Next Wednesday, August 6 2014 (11:00 AM Pacific), Galatasaray will take on the Spanish champions, Atlético Madrid, at the Izmir Atatürk Stadium in the city of Esmirna, on a match that will serve the purpose of preparing both sides’ demanding season ahead.
Atlético Madrid are back in business after the summer break and, most important of all, after a season that was absolutely fantastic for them, as they managed to claim La Liga’s title for the first time since 1995-96. Diego Simeone, who is the main responsible for the team’s rebirth, lost some important players during the summer transfer window but he has apparently managed to somehow compensate for their departures by bringing in top quality footballers, such as the powerful Croatian center-forward Mario Mandzukic and the versatile French winger Antoine Griezmann, just to name a few. The team’s top scorer of last season, Diego Costa, and the Brazilian left back Filipe Luis joined Chelsea, while Ádrian López, the man who helped Atlético eliminate Chelsea from the Champions League last season, was sold to FC Porto.
The departure of such skilled footballers will force Diego Simeone to rearrange his game approach and it is not very likely that he will keep pushing his usual 4-4-2 style any longer, since he lacks versatile forwards at the moment. In a recent interview, El Cholo insinuated that he might change the team’s formation into a hybrid 4-2-3-1 scheme, with three versatile men playing behind Mandzukic up in the front.
Los Colchoneros have taken part in three preparation matches so far and they’ve managed to win two of them, first against Numancia and later against San Jose Earthquakes after penalties. On their last friendly match however, Atlético Madrid sucumbed to the hands of Club America also after penalty shootout.
As for Galatasaray, the clash against the Spanish champions will be the team’s third preparation match this Summer. This season represents a start of a new era at the Turkish club after the departure of Roberto Mancini and the arrival of a new Italian manager, the former squadra azzurra head coach Cesare Prandelli.
Galatasaray are certainly looking for a new identity and most definitely a different and more consistent game approach both at domestic and international levels, something that Roberto Mancini failed to offer them. Cesare Prandelli, on the other hand, is often seen as a tactical connoisseur and his expertise in that particular area might help the historical Turkish team to turn the page.
Galatasaray took part in just two friendly matches so far, losing the first one against the Austrian side Rapid Vienna and defeating Honved from Hungary later last month.
Atletico Madrid vs Galatasaray Prediction
Although the teams are still in the early stage of their preparation, Atlético Madrid seems to be slightly more consistent at the moment and, for that reason, they might claim the match as their own and win 2-0.
Atletico Madrid vs Galatasaray Television
The Atletico Madrid vs Galatasaray match will be televised on beIN Sports Connect, on Wednesday at 11:00 AM Pacific.
Atletico Madrid vs Galatasaray Lineups
Galatasaray (4-5-1) – Bolat – Kaya – Telles – Sari – Chedjou – Bruma – Emre Çolak – Inan – Felipe Melo – Adin – Burak Yilmaz
Head Coach: Cesare Prandelli
Atlético Madrid (4-2-3-1) – Moya – Juanfran – Miranda – Godín – Ansaldi – Gabi – Mario Suárez – Arda Turan – Koke – Raúl Garcia – Mandzukic
Head Coach: Diego Simeone