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FC Barcelona v Club Atletico de Madrid - La Liga Santander Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

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Atlético Madrid-Getafe CF: Koke seeks response in derby

At least temporarily, Atlético can return to the top four with a victory.

Atlético Madrid’s crisis will deepen further if the Rojiblancos fail to beat city rivals Getafe on Saturday night.

Atlético (10-6-6, 36 points) were drilled at Barcelona last Sunday and are clearly feeling the pressure as the top four fight intensifies. The club published a two-minute video on Thursday titled “The Captain’s Word,” in which Koke acknowledged the difficult moment and preached togetherness with a key stretch of games starting this weekend.

FC Barcelona v Atletico de Madrid - Liga Santander
Matheus Cunha drew the red card that kicked off Atlético’s comeback against Getafe in September.
Photo by Joan Valls/Urbanandsport /NurPhoto via Getty Images

“The team is strong, wants to play, change the situation and win games,” Atlético’s skipper said. “The other day we left (Camp Nou) hurt because we hoped and wanted to win the game against Barcelona, a direct rival in our battle for the Champions League positions, but we must move forward.”

Getafe (6-7-10, 25 points) are a team transformed since former Atlético boss Quique Sánchez Flores stepped in for Míchel. Over the past 10 games, Getafe have conceded only four goals and lost once, to second-place Sevilla. Accordingly, the Azulones have risen to 15th in the table. If not for Carles Aleñá’s red card in September, they might already have secured a win over the reigning champions this season.

Diego Simeone’s record against Getafe in LaLiga since 2012 is astounding — 16 wins, two draws, and zero defeats. Atlético have scored 33 goals and conceded only one over those 18 previous meetings. A clean sheet at the Metropolitano on Saturday would be Atleti’s first in any competition since Jan. 6.

Getafe Cf V Levante Ud - La Liga Santander Photo By Oscar J. Barroso/Europa Press via Getty Images

But Atlético are in for a battle against QSF’s in-form side, as injuries and illness continue to decimate Cholo’s team. Marcos Llorente is expected to return from his latest muscular injury, but he will be playing right-back as Daniel Wass is recovering from a strained knee ligament. Antoine Griezmann is still unavailable. José Giménez tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday and will miss this game as well — Atleti have a goal difference of 0 without Giménez in the team.

“We are our own critics, obviously when we don’t win games and the results do not follow there are things to improve,” Koke said Thursday. “We are the first who want to change the situation. The only way to do it is to start winning games, being strong where we have to be on the pitch, and surely we will do it.”

Date Feb. 12, 2022

Location Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid

Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST

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

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