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Simeone will finally be able to count on Savic and Giménez and that is cause for joy. Atlético’s defensive fragility is doing a lot of damage to the team, which concedes more goals than ever. The team they have not had their four central defenders ready since November 28, the visit to Cádiz. That afternoon Giménez was injured and a week later Savic did it. The Uruguayan returned from injury after Christmas, but has had to serve a couple of penalties in January; the Montenegrin reappears now, a month and a half (and nine games) later. Atleti needs them.

de Savic's photo

After that triumph at the Nuevo Mirandilla with Savic, Giménez and Hermoso as starters, the rojiblanco team has played ten games. In seven of them, Oblak conceded two goals. The only ones who did not succeed were Porto (1-3), Rayo (2-0) and Majadahonda (5-0). And so, conceding so much, it is very difficult to add. Of the eight clean sheets that Atleti have achieved so far this season, Savic or Giménez have been in all of them; and in four, both.

Photo of Gimenez

Specifically with Giménez, the team does not fit in 39% of the games (7 of 18); without it, the figure plummets to 9%: only in one (Osasuna) of 11. With Handsome on the grass, Atleti has closed the goal in six games out of 27: Porto, Athletic, Barça, Betis, Osasuna and Rayo, some of them as a side. With Felipe, only in 5 of 20: Porto, Barça (played 9′), Osasuna, Rayo (barely 1′) and Majadahonda. With Savic, in 5 of 14. That is to say, the figures highlight the relevance of Giménez and Savic. Not to mention that they were decisive for the League title that now, due to sensations, seems so far away.

Athletic Shield/Flag

“Hopefully we can find the zero in our bow that has been criticized so much and now has so much weight”, Simeone claimed after the KO of the Cup. Now, the coach will decide if he repeats with three central defenders, since he has all four capable, or recovers the 4-4-2, with Hermoso or Lodi on the left. In both cases, the returns of Savic and Giménez should be a plus for a defense in need of good news…