Skip to main content

La Liga Preview: Atletico Madrid v Getafe

Simeone's side defeated Leverkusen on penalties in their UEFA Champions League last 16 tie, after Mario Suarez's goal cancelled out a 1-0 deficit from the first leg in Germany.

Atletico's defence of their Liga title has faltered in recent weeks, with three successive draws seeing them fall to fourth - nine points behind leaders Barcelona.

"The dressing room was proud of themselves," Simeone - who is reportedly close to agreeing a new contract - said after the win over Leverkusen. 

"This will give them a huge strength. For Saturday, we need the Calderon just like today, with the same passion as today."

Goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya suffered a hamstring injury in Tuesday's victory, with his replacement Jan Oblak playing a key role by saving Hakan Calhanoglu's spot-kick in the shootout.

And defender Jose Gimenez says Oblak's heroics are indicative of the strong team ethos fostered by Simeone.

"Jan has shown he was ready and I'm very happy for him and hope it stays that way," he commented.

As well as Moya, Atletico look likely to be without Raul Garcia (elbow) and Mario Mandzukic (sprained ankle), who picked up injuries in Tuesday's game.

Getafe's form has been up and down in recent weeks, with a pattern emerging of victory immediately followed by defeat over their last eight games - a run that leaves them 13th, four points clear of the drop zone.

Under the guidance of interim boss Pablo Franco following Quique Sanchez Flores' resignation last month, they must contend with Atletico's superb home record when they make the short trip across Madrid.

In their last 34 La Liga outings at the Calderon, Simeone's side have lost just once - 1-0 to Villarreal back in December.

And Getafe fans will have painful memories of their last trip to Atletico, after a 7-0 mauling at the Calderon in November 2013.

However, the goalscorers that day were Garcia (twice), David Villa (twice), Diego Costa, Adrian and an Alberto Lopo own goal, and all of those players have either moved on or will be out injured on Saturday.