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Getafe CF-Atlético Madrid: The season opener

Atlético’s 2022/23 campaign begins with a mini-derbi at the Coliseum.

Cadiz CF v Atletico Madrid - Trofeo Carranza
Diego Pablo Simeone is entering his 12th season as Atlético manager.
Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

The 2022/23 LaLiga Santander season is underway, and Atlético Madrid begin the new campaign against local rivals Getafe.

Atlético completed a perfect preseason, winning all four games played and running up a plus-12 goal difference in the process. The club has not spent much money this summer, but no players considered essential to Diego Simeone have left the club. Even returning loanees Álvaro Morata and Saúl Ñíguez have impressed Simeone this summer — both players could start on matchday one.

“(Everyone) who has played has been at a high level. There’s great internal competition, and that’s a positive,” club captain Koke said in an interview published Saturday. “In fact, it’s showing on the pitch, how things are working out ... We must take it game by game, which has been our philosophy since the coach arrived. I think we must continue in that vein.”

Simeone’s Atlético have never lost to Getafe, notching 17 wins from 19 head-to-head league meetings. Quique Sánchez Flores’s side last season ended a nearly decade-long scoring drought in meetings with Atleti, but Los Rojiblancos did the double over Los Azulones anyway, winning 2-1 away and 4-3 at home.

Local reports have indicated Simeone wants to start a back three of Stefan Savić, Axel Witsel, and Reinildo Mandava, with José Giménez unavailable due to tonsillitis. Saúl could start at left wing-back, while Nahuel Molina is expected to start in his first official game for the club. Morata is probable to partner João Félix in attack.

“If we start strong, as we have in the preseason games, competing for every ball and fighting on every play, the game will be there for us ... Hopefully we’ll come back with the same enthusiasm we’ve had in preseason, and I hope we’ll have a great season,” Koke said.

The Koke Kountdown Atlético’s skipper has made 545 appearances for his boyhood club. He is nine games away from breaking the club’s all-time appearances record for a single player (553), held by midfielder Adelardo Rodríguez.

Date Aug. 15, 2022

Location Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Getafe, Madrid

Kickoff time 7:30 p.m. CEST, 6:30 p.m. BST, 1:30 p.m. EST, 10:30 a.m. PST

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