Diego Simeone will be able to rotate his Atlético Madrid side on Saturday night, when Los Colchoneros welcome Real Valladolid to the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atlético are gunning for a seventh consecutive league win — a streak the team last achieved in 2014. Though Simeone has lost José Giménez for the remainder of 2020, the coach’s midfield options were bolstered after Héctor Herrera received minutes against Bayern Munich midweek and Lucas Torreira made the bench following a negative coronavirus test. Geoffrey Kondogbia is rested and available, too, seeing as he is ineligible for Champions League group games.
But Luis Suárez’s re-entry into the team is expected to galvanize an attacking line that has scored just three times in the four games since the last international break. Suárez will train normally Friday after Atlético announced he had finally tested negative for the virus — and the 33-year-old’s timing couldn’t be better. Atleti have a “final” in the Champions League against Red Bull Salzburg on Wednesday, then a derby with Real Madrid the following Saturday.
Before that, though, Atlético will have to answer for Valladolid’s red-hot Marcos André. The 24-year-old striker has scored in each of Valladolid’s past three games (two wins and a draw), helping the Pucela escape the relegation zone for the time being. Sergio’s side, usually so solid defensively, has not kept a clean sheet yet and will let Atleti have the ball — Valladolid’s 43 percent possession average is the third-lowest in LaLiga.
Atlético are on an impressive run against Valladolid, with nine wins from the past 10 meetings — most recently, a 1-0 triumph in June. Vitolo, the goalscorer that night, was just five years old on Oct. 21, 1995, when Simeone the player scored a second half goal to beat Valladolid away. That matchday nine victory kept the Rojiblancos in first place — where they would end the season.
This poll is closed
Date Dec. 5, 2020
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Kickoff time 6:30 p.m. CET, 5:30 p.m. GMT, 12:30 p.m. EST, 10:30 a.m. PST
Available TV/streaming Movistar+ (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), ESPN Sur (Argentina)