Atletico Madrid host Alaves at the Wanda Metropolitano in La Liga this evening in yet another crucial match. Los Rojiblancos crashed out of the Champions League with a whimper at Chelsea midweek, and are under serious pressure from both Real Madrid and Barcelona in the title race.
Both are unbeaten in their last five, with the former winning three of those five and the latter four. Atletico are three points clear of Madrid with a game in hand and four clear of Barcelona with the same games played, meaning the Blaugrana could move a single point behind Atletico should they beat Real Sociedad tonight and Atletico lose to Alaves.
Diego Simeone is expected to start with Jan Oblak in goal, Kieran Trippier, Jose Maria Gimenez, Felipe Monteiro, Mario Hermoso and Yannick Carrasco in defence, Marcos Llorente, Koke and Thomas Lemar in midfield and Angel Correa and Luis Suarez up front.
“I feel that the team is giving absolutely everything,” Simeone said pre-match in comments carried by Diario Sport. “Regarding physicality, intent, the search, the desire, it’s a ten. Because they’re behind all the ideas that we propose to them. The one I have to demand more of is myself. It’s clear that the responsibility from now on is mine.
“The one who has to improve and grow is me so that they end up responding as they have been from the beginning. It’s absolutely me. The first important step forward is to grow first. There are eleven games left, a lot, and we’ll have to go game-by-game more than ever, seeking to find the best solution in each game.”