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

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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
Oblak

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

Manchester United, Tottenham monitoring Atletico Madrid star; player wants Barcelona move

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Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images

Yannick Carrasco could be on the move from Atletico Madrid in the summer transfer window later this year. The Belgian international’s contract with the club expires in 2024 and he is being heavily linked with an exit.

As is well known at this point, Barcelona have secured a €20 million purchase option for Carrasco in the summer as part of their negotiations to sell Memphis Depay to Atleti last month.

But, according to Fabrizio Romano, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are also monitoring Carrasco’s situation at the Civitas Metropolitano and could make a move to sign him up in the next transfer window.

Tottenham are long-term admirers of Carrasco and have previously made attempts to sign him. And it seems like their interest in the 29-year-old wide midfielder remains intact.

Meanwhile, Manchester United are also said to be keeping a close watch on Carrasco’s situation at Atletico Madrid as they are on the lookout to bolster their flanks further.

But any move from Tottenham or Manchester United would require Barcelona not to trigger their option to sign Carrasco from Atletico Madrid in the summer.

The update from Romano states that the Catalan giants are yet to make a decision on whether they want to activate their buy option for the winger.

While that may be so, SPORT is reporting that Carrasco has his heart set on a move to Spotify Camp Nou and would be ready to snub interest from the Premier League clubs in order to join Xavi’s Barcelona.

The Belgian’s agent, Pini Zahavi, has a good relationship with Barcelona, having helped them sign Robert Lewandowski last summer. He even tried to engineer a move to Camp Nou for Carrasco in January, but the Colchoneros did not budge.

As things stand, Carrasco’s future seems to be away from Atletico Madrid. What now remains to be seen is if Barcelona decide to sign him or whether he ends up in the Premier League.

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