They’re still in there fighting, and Sunday evening offers Atletico Madrid the chance to draw level on points with league leaders Barcelona at the summit of the Liga table, for a short while at least.
With Barca hosting Celta Vigo later in the evening, Atletico’s short trip to a Getafe side 12th in the table and reeling from three consecutive defeats looks to be the perfect chance to get three points on the board, but Diego Simeone will be wary of what has seemed to be a slight drop in standards from his side in recent weeks.
Having said that, last weekend’s 3-1 victory over Eibar was just the third time in the league this season that Atletico had scored three goals in a league game, meaning that a Getafe side that has conceded more goals than all but one of La Liga’s top 14 teams this season would do well to be wary.
Fran Escriba—the former assistant to Quique Sanchez Flores at Atletico—will set up his side to be tight and compact, meaning that a close game could well be in store against their more well-to-do Madrid rivals.
Date: Sunday, February 14
Time: 5:15 p.m. GMT/12:15 p.m. ET
Venue: Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe
TV Info: Sky Sports 5
Stream Info: Sky Sports
Last 6 Results
Won 2-1 vs. Sporting Gijon
Won 1-0 vs. Real Betis
Won 3-1 vs. Espanyol
Lost 3-2 vs. Granada
Lost 1-0 vs. Athletic Bilbao
Lost 3-0 vs. Malaga
Won 3-0 vs. Las Palmas
Drew 0-0 vs. Celta Vigo
Drew 0-0 vs. Sevilla
Lost 3-2 vs. Celta Vigo
Lost 2-1 vs. Barcelona
Won 3-1 vs. Eibar
Escriba must be tempted to make changes following three consecutive defeats, but he’ll be without the injured Roberto Lago and Pablo Sarabia here, while loan signing Alvaro Pereira, the Uruguayan full-back, serves the second of an eight-match ban for his part in a brawl in a “friendly” match in Argentina shortly before his move.
Former Swansea City forward Alvaro Vazquez could return to the starting lineup after replacing Medhi Lacen at half-time in the 3-0 defeat to Malaga last weekend, perhaps partnering the on-loan Celtic forward Stefan Scepovic in attack.
Possible XI: Guaita, Suarez, Vergini, Velazquez, Vigaray, Lacen, Pedro Leon, Rodriguez, Gomez, Scepovic, Vazquez.
Atletico Madrid’s defensive worries have eased somewhat with the return of both Juanfran and Filipe Luis from suspension, with the latter seeing the ban for his red card against Barcelona reduced from three games to one on appeal.
Diego Godin is still out injured, though, joining Augusto Fernandez and long-term absentee Tiago on the sidelines, and so Saul could again drop into the back four to partner last weekend’s goalscorer Jose Gimenez.
Thomas Partey is doubtful with a thigh strain, but both Oliver and Fernando Torres are pressing for starts after coming off the bench in that game against Eibar—the latter to score his 100th Atletico goal—but the pair might just have to get comfy on the bench, with Luciano Vietto perhaps the most likely of last weekend’s reserves to get a start.
Possible XI: Oblak, Juanfran, Gimenez, Saul, Filipe Luis, Gabi, Koke, Kranevitter, Ferreira-Carrasco, Griezmann, Vietto.
Getafe: Vicente Guaita
Highly thought of at Valencia where he spent almost 20 years as he rose up through the ranks, goalkeeper Vicente Guaita is now in his second season at Getafe after making the move at the beginning of last season.
He’s going to have to be a strong last line of defence if he’s to keep out an Atletico side who’ll be keen to build on last weekend’s unusually potent display in front of goal, as well as take advantage of a leaky Getafe back line that has conceded seven goals in their last three matches, all defeats.
Atletico Madrid: Koke
After giving Atletico Madrid the lead at the Camp Nou, Koke followed up that display with two assists in last weekend’s victory over Eibar.
One of the classiest midfielder operators in La Liga when he’s on his game, the Spain international will be crucial as Simeone looks for his side to move the ball through midfield during attacks, with his ability to pop up in the penalty area also likely to prove vital.
Odds (via Odds Shark)
Getafe – 13/2
Atletico Madrid – 4/7
Draw – 29/10