Vigo/Madrid, Feb 11 (EFE).- Atlético de Madrid has studied and prepared all week for each Celta movement, with special emphasis on the areas of influence of Iago Aspas, who challenges Diego Simeone and the rojiblanco team at the Balaídos stadium, where he defends his growth, his fourth position and his podium aspiration.
Within the exhaustive focus that the Argentine coach has placed on every detail of the sky-blue team, its most decisive footballer stands out, who, however, has only scored twice and has beaten Atlético de Simeone on two other occasions: 2-0 on 1 September 2018 in the League and 2-3 on January 27, 2016 in the Copa del Rey at the Vicente Calderón.
In fact, they have lost each of their three most recent matches against the Madrid team, whom they have not beaten in any of their last seven duels, precisely since the aforementioned September 1, 2018, from the 2-0 in the who contributed one of the two goals for his team. Since then, neither has Celta. Neither with him nor without him.
It is true that it is not the Atlético of other recent times, no matter how much its evolution is visible from the World Cup in Qatar onwards, the coach busy not only restoring the reliability of past times, but, above all, continuing to advance based on to press up, to play and attack better, with more football in their midfield, with the aim of bringing the most decisive players to the area and taking advantage of every opportunity.
Hence the bet decided in the last matches for lineups with an offensive profile, within the 4-3-3 (transformable to a 4-4-2 or a 4-5-1 when defending) with which he visualizes the best current formula for his team, adding players with a good footing, vision and attacking qualities to the eleven, as he also plans in Vigo, with the return of Marcos Llorente on the far right, Antoine Griezmann on the left and Álvaro Morata as a reference in the middle.
But also with the position of Koke Resurrección, reaffirmed in the midfielder in which he played the last season that Atlético was champion of LaLiga Santander, with the recovery of Rodrigo de Paul, closer to the level that was always assumed when he was signed from Udinese and that he has barely reached as rojiblanco, and with the alternative that Pablo Barrios supposes, who will resume ownership instead of the irregular Thomas Lemar.
Back, Nahuel Molina, Stefan Savic, Mario Hermoso and Reinildo Mandava make up the typical defense of the Argentine coach today, with no place for José María Giménez, nor is there room from midfield forward for Yannick Carrasco or for Memphis Depay or for Geoffrey Kondogbia neither for Axel Witsel nor now in Balaídos for Thomar Lemar and Ángel Correa, the only two footballers who come out of the eleven compared to the 1-1 against Getafe last Saturday at the Metropolitan, according to the tests of the last days.
Their fourth duel without losing, more a disappointment than anything else as the match went, reached more value due to the succession of results from their direct rivals, who propose a three-point advantage in fourth place over fifth place Rayo Vallecano , while reducing distances with Real Sociedad, to seven points just two days ago and four now; with 18 league games still to go, but without linking even more than three wins in the championship and ruled out of competing for what it should: the tournament title.
They have only given up one defeat in their last 14 games against Celta, who hope to confirm their reaction with their third consecutive win, after defeating Athletic in Vigo and Betis at Benito Villamarín.
These two victories have given an injection of morale for the block led by Carlos Carvalhal. The Portuguese coach, who has not yet repeated the line-up since his arrival in Vigo, loses one of his pillars for this clash, the center-back Unai Núñez. He will complete the cycle of yellow cards.
The logical thing would be for Mingueza to act in the center of defense along with Aidoo and Hugo Mallo to recover his position on the right side, but the sky-blue captain has disappeared from Carvalhal’s eleven. Kevin Vázquez and Solari have been the bets of the Portuguese coach in recent days to refresh his team.
For this reason, everything indicates that Kevin will form on the right side to cover the backs of Carles Pérez, who has established himself in the title. The other option would be to keep Mingueza on the side and place the Peruvian Renato Tapia alongside Aidoo.
– Probable lineups:
Celtic RC: Iván Villar; Kevin Vázquez, Mingueza, Aidoo, Javi Galán; Carles Pérez, Beltrán, Gabri Veiga, Luca de la Torre, Larsen and Aspas.
Atletico Madrid: Oblak; Molina, Savic, Hermoso, Reinildo; De Paul, Koke, Barrios; Llorente, Morata and Griezmann.
Referee: Figueroa Vázquez (Andalusian Committee).
Time: 4:15 pm
Positions: Celtic (12th, 23 points); Athletic (4th, 35 points).
The key: The Aspas-Griezmann duel
The fact: Carvalhal has not repeated the line-up since his arrival in Vigo
The phrase: Simeone: “They are complicated, especially from the positional game and the ability of Aspas to generate play.”
The environment: Atlético de Madrid have not been awarded a penalty in LaLiga since matchday 35 of last season, on May 8, 2022, in the 1-0 win against Real Madrid.