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Atletico Madrid vs Sevilla – Match Preview

The most important league match by far is yet to come and it will be played on Saturday afternoon against Atletico Madrid.

We haven’t beaten Atletico in Vicente Calderon since 2008, but the bad spell could be potentially broken in their new Wanda Metropolitano stadium (a very nice stadium btw).

Atletico haven’t started the season well, almost losing away from Girona, but managed to get a hard-fought point and keep out from losing. Their recent win vs. Bilbao away could be considered a bit lucky (Bilbao missed the penalty and what not), but still, it shows that they are a very serious side and could literally beat any team in the world right now. Not sure if the same can be said for us.

The luck factor has been a good friend of ours lately and hopefully it will continue on Saturday, as we’ll definitely need it in order to take a point or (fingers crossed) win the match, which would be a miracle.

It will definitely be a tough match and hopefully the referee will not screw it up, that is all I ask for in such big matches.

One advantage of ours is that we are not forced to think who to rest as we’ll play Maribor on mid-week CL while Atletico plays Chelsea, a very important match for them regarding group passage.

I’d personally go with this formation (my ideal formation a.k.a. our strongest possible, excluding the injured Nolito and Pizarro):

Rico

Mercado – Kjaer – Lenglet – Escudero

N’Zonzi – Banega

Mudo
Navas Correa

Muriel
The only reason Mercado before Corchia vs. Atleti is that we shouldn’t be too attacking-minded in that match. Mercado provides the defensive balance that we need, while our biggest threat should come from Banega-Mudo and the left flank with Escudero and Correa. Navas will be a hidden surprise for the opponents as usual.

As for the CB, Berizzo will probably go with Pareja and Kjaer again, but that would be a mistake, since Pareja will be too slow and soft for Carrasco or Griezmann and in that case Mercado’s contribution will be nulled. They will simply attack our right side and cause havoc there, just like Liverpool. We might not get extremely lucky again, so I hope Berizzo took some important notes. If Pareja is fielded, then field Corchia to cover for speed, otherwise it doesn’t make sense, we don’t need an immensely slow right side of defense, Navas coverage is not enough.

Also God forbid fielding WBY before Muriel, that would just be a fatal mistake, since we need some power in the box, whether it is individual break-throughs or crosses or set piece heading etc., Muriel will provide all of that, while there will be no chance for WBY tap-ins, they can wait for Maribor on Tuesday night.

Notable Replies

  1. Edinho says:

    Although I don’t disagree with this approach, I think Berizzo might go a bit more defensive with Nzonzi-Pizarro-Banega in central midfield. He has alluded to saving Guido & Nolito for this match, so we might even see his ex-Celta man start in place of Correa, who didn’t really impress vs LP. Also, I am 100% in favour of Muriel for this match, as he’ll be more of a threat up top. We haven’t had such a quick striker since Gameiro. In defence, I’d rather Corchia, cause I feel he’s capable of contributing at both ends and can have a disciplined game, unlike Mercado, who’s been giving away clumsy fouls lately and has a knack for picking up cards in these types of games.

    THIS. It’s a momentous game and should not be ruined by incompetent refereeing. I’m sure we might get some calls against us being the away team, but don’t be bailing out a losing team by calling a 90th minute penalty! Type-a-shit is that?!

  2. I’d go with Corchia, despite his last game being a bit crap. Definitely Muriel, who has the gas to out accelarate Atletico’s defence on the counter attack.

    I think kjaer and Lenglet are the best combo there.

    Nolito and Pizzaro are back in training but might not be risked.

    But I fear another bizarre 11 from Berizzo

  3. ShendM says:

    Yeah… another rotation cause we have to play Maribor on Tuesday lol

  4. Mark_L says:

    Huge game! We can really prove our title credentials if we were to win or even draw this! I think top 3-4 is aim but we can’t be completely ruled out the title race. We started strong and with Real Madrid struggling, all it takes is Barca to slip up a bit and who knows? Real Madrid feeling the presssure and struggling at home so far. It’s good for la Liga!

