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Atlético Madrid-CA Osasuna: To reignite the repeat

The colchoneros could use all three points against a tough opponent.

Valencia CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander
Šime Vrsaljko is expected to make his first start in the injured Kieran Trippier’s place.
Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

Defending league champions Atlético Madrid will look to continue a strong recent run against Osasuna when the two teams meet in the capital on Saturday night.

“It is a very competitive league this season, in whichever game you look,” Diego Simeone said Friday. “Osasuna have a great coach and they know what they’re about, they look for counterattacking and crossing opportunities, they are aggressive in recovering the ball, and we’ll find that team tomorrow.”

The last time Atlético (6-5-1, 23 points) played Osasuna (5-4-4, 19 points), the rojiblancos launched a late comeback to clinch a 2-1 win. This victory set up the following weekend’s league title win at Valladolid.

But times have changed. In just a few short months, Atleti have become much more vulnerable defensively, and it’s cost the team a bunch of points in its bid to retain the title.

Valencia CF v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Aitor Alcalde Colomer/Getty Images

“I read recently that we are the team that’s conceded the fewest shots (in LaLiga), but 13 were goals,” Cholo said. “It is something that worries me.”

Under Simeone, Atlético have won 10 of 11 meetings with Osasuna — including all five at home. Saturday’s squad includes Thomas Lemar and Marcos Llorente, who have been missed as they recovered from injuries. But João Félix (calf), Renan Lodi (general soreness), and Kieran Trippier (shoulder) will be out for an unspecified time period.

“We hope (João’s injury) will turn out to be just a blow, and he can be with the team against Milan or at the latest in Cádiz (next weekend),” Simeone said.

Simeone also praised Antoine Griezmann, who entered the international break in excellent form and became one of France’s top-three goalscorers. Griezmann is 10 goals from passing Thierry Henry and becoming the national team’s all-time scoring leader.

“He is reaching his best level, and we need him (to play) just like he did against Betis or Valencia,” Simeone said. “That’s the player we went looking for.”

Date Nov. 20, 2021

Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain

Kickoff time 6:30 p.m. CET, 5:30 p.m. GMT, 12:30 p.m. EST, 9:30 a.m. PST

Available TV/streaming ESPN+ (United States), Movistar+ (Spain), LaLiga TV (United Kingdom)