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Correa, Carrasco start in a 3-5-2: How Atletico Madrid could line up against Granada



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid returned to winning ways against Espanyol on the weekend through a brace from Yannick Carrasco after no wins in their last three games before that.

With Barcelona in less than ideal form, Atletico will be hoping to take advantage of their low morale and leapfrog them in the league. Diego Simeone’s men currently sit in fourth place, level on points with Barça, but with a game more.

The next opponent in their path to securing a top-four place is Granada, who they take on at the Wanda Metropolitano tomorrow night for gameweek 33.

The Andalusian outfit languish in the relegation zone, and will definitely put up a fight. For Atletico, it is a game they must take with the utmost seriousness, for they have taken a measly four points out of a possible 15 against the current bottom three.

As such, while Simeone has several gaping holes in his side, there is no doubt he will look to start with the strongest possible starting XI. But currently, what is that? Madrid Universal takes a look.

The Starters

With Jose Maria Gimenez injured, and Felipe suspended, Atletico have just two first-team centre-backs in their squad list in the form of Stefan Savic and Mario Hermoso. We expect Reinildo Mandava to join them to form the three-man backline.

This defensive trident will have the job to protest Jan Oblak in goal. The Slovenian is having a bizarrely torrid season, and made yet another error that led to a goal against Espanyol.

Yannick Carrasco should start as the left-wingback after his exceptional performance on the weekend. Renan Lodi is likely to be benched, while Sime Vrsaljko starts on the right side in the same role.

Game-winner. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images)

These two will be flanking a midfield trident headlined by captain Koke, who is expected to take up the role of the defensive midfielder in the absence of Geoffrey Kondogbia.

While Marcos Llorente is used playing wide more often this season, he will start as a central midfielder with little to no options present. Rodrigo de Paul rounds off the midfield on the left side.

The problems only get worse for Simeone in the frontline for their most in-form forward, Joao Felix, is ruled out for rest of the season. He does, however, have five forwards to choose from.

Angel Correa is Atletico’s best forward in terms of output, with 16 goals and assists in La Liga. He has, however, been reduced to sloppy seconds in terms of gametime. He should start in the absence of Felix, especially since Atleti desperately need a win.

Finally, Antoine Griezmann takes his place as the final piece in the puzzle, starting on the right side of the front-two.

Predicted Atletico Madrid XI:

Correa · Griezmann
Carrasco · de Paul · Koke · Llorente · Vrsaljko
Reinildo · Hermoso · Savic

The Bench

Be that as it may, Atletico Madrid do not have a lot of options off the bench who can change the game.

They do, however, have Luis Suarez in their ranks, who has scored 11 goals this season despite not being in the best of form. He could be called on especially if Atletico are chasing the scoreline.

The same goes for Matheus Cunha, who averages a goal every other game this season in the league.

The services of Renan Lodi could be useful, too, even though he has been run ragged over the last six odd games.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid, Chelsea contact PSG midfielder’s agent with player set to leave



Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid and Chelsea are among the clubs that have made contact with the agent of PSG midfielder Leandro Paredes, who is set to leave this summer.

This claim comes from journalist Martin Arevalo on ESPN, who states that apart from Atletico and Chelsea, an unnamed third club have also established contact with the Argentine international’s representative.

Paredes has been on PSG’s books since January 2019, when he arrived from Zenit St. Petersburg. For a large part of his time at the French capital outfit, the midfielder had been a regular starter in the side.

However, last summer saw Paredes get shipped out on loan to Juventus. He has played 33 times for the Bianconeri this season with a return of one goal and assist apiece.

The Serie A heavyweights, who were recently hit with a 10-point deduction, have the option to purchase him permanently. But, as per the report, his relationship with manager Massimiliano Allegri is not good and a return to PSG is on the cards.

And considering that he is not in the plans back at Parc des Princes either, a permanent departure away seems set in stone for Paredes.

As such, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, and an unnamed club have shown interest in acquiring his services by making contact with the 28-year-old World Cup winner’s agent.

With Koke entering the final phase of his career and Geoffrey Kondogbia expected to leave at the end of the season, the Rojiblancos could do with reinforcements in the centre of the park.

Paredes, who has plenty of experience at the highest level and is known for his aggressive mentality, can be a good fit into Diego Simeone’s setup at the Civitas Metropolitano.

But, with Chelsea also in the picture, things could get tricky for the Colchoneros. After all, Atleti are operating on tight finances and are looking for bargain and free transfer signings in the market with the likes of Marcus Thuram, Jordi Alba, and Raphael Guerreiro emerging as targets.

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