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Atletico Madrid training reports suggest XI against Manchester United

by David O'Neill

Reports from Atletico Madrid’s Segovia training camp have emerged, and they seem to hint at how Diego Simeone will line up against Manchester United on Saturday.

According to journalist Jose Guerrero, the “most worked system” has been 4-4-2.

While some drills were done with three at the back, this would suggest a different setup to the one United faced last time around, when Atletico played 3-5-2.

Naturally, many of the personnel will be the same, with Jan Oblak, Stefan Savić, José Giménez reprising roles at the heart of defence.

Reinildo Mandava played alongside Savic and Gimenez as a centre-back last time around, but he is likely to play in his natural left back role in Norway.

Atletico have had issues at right-back and are looking for a replacement for Kieran Trippier and Šime Vrsaljko, who have both left the club in the last six months.

Marcos Llorente is likely to stand in in that position until they find one.

Koke will also reprise his role in the midfield although he should be joined by new signing Axel Witsel who expected to start having wowed his new coaches with his exceptional strength and physical conditioning following his move from Borussia Dortmund.

Yannick Carrasco, who missed the Champions League tie through injury, could play upfront or on the wing.

The eight aforementioned players have all been at the forefront of Simeone’s training sessions and look like bankers to start, but that still leaves three positions free.

Renan Lodi was man of the match at the Wanda Metropolitano and match-winner at Old Trafford, and his quality was clear in both matches.

It would be a surprise if his manager does not see him as a starting option based on that, at least.

Angel Correa enjoyed a good season last time around, scoring 12 and assisting five times in La Liga.

He is unlikely to be partnered with Joao Felix in this outing, with the Portuguese attacker having had an injury setback.

Despite reports that Antoine Griezmann could be offloaded, he may be in line for a start, although Matheus Cunha is perhaps more likely.

With both sides looking to field strong teams as preseason’s end draws near, this has the makings of a real grudge match.

Our predicted Atleti XI:

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