Valencia and Atlético Madrid will meet in LaLiga for the 167th time on Monday night to wrap up matchday three action.
Atlético began the season with an encouraging win at Getafe but took a step back in last weekend’s home loss to Villarreal. Diego Simeone’s men will be looking to extend their club-record 15-game unbeaten run against Los Che, who started the season with a home win over Girona but lost to Athletic Club last Sunday.
“(In Valencia) I see a team that is very much reflected in its coach — a team with intensity, a team that applies pressure with its pace of play,” Simeone told the media on Sunday. “They have players with high quality and other new arrivals who will give the team more energy.”
Cholo will get to see Samuel Lino up close after Atlético elected to send him to Mestalla on loan, and new Valencia coach Gennaro Gattuso is expected to name the Brazilian winger to the starting 11 for a third consecutive game. Carlos Soler, who was closely linked with a transfer to Atlético for most of the summer, will also start in Gattuso’s midfield. But left-back José Gayà, the club captain, is still serving a suspension and will not play Monday.
The Rojiblancos will be traveling without Stefan Savić (muscle injury) and Nahuel Molina (suspension), while Simeone confirmed in Sunday’s press conference that left-back Renan Lodi’s loan to Nottingham Forest will soon be official.
(The club on Monday morning confirmed Lodi’s move to Forest.)
“I’m not the only one concerned (about the end of the transfer window). Many teams have to contend with a club’s financial needs,” Cholo said. “I thank Lodi for his work and his behavior. He was waiting for his opportunity to play, and I’m grateful for his commitment, his attitude in the team ... He needed to play and have continuity due to the situation with the World Cup. He went to look for what he thinks (Forest) can give him.
“I have no commitment to anyone. Some players stay to compete, and others go elsewhere for minutes in order to reach the tournament, supposedly, in the best way.”
Atlético will replace Lodi with Sergio Reguilón, an ex-Real Madrid left-back, on a dry loan from Tottenham Hotspur. Fans on social media are upset that Reguilón’s arrival will mean another Madrid academy graduate suits up for the Rojiblancos, but Simeone was quick to reject the idea that he would turn down a player because of his past exploits with a major rival.
“Juanfran Torres came through Real Madrid. Filipe Luis, too, and they are part of the club’s history,” he said. “Álvaro (Morata) is doing extraordinarily well, (Mario) Hermoso gave us a lot in the year we won LaLiga, (Marcos) Llorente destroyed opposing teams. I see them as footballers.”
Morata and Llorente (at right wing-back) are expected to start on Monday, while Saúl Ñíguez could re-enter the team on the opposite flank. Antoine Griezmann is expected to start a third consecutive game from the bench as rumors swirl that Atlético could look to find him another club before the transfer window closes on Thursday.
Date Aug. 29, 2022
Location Mestalla, Valencia
Kickoff time 10:00 p.m. CEST, 9:00 p.m. BST, 4:00 p.m. EST, 1:00 p.m. PST