Friday, July 28, 2017

Real Betis v Atletico Madrid: Vietto wants visitors back on the goal trail

SoccerNews in La Liga 20 Nov 2015

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Luciano Vietto is confident the goals will soon be flowing for Atletico Madrid as they resume La Liga duties with a trip to Real Betis on Sunday.

Diego Simeone’s side are unbeaten since back-to-back losses against Villarreal and Benfica at the end of September, but a 4-0 win over Astana last month was the only time they have scored more than twice in a match during that run.

A frustrating 0-0 draw in Kazakhstan, in between a 1-1 draw with Deportivo and a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon, has raised further questions over the firepower in Atletico’s squad – a concern highlighted by the fact that top league scorer Antoine Griezmann has found the net just once on the road this term.

Vietto has managed just one goal all season but the 21-year-old, now recovered from a stomach problem, has little doubt his side will recapture their goalscoring touch.

“Goals are avoiding us a bit during games, but with the quality of the forwards we have, the goals will likely come soon,” he told the club’s official website.

“For the group, it’s been good to work well for two weeks and to correct what we were doing wrong, and personally because I was coming back from an injury and it gave me time to catch up.”

Betis boss Pepe Mel, meanwhile, is wary of the effect of last week’s terror attacks in Paris on some of the players this weekend.

Atletico winger Griezmann’s sister survived the shootings at the Bataclan theatre, while Betis’ French duo Didier Digard and Alfred N’Diaye both have family in the city.

“I hope Griezmann is bad but because it isn’t his day and he’s off his game, not because of Paris,” Mel said on Friday. 

“We also have that situation with Digard and N’Diaye, who have family in Paris and they are shocked, so we’ve been speaking to them all week.”

Goalscoring concerns may be a priority for Simeone to resolve but Atletico have been given a boost in defence with the return of Jose Gimenez, who has been given the medical all-clear following a thigh injury.

Uruguay centre-back Diego Godin is also back in training after international duty, but Jackson Martinez (ankle) is unlikely to feature. Juanfran (groin) will not be risked.

Mel has confirmed that Juan Vargas and Vincenzo Rennella (both knee) are out, though he hopes to have Dani Ceballos fit. N’Diaye, meanwhile, “seems okay” after his recent hamstring problem.

Betis have lost their last four league games against Atletico and have failed to score in five of the last six home matches with the 2014 Liga champions, while Atleti are enjoying a run of just one defeat in 13 top-flight games on the road.

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