Elche and Atlético, one step away from the goal

Day 36

The duel of Martínez Valero was presumed agonizing a few weeks ago, but it can seal the salvation of the franjiverdes and the Champions ticket of the mattresses

Ignatius Tyko

What could have been an agonizing game just a few weeks ago has turned into a day that could be festive for Elche and Atlético at the Martínez Valero. Although neither Francisco nor Simeone want to sell the bear's skin before hunting it down, reality says that the franjiverdes are practically saved and the colchoneros have fulfilled their minimum goal of qualifying for the Champions League after much uneasiness. Lest the math say otherwise, both teams are one win away from reaching the finish line.

The recent victory in the derby against a Real Madrid decimated after the Champions League battle against City, has brought tranquility to Atlético. A victory based on Oblak's stops, Carrasco's overflow, author of the penalty goal, Cunha's speed and Griezmann's talent, although the Frenchman has already gone 16 consecutive games without scoring, specifically since he saw the door against Rayo Majadahonda in the Copa del Rey, on January 6.

Of their last ten league outings, Atlético only won three, drew one and lost six, the most recent two consecutively against Mallorca and Athletic and without goals for them. A lousy balance against an Elche that has just been beaten by Cádiz in the Nuevo Mirandilla, but that would be saved before playing if Mallorca loses in Seville.

Simeone will not be able to count on Lemar, Joao Félix and surely Reinildo, while Francisco loses striker Ezquiel Ponce and central defender Gonzalo Verdú, injured, through suspension. There is a certain morbidity after leaking that Atlético is closely following two players from Elche: Colombian winger Mojica and Argentine striker Lucas Boyé.

Likely lineups

  • Elche:
    Edgar Badía, Roco, Bigas, Diego González; Palacios, Mascarell, Gumbau, Fidel, Mojica, Pere Milla and Lucas Boyé.

  • Athletic:
    Oblak, Vrsaljko, Savic, Giménez, Lodi, De Paul, Koke, Kondogbia, Griezmann, Cunha or Suárez and Carrasco.

  • Referee:
    González Fuertes (Asturian Committee).

  • Time:
    9:30 p.m. Martinez Valero.

  • TV:
    Movistar LaLiga.

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