Atletico Madrid will host Granada at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium for the La Liga encounter on the 20th of April. Atletico Madrid are fourth in La Liga and are steadily holding on to their Champions League spot. Meanwhile, Granada are level on points with Mallorca who are in the relegation zone.
Following their disappointing exit from the Champions League quarter-finals stage against Manchester City, Atletico Madrid will be aiming to strengthen their position in the Champions League spots of La Liga when they host Granada.
After sensationally winning La Liga last season, Diego Simeone’s side have had a pretty disappointing title defence so far. They were especially underwhelming in the first half of the season and Atletico Madrid sat outside the top four places on just 39 points after 24 games.
However, Los Rojiblancos are well known for their resilience, and since then, they have come back with a bang. Diego Simeone’s side have now stormed their way through to the top 4 of the table. They earned six consecutive La Liga victories between the end of February and the beginning of April. Atleti also defeated Manchester United in the Champions League to make their way to the quarter-finals.
Atletico Madrid recovered from the shock defeat to Mallorca to return back to winning ways. However, the victory did not come easy. The defending champions were looking set to play out another underwhelming 1-1 draw with Espanyol after Yannick Carrasco’s opening goal had been cancelled out. Geoffrey Kondogbia’s suspension in the 71st minute also complicated matters. However, the Belgian forward popped up with his second goal of the night in the 10th minute of added time to secure all three desperate points for the side.
Thanks to that massive win Diego Simeone’s side are now level on points with Sevilla and Barcelona. They are three points clear of Real Betis in 5th place and with six matches left to play, they will be hoping to consolidate their place in the UEFA Champions League next season. Atletico Madrid will not be wanting to let off steam here and winning at home in front of their own fans will do wonders for their confidence.
Atletico will face a Granada side who are at the opposite end of the table and are fighting for survival. They suffered a devastating defeat in the last encounter and will have to punch above their weight in order to get any kind of a positive result here.
Granada have registered just one victory in the last 14 matches in the Spanish top flight. They are now 17th in the table and our level on points with Mallorca, who are in the relegation zone. Granada are barely away from the dreaded red zone at the bottom of the table on the basis of a better goal difference (-20) compared to Mallorca (-26).
A hard-fought 2-3 away victory against a struggling Alaves side had ended a 10-match winless run for Granada. However, Ruben Torrecilla’s side failed to keep up with the winning momentum and were unable to rise from the bottom half. That impressive victory against Alaves was followed by a draw with Rayo Vallecano before they suffered back-to-back losses in their most recent matches.
In their most recent encounter, Granada took on 19th-placed Levante on their own home turf. However, they suffered a devastating 1-4 thrashing. Alex Collado’s 92nd-minute goal proved to be nothing more than a consolation for the hosts, as Dani Gomez, Jose Luis Morales, Mickael Malsa, and Roberto Soldado all found the back of the net for the visitors.
Granada are inching closer and closer to the drop zone with every passing match week. Torrecilla’s side will now be desperate to fight for their survival chances and require a much-needed win against last season’s champions. However, it could prove to be a particularly difficult test as Atletico Madrid have been in pretty solid form recently, despite the Champions League exit.
ATM vs GRA, La Liga 2021/22
Date: 20th April, 2022
Time: 10:30 PM IST
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid
Atletico Madrid La Liga form:
Atletico Madrid form (all competitions):
Granada La Liga form:
Granada form (all competitions):
Atletico Madrid wins: 13
Granada wins: 1
Atletico Madrid Team News: Midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia was sent off in the previous match against Espanyol and Atletico Madrid will be without his services in the engine room in this clash.
Reliable centre-back Jose Maria Gimenez continues to miss out due to injury, while fellow defender Felipe has also been suspended after being shown his fifth yellow card in La Liga the last time out. Felipe had also been red-carded against Manchester City in the dying embers of the game and his discipline and focus have come into question in recent weeks.
These absences could end up triggering a shuffling of the cards for Diego Simeone. Stefan Savic and Mario Hermoso are the only two centre-backs available for Los Rojiblancos. Yannick Carrasco, who scored a precious brace of goals in the previous clash, is also expected to start on the left-hand side of the frontline. He had come off the bench to change the match against Espanyol.
Young Portuguese sensation Joao Felix should continue to lead the frontline. Meanwhile, the likes of Angel Correa, Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez, and Matheus Cunha will have to battle each other for a place in the starting XI.
Granada Team News: Granada will also have to deal with suspension concerns as German Sanchez, who is the key figure in their defense, was sent off in the previous match. The Nazaries will continue to depend heavily on veteran frontman Jorge Molina. Despite being in the late stages of his career, Molina has contributed eight goals and four assists in La Liga this season.
Antonio Puertas is another key figure in midfield. He has chipped in with a valuable tally of five league goals this season. Alex Collado, who is on loan from Barcelona, will be vying for a start in this match after coming off the bench and scoring a goal in the previous clash. However, he has had his fair share of struggles while trying to fit into the 5-3-2 system.
Atletico Madrid possible starting lineup:
Oblak; Vrsaljko, Savic, Hermoso; Llorente, Koke, De Paul, Carrasco; Lemar, Correa; Felix
Granada possible starting lineup:
Maximiano; Quini, Diaz, Duarte, Sanchez, Escudero; Puertas, Milla; Collado; Molina, Machis
Granada are struggling for form and are arriving into this clash after suffering an annihilation against Levante. Meanwhile, Los Colchoneros have set their sights for the top four spots and Diego Simeone’s men will be the favourites to pick up all three points on their own home turf.
Despite needing to make a whole host of changes at the back, Atletico Madrid have enough quality and squad depth to see them through this encounter. Consecutive wins will be helpful in their bid to keep up the pressure on Barcelona and Sevilla who are above them in the league table.