Atlético Madrid are looking to put a humiliating and humbling loss to Elche firmly in the rearview mirror on Sunday — but it won’t be easy for the Colchoneros, who welcome cup finalists Osasuna to the Metropolitano.
Atlético (21-6-7, 69 points) slipped to third last weekend but could return to second place with a victory over Jagoba Arrasate’s Osasuna (13-8-13, 47 points). Atleti have won each of the previous nine meetings with Los Rojillos, and last lost this fixture at home in 2009.
Equipo y afición ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Ntpn5oM5is— Atlético de Madrid (@Atleti) May 20, 2023
“We have three games left (after Sunday), and the players want to play. ... Now we’re facing a great opponent, with a great coach, who will try to be in Europe,” Diego Simeone told the media on Saturday. “Everyone has needs, just like us.”
Injuries will complicate Atlético’s goal of officially qualifying for next season’s UEFA Champions League — the Rojiblancos remain one point away from doing so. Goalkeeper Jan Oblak is now expected to miss the remainder of the season with a neck injury that could require surgery. Stefan Savić, Thomas Lemar, and Memphis Depay are done for the year, in all likelihood. Marcos Llorente took a step forward in training this week and could make an appearance before the campaign ends, but he won’t be available to face Osasuna.
The absences will give a player like Pablo Barrios an opportunity to shine on Sunday. Simeone has “insisted” with the 19-year-old in training this week and is prepared to hand him his first start in nearly three months. Koke and Rodrigo de Paul are set to join Barrios in midfield.
Otherwise, El Cholo’s 11 will remain unchanged from last weekend. That includes Nahuel Molina and Antoine Griezmann, who were named to LaLiga’s Team of the Season on Friday. Simeone hopes that duo, along with the rest of his team, puts in a performance Sunday befitting the celebratory atmosphere of Children’s Day.
“The kids admire the footballers,” Simeone said. “I hope we can play a great game for them.”
The Atleti vs Osasuna! pic.twitter.com/K75Y1Lp8Vv— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) May 20, 2023
Date May 21, 2023
Location Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid
Kickoff time 4:15 p.m. CEST, 3:15 p.m. BST, 10:15 a.m. EST, 7:15 a.m. PST
Available TV/streaming ESPN+ (United States), Movistar+ (Spain), Viaplay Sports 1 (United Kingdom)