Valencia will hit the road to square up against Atletico Madrid in search of their eighth league win in their quest for survival in La Liga.
Relegation-threatened Valencia will visit the Civitas Metropolitan Stadium on Saturday to square up against Atletico Madrid. The visitors will be fighting for survival, whereas the home team will look to strengthen their position inside the top four.
Diego Simeone’s men have not had the best of seasons so far. They have been knocked out of all cup competitions. In short, Los Rojiblancos have been poor in the ongoing season, and they will want to end the season on a high with a great run in the league.
While things did not start off in great fashion for Simeone’s men, he has made sure they are back on track in the league. Atletico have been in great form of late having won four out of their last five outings. The hosts are heading into this fixture on the back of a 1-0 away win over Girona. It was npt their best performance, but they did manage to get the job done on the night.
They are currently third in the league with 48 points out of 25 matches. Simeone’s team have a three-point advantage over fourth-placed Real Sociedad and will look to build on it when they face Valencia.
Meanwhile, the visitors have had a tough time in La Liga. They are currently 17th in the league with 26 points out of 25 matches. Valencia are level on points with 18th-placed Getafe and a defeat could make life difficult for them.
The visitors have had a mixed bag of results in their last five league matches having lost three and won two. They are heading into this encounter on the back of a 1-0 win over Osasuna. Valencia had the majority of the ball, they took more shots on goal and got rewarded for their efforts.
While they are heading into this encounter on the back of a win, it still won’t be easy to get the better of Simeone’s team. In the reverse fixture between the two teams at the Mestalla, Atletico recorded a 1-0 victory. Meanwhile, The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at this fixture and tries to predict the tactics that might be used.
Team News & Tactics
Diego Simeone will be without the services of Reinildo and Sergio Reguilon. Apart from the duo he is expected to have the entire squad at his disposal for this fixture.
Get jiggy with it 😜 pic.twitter.com/qGudW3pA17
— Atlético de Madrid (@atletienglish) March 16, 2023
Rodrigo De Paul who featured as a second-half substitute last time around is expected to start this fixture. Meanwhile, Alvaro Morata who scored the winner against Girona last time around after coming off the bench might still not get a place in the starting XI.
Simeone will start with the 3-5-2 formation and his undisputed number one Jan Oblak will start in goal. Nahuel Molina and Yannick Carrasco will start as the wing-backs. The duo will look to push higher up the pitch and cause problems for Valencia’s defence.
Mario Hermoso will start alongside Stefan Savic and Jose Gimenez as the three central defenders. Pablo Barrios will drop to the bench as De Paul will pair up with Marcos Llorente and Koke as the three central midfielders.
While Morata is in form, Memphis Depay could still get the nod ahead of him. The Dutch forward will start alongside Antoine Griezmann in the attack.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Oblak; Molina, Savic, Gimenez, Hermoso, Carrasco; Llorente, Koke, De Paul; Griezmann, Depay
Meanwhile, the visitors will be without the services of Toni Lato, Gabriel Paulista, Marcos Andre, Edinson Cavani and Jaume Domenech. All five of them missed their previous fixture and similar is expected this time around.
🎥 A bit of Footvolley in today's training#AtletiValencia 🏧🦇🔜 pic.twitter.com/O5iYUTHokr
— Valencia CF (@valenciacf_en) March 16, 2023
Ruben Baraja is expected to go ahead with an unchanged XI after his team had an impressive outing last time around. They are expected to line up in the 4-3-3 formation. Giorgi Mamardashvili will start in goal.
Dimitri Foulquier and Jose Gaya will once again start as the full-backs. Cenk Ozkacar and Mouctar Diakhaby will be the centre-back pairing for the visitors. Hugo Guillamon will start in a holding role and the duo of Andre Almeida and Yunus Musah will be there to support him in the centre of the park.
Samu Castillejo and Justin Kluivert will start as the wingers. The duo will look to provide the width and supply balls to Hugo Duro who is once again expected to lead the line for Valencia.
Possible Lineup (4-3-3): Mamardashvili; Foulquier, Diakhaby, Ozkacar, Gaya; Musah, Guillamon, Almeida; Castillejo, Duro, Kluivert
- Atletico Madrid have won 17 out of their last 35 matches against Valencia.
- Diego Simeone’s men are unbeaten in the league against Valencia in their last 16 outings.
- Atletico Madrid have won six out of their last nine La Liga games. Their last loss in the league came in the second week of January against Barcelona.
- Valencia who went winless in their first eight league games have won two out of their last three.
- Alvaro Morata has 11 goal contributions in his 16 league starts this season.
Player to Watch
Diego Simeone will once again bank on his star forward Griezmann to produce the goods against Valencia and get the job done. The French forward has 17 goal contributions in his 25 league outings for the Madrid-based club in the ongoing season.
The 31-year-old is back at his best and he is expected to have a big say on the result of this fixture. Griezmann has 2 goals and 2 assists in the last four league games, the French international will be eager to continue the good work when he takes the field against Valencia.
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Valencia
It is going to be an interesting battle between two teams who are at different ends of the points table. Both teams will be desperate for a win but for different reasons. Atletico Madrid have been on fire in the league of late and they will look to continue their unbeaten run.
Whereas, relegation-threatened Valencia who won last time around against Osasuna will hope for a similar position against Diego Simeone’s men. However, it might not be that easy a task. The Hard Tackle predicts a 2-0 win for the home team.
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