The Rojiblancos are out for revenge from the 2014 final as they take on their city rivals in Saturday’s Champions League encounter, and here’s how they could line up
Atletico Madrid head into Saturday’s Champions League final against Real Madrid to right the wrongs of 2014 in Lisbon in which they surrendered a lead to lose 4-1 after extra-time to their city rivals.
That poses Diego Simeone with a bit of a conundrum. The Argentine possesses one of the strongest defensive sides in Europe, having conceded just over half of the goals Saturday’s opponents did in the league this season.
But while the Rojiblancos have disposed of the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich in the competition this term over two legs, coming up against Zinedine Zidane’s men in a crucial final is a completely different challenge.
Trying to hold onto a first-half lead almost paid off for the Rojiblancos in Lisbon, but ultimately ended in a 4-1 demolition after two hours of football, which could prompt Simeone to deploy the 4-3-3 formation he has used at various points this season.
Such a formation will allow him to get the best of Antoine Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Saul Niguez and Koke, but could leave them exposed at the back.
Otherwise, Cholo could stick with the 4-4-2 formation which has served him well throughout the majority of the Champions League and La Liga. Pairing Torres and Griezmann as a central duo and allowing Koke and Saul to support in attack and offer defensive cover.
It is the set-up Atletico lined up with both times against Real in the league as they collected four points from their archrivals.