Weather permitting, Atlético Madrid will make up one of its three games in hand on Tuesday night, as los colchoneros welcome Sevilla to the Wanda Metropolitano.
This game was initially scheduled for matchday one, but Atlético (Champions League quarterfinal) and Sevilla (Europa League winners) started later than most of LaLiga following European runs, so the game was postponed as a result. Postponements were all the rage in Spain over the weekend, as Atlético’s meeting with Athletic Club was called off due to Storm Filomena, which dumped 20-plus inches of snow in Madrid. Athletic were unable to fly into Barajas Airport, and Atleti were unable to train as a team until Monday.
The roads were cleared enough Monday to where Atlético’s players were able to get to the Wanda Metropolitano and train together — Yannick Carrasco, driving an old-school Fiat Panda, chronicled his teammates’ efforts to get there.
“Tomorrow at noon we will train again because we play at night, and we will get fine-tuned for the game,” Diego Simeone said. “Over the past few days, the weather caused us problems, and we trained at home. Yesterday, one group trained (at our facility) and the rest at home.”
Los Rojiblancos have not played since last Wednesday, when third-tier Cornellà knocked them out of the Copa del Rey. Simeone rested Carrasco, Koke, Marcos Llorente, Jan Oblak, and Luis Suárez (among others) for that match, and all will be available Tuesday night. Cholo confirmed in his pre-Athletic presser that João Félix and José Giménez would be available, too, after both players left the Cornellà game with ankle injuries.
“There are no excuses, we have to keep moving forward under the circumstances,” Simeone said.
“We understand that Sevilla have just played and will have a better rhythm to their play. They break down the wings, with players making runs from midfield. It’s a team that is competing better and better.”
Julen Lopetegui’s side (9-3-4, 30 points) are coming off a 3-2 win over Real Sociedad, which forward Youssef En-Nesyri punctuated with a 42-minute hat trick. Sevilla are unbeaten in nine and haven’t lost any of the past four away from home — though the Andalusian side has not won a league game against Atlético (12-2-1, 38 points) in Madrid since 2008.
The past four meetings between the two sides have each ended in a draw. If Atlético were to snap that streak and win this game in hand, its lead atop LaLiga would stretch to four points over Real Madrid. When Simeone was asked about his team’s games in hand, though, he offered a one-word response.
Date Jan. 12, 2021
Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid
Kickoff time 9:30 p.m. CET, 8:30 p.m. GMT, 3:30 p.m. EST, 12:30 p.m. PST
Available TV/streaming Movistar+ (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom), beIN Sports (United States)