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Simeone talks Griezmann, Joao Felix, Witsel, Savic, Gimenez ahead of Sevilla vs Atletico Madrid



Photo by SASCHA SCHUERMANN/AFP via Getty Images

Atletico Madrid return to action after the international break on Saturday when they travel to the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan to face off against Julien Lopetegui’s Sevilla side.

Both Atletico and Sevilla have had underwhelming starts to the season, though the case of the latter is direr.

Los Rojiblancos currently sit seventh on the league table with three wins in six games, while the hosts are fifteenth with just five points. Needless to say, tomorrow’s game will be critical for both sides’ campaigns.

Diego Simeone addressed the press ahead of his team’s weekend clash and spoke about topics ranging from Antoine Griezmann to Julien Lopetegui. Here are the snippets from his press interaction.

On whether it is difficult to manage the Griezmann situation: “There is really no difficulty, we choose those who we think have to start, those who have to come on and from there the only thing that matters is the result.”

On Axel Witsel’s position: “We have the option of playing with him in the libero or in the middle, introducing himself as a deep central midfielder and defending as a libero. It is an option that the player gives us when he is on the field.”

On whether the return of Savic and Gimenez would lead to a four-man defence: “The return of Savic and Gimenez does not condition, because they can play with three or four. [They can play] with Reinildo as they have been doing and with Carrasco on the left. That can be four or five, depending on the situation.”

On Joao Felix: “Joao returned to training yesterday and today. Let’s hope that when he has to play he will do it in the best way. The club, the people and we as a team are very excited to see the best Joao Félix and it will depend on what he can do for us to give.”

On Julien Lopetegui’s difficult period: “Football is what it is and Sevilla have had to play many important, difficult, complex games, with many difficulties and with great rivals as well. Lopetegui is a great coach, he has been doing very well at Sevilla in recent years.”

On Sevilla: “I see the rival committed above all to their work, the game against Villarreal shows it, the one against Espanyol too, in these last two games they have obtained positive results in difficulty. Tomorrow we know what we are going to find.”

On the continuously changing starting lineup: “This depends on where you want to position yourself. The other day I read how well Real Madrid do because they rotate continuously. So, the result ends up placing a question on one side or the other, but the reality is the same.”

On players focussing on the World Cup: “If they tell me that I’m thinking about the World Cup all the time, I say yes, but when a game starts, you forget about the World Cup, like when you go to play ball with friends and forget what’s going on in the family.”

Source: Atletico Madrid YouTube

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid



Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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