De Paul, under the spotlight

Atlético faces a capital match in search of Champions positions. The rojiblanco team visits Benito Villamarín aware that a victory would serve to overcome Betis in the table and would give an extra prize by adding the punctures of Villarreal, Real Sociedad and Seville as far as the day goes.

And Simeone has to face six casualties, since after the game against Celta he saw how Kondogbia, Savic (he was suspended) and Hermoso joined an infirmary that was already loaded with Koke, Wass and Cunha. The captain will not finally be in the duel despite having participated in several sessions with the group. Cholo seeks to continue with his latest line-ups, but after repeating eleven against Manchester United and Celta, he will have to modify his schemes. Felipe will replace Savic and De Paul will enter for Kondogbia in the two areas of the field most affected by casualties.

Two players who must take a step forward after going through a stretch of the season with little prominence. In DePaul’s case, the evolution of Herrera and Kondogbia has led them to add only 27 minutes in the last three games, where Atlético has been recovering its spirit and essence. The Argentine could not participate in Pamplona due to suspension, and despite the fact that Koke was injured against Osasuna, De Paul He did not have minutes against Manchester United due to a technical decision and came on in the 63rd minute of the duel against Celta. Still far from his version with Argentina, the 27-year-old player arrived at Atlético after an extraordinary Copa América and from the first day he had minutes and relevance in Simeone’s schemes.

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But has not found that ability to give rhythm and intensity to the center of the field. De Paul has left sporadic samples of his great long movement and his ability to steal, but he has lacked continuity and greater weight in the rojiblanco game. Sometimes making kilometers in vain, leaving the site and trying to cover the field without success, the match against Betis is a litmus test against his compatriot and teammate Guido Rodríguez and William Carvalho. De Paul will have at his side a Herrera with whom he has shared a few minutes in the middle. The Mexican was hardly counting for Simeone, but He has completed the last three games in his best version, with great fluidity and giving the team great rhythm and balance.

Also the return of Llorente in the middle has added strength and forcefulness. De Paul finds himself with a golden opportunity to vindicate himself, a focus that he must take advantage of to show that he is prepared in his desire to be important at Atlético. The rojiblanco midfield had experienced a start to the year 2022 with a certain weakness to take command of the matches and it was affecting him both in defence, conceding a lot of goals, and in attack, with less ability to create chances. De Paul will cover the loss of Kondogbia and Koke and the objective is to continue with the good sensations that Atlético has offered in the last week. To finally be able to transfer the light-blue stripes to the red-and-white ones.