and we hope that (the ban) can be revised.”

Date Dec. 30, 2020

Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid

Kickoff time 7:15 p.m. CET, 6:15 p.m. GMT, 1:15 p.m. EST, 10:15 a.m. PST

Available TV/streaming Movistar+ (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), ESPN2 Sur (Uruguay)