    We proved so far we can beat who we favourites to beat, barring espanyol. However, we still got a point.

    We defending great and we played different players in defence and so this is pleasing. If we can just improve our attacking threat and berrizo settles on our best attacking players then we can fire there too.

    I think Muriel should start too. Love his energy and pace. He’s a livewire and will cause them problems. Mudo and banega would create more too but he might opt for more defensive lineup we will see.

    The rotation is a double edged sword. As so far it’s working a treat and everyone is getting a chance to shine and improve their confidence. We unbeaten in all competitions despite rotating. However, it can be a stumbling block to as too many changes can affect team chemistry and communication.

    Berizzo is doing an excellent job so far. The results back it up and all the players overall have done well and all motivated to play for him and Sevilla!

    I think rotation is important as we have played a lot of games. However, for this game we need close to our strongest 11.

    Vamos Sevilla!

  5. Jolazo says:

    Surprised nobody has mentioned Sarabia. I would be really surprised if he doesn’t start against Atleti.

  6. ShendM says:

    Hey yeah… he was a fan favorite last season. But I think now with Navas on that part, he is definitely a second choice, unless being experimented with in the midfield or left flank.

  7. Edinho says:

    Sarabia has been a bit of a mixed bag. He hasn’t put in consistent performances, but that’s not entirely his fault. So far, he’s played at LB, RW, LW, and to my delight, at CM. I think if he’s given more time in that role, it will help his game a lot and help him find more ways to contribute from different areas of the pitch. But it’s certainly him being utilized in several roles that’s given him a slow start. I’ve never seen him play so many bad passes like he did against Liverpool. It wasn’t the trademark of a set-piece taker, that’s for sure!

    For now we’re pretty much covered there with Mudo coming back, so I’m sure Pablito will go back to being a RW for us. He might just be the missing link for our attack to click. I’m not sure how long we’ll have him, but a dream of mine would be to see him develop into a CM, kinda like Andres Guardado.

  8. Yeh, if you rotate 8 players every game you never end up with your best 11 on the pitch, even after 3 substitutions.

  9. ShendM says:

    The squad list is out and while Pizarro returns (not 100% clearly), Escudero misses due to a stomach flu (ffs!). Ganso not called and Kjaer also misses due to a shoulder injury, but nothing serious just precaution.

    Now we are left with Christmas Carole in an extremely important match. Hopefully he will be up to it and have great communication with Lenglet at the left side of CB.

    So it goes like this:

    Sergio Rico, David Soria, Gabriel Mercado, Corchia, Carriço, Lenglet, Pareja, Christmas Carole, Pizarro, Krhon-Dehli, Nzonzi, Banega, Montoya, Franco Vázquez, Correa, Navas, Sarabia, Ben Yedder and Luis Muriel.

    I’d expect:

    Rico

    Mercado/Corchia Carrico - Lenglet - Carole

             N'Zonzi - Banega
    
                     Mudo
    

    Navas Sarabia/Correa

                    Muriel
    

    Hoping that Berizzo won’t mess the formation up and leave us disappointed.

  10. Probably our best XI for the game. Unless Navas gets a break and Sarabia slides in.

  11. Mark_L says:

    Very strong line up fielded by berizzo

    Almost full strength!

    GK: Rico

    Defenders: Mercado, Carriço, lenglet, Carole

    Central Midfielders: Nzonzi, banega and mudo in front of them

    Wingers: Navas and sarabia

    Forward: Muriel

    Exciting line up and we still got great subs in reserve too, if we need them

    Vamos Sevilla!!

  12. ShendM says:

    Berizzo must be reading the forums!

    Nice lineup, just as we predicted.

    Hoping for a positive result.

    VAMOS MI SEVILLA!!! VAMOS CAMPEON!!!

