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01.03.2008 10:00

An Atletico de Madrid of highs and lows

Jesús Carrillo

Atletico de Madrid, FC Barcelona’s rival tonight in the Vicente Calderón stadium, is in the Champions league zone, and was recently knocked out of the UEFA Cup.

The year 2008 has been difficult for the red and whites. Of the last six league games Javier Aguirre’s players have only won one, against Racing in Santander. They also drew at home against Murcia, and have lost the other four games

Out of the cup in January

Atletico de Madrid were put out of the King’s cup by Valencia in the quarter finals. Even though the overall result was a 3 all draw, the double value of the away goals gave the qualification to Ronald Koeman’s eleven.

And out of the UEFA, in February

The draw for the UEFA Cup, paired the ‘mattress makers’ with Bolton Wanderers, from the Premier. The away leg ended in favour of the English team by 1-0. Sergio Agüero was sent off and a series of defensive errors caused the English victory by the minimum. The return leg, played in the Vicente Calderon Stadium, ended in a goalless draw. The elimination was a reality.

A place in the Champions League

This is the last objective within reach of the ‘colchoneros’ And this possibility turns around the complicated situation of Javier Aguirre after winning only one match since the turn around in the league adding only 4 of 18 possible points in the last few games. These facts apart, Atletico de Madridcontinues in the Champions League zone, two points above Seville and Espanyol, who are in the UEFA places.

Aguirre regains troops

For tonight’s game the Mexican nmanager can count on Pablo, Agüero and Raúl Garcia, who had a one game suspension in the Kingdom of Navarra, and on Simao Sabrosa after his injury. The Argentine goalkeeper Leo Franco, the Greek defender Seitaridis and the ex-Barcelona player Thiago Motta are out.
An Atletico de Madrid of highs and lows
Motta doesn’t recover
The Italobrazilian is going through a bad patch. His left knee is still bothering him, and will probably need a surgeon to resolve some problems that seem never ending. I can’t see Motta returning to play football this season.

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