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Atletico Madrid News

Diego Simeone experimenting with a ‘different lineup’ ahead of Madrid derby



Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO/AFP via Getty Images

The Madrid Derby is usually a clash bearing consequences in the title race. The rivalry between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid has reached new heights in recent years with both being prime contenders in the league race.

This season, the story is different. Real Madrid sealed the La Liga title with their 4-0 win over Espanyol and are set to play for a spot in the Champions League finals.

On the other hand, Los Rojiblancos are far from their best and risk missing out on Champions League football next season.

Ahead of the big clash next week, Diego Simeone is said to have tried variations in his lineup in training. MARCA have revealed the combination the manager was experimenting with.

Simeone had Jan Oblak in goal, with the centre-back pairing of Stefan Savic and Jose Maria Gimenez guarding the goal. Marcos Llorente and Renan Lodi took charge at right-back and left-back respectively.

In midfield, Geoffrey Kondogbia was given duties as the pivot in the 4-3-3 formation. Joining forces with him in the middle of the park were Rodrigo de Paul and Koke to his right and left, respectively.

Antoine Griezmann was deployed as the left winger, flanking the striker Matheus Cunha. The final player in the lineup was Angel Correa, who was deployed on the right-wing.

The Madrid derby has already begun stealing headlines after Atletico Madrid refused to give Real Madrid a guard of honour on the night. With five days left to go, expect more fire to spew between the two rivals.

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Atletico Madrid News

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.

Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.

Llorente on Madrid derby

“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.

When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”

Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”

Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.

A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.

“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham

The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.

“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.

Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.

“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.

Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”

Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.

“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.

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