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Real Valladolid - Atlético de Madrid: Targeting a 20th win

Atlético are set to stick with what worked in midweek.

Atletico de Madrid v RCD Mallorca - LaLiga Santander
Mario Hermoso scored during Atlético’s 3-0 win over Valladolid earlier this year.
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Atlético Madrid visit Real Valladolid for the first time since winning LaLiga at Estadio José Zorrilla in May 2021.

Atlético (19-6-6, 63 points) are aiming to reach the 20-win mark in LaLiga for the 10th time in Diego Simeone’s 11 full seasons on the touchline. But Valladolid (10-5-16, 35 points) look a stern test at the moment. Under new coach Paulo Pezzolano, and guided by the form of Canadian striker Cyle Larin, the Pucela have gained crucial separation in the bruising relegation race, avoiding defeat in three of the past four games.

Valencia CF v Real Valladolid CF - LaLiga Santander
Former #1 overall MLS Draft pick Larin has scored 6 goals in only 850 minutes at Valladolid.
Photo by David Aliaga/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Atlético have not lost to Valladolid in 13 tries, dating to the 2009/10 league season, and Atleti have won or drawn each visit to the Zorrilla since 2008.

“Valladolid have competed very well and have a slightly more direct game than they did before,” Simeone told the media on Saturday. “They have achieved good results.”

Simeone got a rare bit of positive injury news this week, as Dutch international Memphis trained normally and will be in the squad for the first time in over a month. The forward is unlikely to start on Sunday night though, as El Cholo is prepared to repeat the starting 11 that beat Mallorca in midweek.

This means a second consecutive start for Ivo Grbić in place of the banged-up Jan Oblak, while Axel Witsel will keep his place in central defense and Thomas Lemar will make his third start in a row in midfield. Álvaro Morata and Antoine Griezmann — who both scored on Valladolid’s visit to the Cívitas Metropolitano in January — are set to the keep their places up top.

Atletico de Madrid v RCD Mallorca - LaLiga Santander
Antoine Griezmann has reached double-digits in goals and assists for the first time in his career.
Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

“When many believed that he was not going to be an important player for Atlético de Madrid, we always maintained that we believed and still believe that he is one of the most important players to have passed through Atlético in its history,” Simeone said about Griezmann. “But we don’t stop to look at the numbers now. He knows that we are going to continue demanding (of him). When he’s in form, he offers a different kind of football.”

Date April 30, 2023

Location Estadio José Zorrilla, Valladolid, Castile and León

Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CEST, 8:00 p.m. BST, 3:00 p.m. EST, 12:00 p.m. PST

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