To the Luis [Aragonés] League , named like this because the Hortaleza coach said that the title is decided in the last ten days, Atlético is presented as the defender of the leadership. With three points over Real Madrid, with one game plus the Whites, and four over Barcelona, Diego Pablo Simeone's team begins the final stretch of the championship. The rojiblancos start this decisive ten games with a visit to Sánchez Pizjuán this Sunday (9.30pm, Movistar La Liga) and next week to Benito Villamarín. Two starts that will mark the path of Atlético in their fight for the championship.
The leader came to the break gasping for game and results. Five wins, four draws and a loss before the international window led to the closest approach of his pursuers since he began to mark distances between October and December. In January he maintained the media and between February and March Barça and Madrid have eaten away.
SevillaBounou, Jesús Navas, Marcos Acuña, Fernando, Jules Koundé, Diego Carlos, Joan Jordán, Rakitic, Youssef En-Nesyri, Suso and Lucas OcamposAtléticoOblak, Trippier, Renan Augusto, Mario Hermoso, Giménez, Savic, Koke, Saúl, Luis Suárez, Marcos Llorente and Lemar Goles
Oblak avoids a
collapse Victim of Chelsea in the Champions League due to manifest inferiority, the last image of the rojiblancos is Oblak in flight to stop Joselu's penalty that would have been a traumatic equalizer with Alavés. The last sensation of the dressing room was the impression that Barcelona's performance in Anoeta (1-6) caused among the squad. Not so much for the victory, that they could wait for it, but for the display of the game offered by Ronald Koeman's team.
Simeone: “I am the one who has to grow and improve”
The Sevillian double appointment with which the sprint starts final Atlético is interpreted as crucial from the club. "The League is not going to be won in these two games, but you can start to lose," warns a leader. The rojiblancos players are not immune to the pressure of having led the championship with a distance that could have given them a less demanding League final. Simeone, who has perceived it for a long time, already proclaimed before receiving Alavés that the responsibility in the final stage is his to relieve tension in a dressing room that is going to be measured for its ability to respond to the challenge. Argentine coach lives in a state of caution. He does not dare to give a public diagnosis of how he feels the state of his team to face the final assault on the title against Sevilla. "Everything I say this Saturday is not going to be related to what may happen this Sunday. Words are not that important right now, facts count. As much as I see an imaginary situation, only the game counts ”, argued the rojiblanco coach. Simeone faces the appointment without Carrasco, sanctioned, and with the doubt of João Félix, who returned with a blow to the ankle from his recruitment with Portugal. Two differential players, now that collective and individual functioning count more than ever. And more in a team in which the constant system changes before and during the games seem exhausted. For this final stretch, Atlético need both to settle on the board and regain the individual level that Koke, Carrasco, João Félix and Luis Suárez showed in the first third of the championship.
In front will be Julen Lopetegui's Sevilla, who will win the victory. It can be a definitive boost to ensure the fourth place that gives access to the Champions League and even maintain a minimum hope of maintaining his status as a cover in the fight for the championship, placing himself eight points behind Atlético. “Sevilla play very well, they have a coach who makes them play in a dynamic way, looking for numerical superiorities and showing many resources. They are showing how competitive they are and what a good team they have. They have variety in their squad, they are one of the most balanced and balanced in the entire League ”, concluded Simeone about his rival this Sunday.
The absence due to the positive of Escudero delayed until the afternoon the training that Lopetegui had established for Saturday morning. Aleix Vidal, touched, is also another probable loss for the Basque coach, who is debating to accompany Ocampos and Suso in attack between his gunner En-Nesyri (15 goals in the League and six in the Champions League) and De Jong, who has just made three goals with the Netherlands. In the middle, Lopetegui recovers Fernando's solidity to accompany Jordán. The place for the third midfielder is played between Rakitic, Óliver Torres and Papu Gómez. The latter is one of those talents that Simeone brought to the band, despite his reluctance, when they met in San Lorenzo and Catania. Papu Gómez thanked Cholo for his quick adaptation to the rigors of calcium as a winger, but at Atalanta he emerged as a brilliant hook.
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