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Granada CF - Atlético de Madrid: Rojiblancos seek 3 vital points

How will Atlético follow up Thursday’s Copa del Rey thriller?

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid CF - Copa del Rey Photo by Manu Reino/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

Club Atlético de Madrid and Granada Club de Fútbol will meet Monday night for the second and final time this season, with three huge points hanging in the balance at Nuevo Los Cármenes.

Atlético Madrid (12-2-5, 38 points) have not played a league game in nearly three weeks due to cup commitments — and with a place in the Copa del Rey quarterfinals secured following Thursday’s victory over Real Madrid, Los Rojiblancos have some work to do in order to firm up their habitual spot in LALIGA’s top three.

Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid CF - Copa del Rey Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Atlético enter Monday’s fixture in fifth place, three points behind Athletic Club — but with two games in hand. Athletic lost to Valencia at Mestalla on Saturday night.

“More than ever, we have to take things one game at a time and tighten up,” Diego Simeone told reporters on Sunday. “There will be a closer finish in LALIGA than there normally has been in recent years.”

At the other end of the table, half a season remains for 19th-place Granada (2-5-13, 11 points) to escape immediate relegation back to the second tier, but the Andalusians find themselves five points adrift of safety entering this match. Granada have the league’s third-worst defense by goals conceded and have won just once from manager Alexander Medina’s first six games in charge — but Graná did defeat Atlético when the two teams last met at Los Cármenes, back in December 2021.

Real Betis v Granada CF - LaLiga EA Sports Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

“Granada are better at home than they are away, they’re coming off a tight loss to Betis, they have the needs that they have, and we have the needs that we have,” Simeone said. “We have to continue in the same vein (as Thursday) and improve the aspects we need to improve.”

Simeone’s possible 11 for Monday night could see both Nahuel Molina (at right wing-back) and Marcos Llorente (in midfield) start from the off, but no other changes are expected relative to Thursday’s lineup. Atlético have not lost consecutive visits to Granada since 1969, but Los Colchoneros have been defeated in each of their past four league games away from the Cívitas Metropolitano. Atleti’s last away win came against Celta Vigo on Oct. 21.

“Football is a game of trends. Last season, we were better away, and it was hard for us to win at home until we managed to change it,” Simeone said. “Let’s hope something similar happens this season.”

Date Jan. 22, 2024

Location Nuevo Estadio de Los Cármenes, Granada, Andalucía

Kickoff time 9:00 p.m. CET, 8:00 p.m. GMT, 3:00 p.m. ET, 12:00 p.m. PT

Available TV/streaming ESPN+ (United States), M+ LALIGA TV (Spain), Viaplay Sports 1 (United Kingdom)