Three keys to the Atlético eleven one week before the premiere

Of the two repetitive tests of the eleventh of Diego Simeone, isolated at home by Covid-19 and whose idea of ​​the line-up is transferred to the field of play of training by his assistant Hernan
Bonvicini, two absences stand out for now: the forward Joao Felix and the central Felipe Monteiro.

Neither Wednesday nor Thursday, with the two tests so far by the coaching staff, have been part of the probable starting line-up nor the Portuguese attacker, whose definitive emergence is predicted this season in the Atlético de Madrid, nor the Brazilian defender, surely the best with Jan
Oblak last season.

They are not expected in the eleven of this Saturday against Almería in the stadium in the only pre-season friendly of the rojiblanco block. Neither to Marcos Llorente, who was the man who finished more fit last season, discovered as an attacker with a large, fast and crucial contribution to the
Atlético de Madrid

Or at least they are not expected in the section of the clash that the theoretical starting team plays, which for now is summarized in Jan Oblak -elected this Thursday among the three candidates for best goalkeeper of the Champions next to Keylor Navas and Manuel Neuer-, in the goal; Kieran Trippier, Stefan Savic, José María Giménez and Renan Lodi, in defense; Koke Resurrección, Thomas Partey, Saúl Ñíguez and Yannick Carrasco, in the center of the field; and Ángel Correa and Álvaro Morata, up front, based on the two tests so far.

TO Joao and PhilipIn any case, like a majority of the rest of the team, they are expected to travel throughout the game. The question is whether there will be room in the friendly for Diego Costa, Santiago Arias or Thomas LemaA, between the planned departures of the club before October 5, which does not mean that they will be safe.

The duel against him Almeria will be private -'a training with rival'- in the Metropolitan, because there will be neither access to the public nor to the press or television broadcast, and he has been left alone in the rojiblanco preparation calendar, due to the postponement of the Carranza Trophy “As a precaution” after the positive detected last Friday of an employee of the auxiliary ‘staff’ of the first team.


As it has acted Diego Simeone In many of the preseason so far (his line of eleven for the beginning of the competition is almost evident from the first friendly to the last), neither is it intuited from the beginning or


nor to

on the first day of The league . In that sense, there is still a week and a half left for rethinking and changes with respect to the original idea.

His substitutions are not new, although they were sporadic during the past year. The most immediate example corresponds precisely to Atlético's last game last season: the 2-1 defeat against Leipzig in the Champions League quarterfinals at the stadium Jose Alvalade, with all the importance that the duel had and with the nuances of play, competition or physical that contextualized the choice by some footballers or others.

Actually, from that meeting, played on August 13, to now, the alignment of the Athletic it only undergoes three variations: the Thomas
Party, then down due to injury, by Héctor Herrera in the center midfield; Angel Correa, then it was for his positive for Covid-19, for Marcos Llorente; and Alvaro Morata, then alternate, for Diego Costa, which is for sale. He Fenerbahce He has denied that he is negotiating to sign the Spanish-Brazilian striker.


Philip did not start as a starter for Simeone neither upon arrival last summer nor after the Covid-19 break due to physical reasons. In the latter case, the coach explained it this way on June 13: “He is a player who needs more time to prepare to have his best level. He is a very strong, tall and big player ”.

Undisputed and incontestable starter before the interruption of the League (he played 27 of the last 28 games before the break and the only one who did not do so was due to suspension), with a magnificent performance that did not admit any doubt about his constancy in the game eleven and its almost indispensable role in the scheme of Simeone, the three months of break plus a muscular strain relegated him to the substitution: he started three of the last eight duels of the last year.

Nor will this course begin as a holder, judging by the tests so far of Simeone, who maintains his bet on the couple Stefan Savic-José María Giménez, the most expert in terms of time at the technician's orders and the most established without discussion on the return of the competition since last June.


Joao Felix, signed for the 120 million euros of his termination clause with the Benfica last season, he did not appear in the first tests of the eleven either.

For a physical matter? It is true that he later joined the preparation for international commitments with his team, but he did so at the same time as Trippier and Savic, which are part of the theoretical starting eleven, although the requirement is different in some positions, such as defense or winger, than in offensive tasks.

His ownership, in any case, was already in doubt at some points in the final stretch of last season. It was unthinkable a year or six months ago, because his position in the starting line-ups was almost unchanged, except for injury, sanction or recent recovery.

Until the break, he started from the beginning in 24 of the 28 games that were available for Simeone (The four as a substitute coincided in two sections of two each after injuries).

After him, he started in four out of seven, although he did not do so in the Camp Nou against him Barcelona nor in Lisbon against Leipzig, from which he emerged from the bench, agitated and pushed his team offensively with 1-0 against, caused a penalty and scored the goal.

That day was the best of all Athletic, which is already rushing the days for the start of a championship marked by the Covid-19. In the event that the pandemic makes it impossible to play a match in the Wanda Metropolitano, the alternative field of the rojiblanco team will be the Reale Arena of the Real society, in Saint Sebastian.