The hymn of the Champions League will resonate again in the Metropolitan. Like the ultimate competition, Griezmann returns to what was his stadium before his controversial march to Barcelona. The Frenchman will have the double objective of helping his team to get off to a good start in the tournament that the club is so eager to win and also of putting the swollen mattress in his pocket that will dictate sentence.
Antoine Griezmann he re-released against Espanyol as a mattress footballer, but now he will have to submit to that judgment that the fans of the Atletico Madrid will do you. His name will sound over the loudspeaker and the public will express their opinion on his return: whistles, ovation or simple indifference. Just as the Macon-born striker wants to win back affection, the partners of the Athletes They could give it to him because he is one of their own again, especially when it has been an express request of the great leader Diego Pablo Simeone.
At the club they are aware that squad and tier have to go hand in hand. The past year was seen when the entire social mass of the Athletic took to the streets to cheer on his team in those last matches of a League that ended up winning, not without suffering. That harmony that is sought will be necessary to face the challenge, one more year, of winning the first Champions League in the history of the mattress club.
And it is that since the arrival of Cholo Simeone to the bench of Atletico Madrid that challenge has been met. The dream has never come to fruition, sometimes it has turned out worse -such as the Qarabag year that ended up winning the Europa League- and others better -the two finals-, but they have never had the luck that allowed them to raise the Orejona. Now framed in a group of death with Liverpool, Porto and Milan, starts what has been the most complicated group stage for the rojiblancos to date.
With Savic sanctioned and with Trippier practically ruled out, the Cholo Simeone will have to re-engineer himself to form the best eleven taking into account the performance and competition in each position. cloud is immovable in the goal and the defense seems to be formed with Llorente and Carrasco on the rails and Giménez, Felipe and Hermoso on the axis of the rear. In the core, Koke and Lemar they seem fixed. Luis Suárez will be up with Griezmann and the last place could be at stake between footballers like Correa, Kondogbia or Rodrigo de Paul.
Porto, a tough opponent to nibble on
Ahead will be a Port who wants to give the bell in this group in which Liverpool and Atlético They start, very a priori, as favorites to be in the round of 16. Of course, the Portuguese and a Milan that is being reborn from its ashes, they want to hit the table and they will make each match in this group B a true final that can take its toll at the end of this first phase.
The last time both teams met in the group stage on Athletic was able to win both games, already with the Cholo Simeone on the rojiblanco bench. A few years ago, with Quique Sánchez Flores It was Porto’s turn to win in both stadiums, also in the first round. In 2009, with Abel Resino, the Portuguese were ‘charged’ Athletes in the eighth thanks to the 2-2 they reaped in the Vicente Calderón, which counteracted the 0-0 that they signed in neighboring lands.
The Port arrive at Metropolitan after tying one against the Sporting of Portugal in the Portuguese league, in which they are fourth with three wins and two draws. Sergio Conceiçao will not be able to count on Marchesin, so his position in the goal will occupy it Costa. In defense, predictably, they will be Joao Mario, the former madridista Pepe, the Spanish Marcano and Manafa. Corona, Uribe, Sergio Oliveira and Otavio they will act in the core and as more advanced men Luis Díaz and Taremi.