Forty-five days after Atlético Madrid’s 2019/20 season came to a screeching halt in Lisbon, the rojiblancos will get back to it in the Spanish capital as they kick off LaLiga play against Granada.
Surprise European participants Granada have played four times already this season, as Diego Martínez oversaw home wins against Athletic Club and Deportivo Alavés in addition to two Europa League qualifying victories. Atlético are just kicking off Diego Simeone’s ninth full season as coach — which has become a bit more exciting, all of a sudden.
“[Suárez] was convinced from the first moment we spoke that this is the best place to show that he is still an important forward,” Simeone said Saturday. “I found [in him] what we need at this club — enthusiasm and a desire to be here.”
Álvaro Morata had to be sacrificed so Suárez could sign, while Santiago Arias has joined Bayer Leverkusen on an initial loan and Antonio Adán stayed in Lisbon to join Sporting Clube de Portugal. Otherwise, last year’s “transitional” squad is intact, with transfer activity slowed around Europe due to the coronavirus pandemic and the associated economic downturn.
Simeone only returned from his COVID-19 quarantine on Friday and his team played just one preseason match. We’ll see how year two of the transition begins under these unfamiliar conditions.
Atlético are interested in acquiring a couple other players — Edinson Cavani and Lucas Torreira — before the transfer window shuts, but two current squad members who would have to make way are in Sunday’s squad. Diego Costa is slated to start the match, while Héctor Herrera may not feature as he begins his battle for playing time. José Giménez (COVID-19) and Šime Vrsaljko (minor injury) have been left out along with winger Víctor Mollejo — who could be loaned out before the window closes on Oct. 5.
Atleti have won its past seven home meetings with Granada dating back to 2012, outscoring the Andalusians 21-1. Yannick Carrasco and Ángel Correa have each scored three times against the visitors.
Possible XI Oblak; Trippier, Felipe, Savić, Lodi; Koke, Saúl, Correa, Carrasco; Félix, Costa.
Date Sept. 27, 2020
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time 4:00 p.m. CET, 3:00 p.m GMT, 10:00 a.m. EST, 7:00 a.m. PST
Available TV/streaming Movistar LaLiga 2 (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States), beIN Sports 3 (Australia), StarTimes App (Ghana), DAZN (Japan), Eleven Sports 1 (Portugal), DIRECTV Sports (Uruguay)