  13. Good (early) morning to you all from the US. Bit nervous about this being Carole’s 2nd game but he looked good in his debut. Let’s stick it to these Patetico bastards. VAMOS!!

  14. Edinho says:

    Positive lineup. Mudo show your stuff!

  15. Why do we keep passing the ball to Atletico? Ugly and disjointed play so far. A draw would be lucky for us. Mudo with our first real chance on a cross after half hour and passes it softly to their GK.

  16. Mark_L says:

    Yet again another scrappy game! However, I would defo take 0-0 away to atletico. We been displined in defence and kept them at bay. It’s just not clicking with some of our passing in the final 3rd, however we seem to be a team that gets better in 2nd half so the fact we still level is a big plus.

    We need to keep defending like we have and just been a bit braver in final 3rd, we have options on the bench too. We got WBY, Correa or pizzaro who can all come on and help us get a goal!

    Happy overall though as it’s never easy facing atletico and they are tough to score against. Let’s hope we stay strong 2nd half to keep this clean sheet and magical run going without conceding. We just need a bit more calmness and cutting edge in final 3rd

    Vamos Sevilla!

  17. ShendM says:

    The defense is doing a fantastic job. Kudos to Berizzo for constructing such a strong defense. The crossbar was there to save us but we also almost scored if it wasn’t for their post, so 1-1 in that regard.

    A positive thing is that we are kind of controlling the match… or at least there is a feeling of that from what we can see.

    Also, no matter how we fare in the second half, the other thing that makes me very happy is that Berizzo knows and understands well our strongest possible lineup. This is it, and Mercado showing why he shouldn’t be benched in these kind of games. Let Navas do the flank attack, his job is to defend and help the CB’s also. Sometimes it feels like a 3-5-2 and giving flashes of Sampaoli, but he never constructed such a solid defense.

    The negative thing, we are clueless as to what to do when approaching near their box. Especially, Mudo. He is holding on to the ball for waaaaaaaay too long and getting muscled off the ball numerous times, allowing for their hoofing counters.

    Atletico’s strategy is very simple and Simeone will never ever change this. Try to score with minimal attacking effort, then kill the game off based on physicality and running, while looking for another one or two to seal the match.

    We just need to score one goal and when they go all guns blazing then counter the hell out of them. I am very confident that with a bit more effort from our attacking power, we can beat them today. Mudo contributing nothing and could be taken off, but really not sure who we can bring on. Correa? Could be too much attacking, not sure on that, so hopefully Berizzo comes up with something clever or Mudo all of a sudden makes some killer passes and gets rid of the ball quicker before losing it.

    Lenglet lucky not to get a yellow after 3-4 fouls, even though none of them were harsh enough for a yellow.

    Let’s win this one and get in the title race (at least till weekend :stuck_out_tongue:slight_smile:

    VAMOSS!!!

  18. ShendM says:

    Definitely. Fix the final 3rd rustiness and we have a team that can damage any other team in the world.

  19. ShendM says:

    Christmas Carole quite solid there on the defense, but lacking offensive power.

  20. Mark_L says:

    Terrible from Nzonzi! What we doing there?

  21. Felipe says:

    Franco Vázquez totally out of shape, always 1 or 2 gears slower than the opponent and loses the ball easily too often

  22. what happened with the goal? I missed it I"m in a shitty motel with crap internet.

  23. Mark_L says:

    Fair play to them! They been to strong for us 2nd half!

  24. Brian says:

    Bad mistake by N’zonzi for the first goal, you can’t give teams like Atletico free gifts.
    What worries me more though is Lenglet, time and time again he’s caught ball watching and is completely unaware of what’s happening around him. Players find it all too easy to slip past him without him noticing. On the rare occasions he does realise there may be danger nearby he’s apt to lunge in with a clumsy tackle that 4 out of 5 times results in a foul. I hope that Kjaer is fit for tuesday he was a rock against the canaries.

  25. Our final third are really poor.
    I can only put the hope on Muriel and maybe correa to improve.

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