Atlético de Madrid and Sevilla will meet for real this time, less than a month after the two Champions League sides played a preseason friendly at San Francisco's Oracle Park.
The transfer deadline has come and gone for Atlético Madrid (2-1-0, 7 points), which (finally) got rid of João Félix (albeit not permanently) but could not sign the defensive midfielder that head coach Diego Simeone requested months ago. Additionally, Atlético will sell Yannick Carrasco to Saudi club Al-Shabab in the coming days, which will come as a further disappointment to Simeone — although the player was unlikely to put pen to paper on a contract extension in Madrid anyway.
| Yannick Carrasco is not training with Atleti and is finalizing his move to Saudi Arabia.— Atletico Universe (@atletiuniverse) September 2, 2023
“I love Yannick as a person very much, we’ve been together for many years,” Simeone told the media on Saturday. “He left, came back, we won a league title. He’s always given his best to do what the team needed, I’m grateful to those players who give us so much.
“He felt he needed to leave, even though it's not official. And if it’s true, we’ll meet for coffee in Riyadh because I love him. Now, we must think about Galán, Riquelme, or Lino, they all can play in that position.”
We’ll get our first look at the future of Atleti’s left flank when bottom side Sevilla (0-0-3, 0 points) turn up in the capital, seeking its first win in any competition this season. Last season’s Europa League winners are off to another slow start — they have shipped at least two goals in each league contest so far and pressure is starting to build on head coach José Luis Mendilibar.
“We know Sevilla very well, it’s a tough team with a head coach who has a clear mentality,” Simeone said. “It will be a tough game. We need our fans to be as they were against Granada (in matchday one) or even more so, because when we generate adrenaline in the stadium, you can have beautiful afternoons.”
El Cholo this week has tested out an 11 that includes Rodrigo Riquelme at left wing-back, and the coach could hand Axel Witsel a third consecutive start in the heart of defense. Pablo Barrios is expected to keep his place at the base of midfield, with Thomas Lemar and Rodrigo de Paul likely to join him. In attack, Antoine Griezmann and Álvaro Morata will start, as Memphis (hamstring injury) will be out through the upcoming international break.
“We have a squad that I like,” Simeone said. “In almost all areas we have two players per position, and we’re waiting for Reinildo to return. We have a young, competitive squad, with great enthusiasm and players who have come to help. It leaves me enthusiastic. Hopefully, we can show our strength on the pitch.”
The squad list for Atleti vs Sevilla. pic.twitter.com/1LKAbfRRg1— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) September 2, 2023
Date Sept. 3, 2023
Location Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano, Madrid
Kickoff time 6:30 p.m. CEST, 5:30 p.m. BST, 12:30 p.m. EDT, 9:30 a.m. PDT