Atlético Madrid’s Champions League campaign is going badly, but Diego Simeone’s side could gain ground in LaLiga with a win over Cádiz on Sunday evening.
First-place Real Madrid host third-place Sevilla on Sunday night, so Atlético (7-5-1, 26 points) stand to benefit from one side (or both) dropping points. But, amazingly, it has been over three months since Atleti won back-to-back league games — the defending champions had winning streaks of seven and eight games last year.
“The first half of last season was extraordinary, this one has been less consistent,” Simeone said Saturday. “But we cannot be comparing ad nauseam. Last season was last season, and this season is this season. In the league, we are in a situation that excites me.”
Cádiz (2-6-6, 12 points) have yet to win at home, but did defeat Atlético at the Nuevo Mirandilla in the preseason. Álvaro Cervera’s men are fighting relegation in their second season back in the top flight, with winless Levante the only Primera team to concede more goals than the Andalusian side’s 23 over 14 games.
“Cádiz are a complex team that works very hard,” Simeone said. “They feel very secure in their identity, and that makes them dangerous. They manage to maintain concentration throughout the game (and have) very fast players at the top. That will give them the chance to play the way they feel most comfortable, and as they played all last season.”
Atlético won’t have João Félix available for the third consecutive game — the Portuguese is training fully but will not be risked due to his calf injury. Renan Lodi (back pain) has been left out of the squad too, though Kieran Trippier (shoulder sprain) resumed training Saturday and might return sooner than expected.
Absences notwithstanding, Atlético must rebound from Wednesday’s deflating loss to AC Milan and are under intense pressure to get back on the winning track with December just around the corner.
“There is no attitude problem,” Simeone responded when asked about Atleti’s inconsistency. “I think the attitude is to win, as always. But there are successes and there are errors, things we have to correct internally.”
Date Nov. 28, 2021
Location Nuevo Mirandilla, Cádiz, Andalucía
Kickoff time 6:30 p.m. CET, 5:30 p.m. GMT, 12:30 p.m. EST, 9:30 a.m. PST