The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

Some things to know about the 2nd round of the Spanish league

  • Print

MADRID - After an opening draw, Atletico Madrid again will be searching for its first win of the season without coach Diego Simeone on the sidelines.

Atletico hosts Eibar in the Spainsh league on Saturday.

The other two title contenders, Real Madrid and Barcelona, are both on the road. Barcelona visits Villarreal and Madrid travels to Real Sociedad.

Here are some things to know about the second round of the Spanish league:

___

BARRED SIMEONE

Once again, it will be assistant coach German Burgos who will stand in for Simeone when Atletico plays.

Simeone is still serving an eight-game suspension after dissenting with the referee during his team's Spanish Super Cup win against Real Madrid.

Nicknamed "Monkey," Burgos is a burly former goalkeeper from Argentina who knows Simeone well. They were teammates at club and national squad level before becoming his coaching assistant at Catania in 2011.

___

DI MARIA-LESS MADRID

Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti has some tweaking to do now that Angel Di Maria has transferred to Manchester United.

Last season's Champions League winning 4-3-3 lineup relied heavily on the Argentina attacking midfielder and now Ancelotti must ensure his team's front line — made up of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale — continues to receive through-balls.

To succeed, Ancelotti needs to find where best to deploy James Rodriguez, who has to fit in alongside Luka Modric, but the Italian has yet to decide which flank is best suited to the Colombia forward.

___

CASILLA'S CONFIDENCE

Although Iker Casillas has regained his position as first-choice goalkeeper, Madrid's captain is far from exuding confidence.

His bad World Cup outings, poor pre-season game against Manchester United and doubtful performance against Atletico in the Super Cup have led to doubts.

Ancelotti has worked to restore Casillas' self-esteem and named him keeper for Spanish league and Champions League matches.

___

BARCELONA'S BIG GUNS

An injury to Neymar's left ankle led Barcelona coach Luis Enrique to test a hunch and go with Munir El Haddadi last week.

The 18-year-old forward scored in his first Spanish league match.

Should Neymar be fit for the match against Villarreal, Luis Enrique will be spoiled for choice by also knowing that Lionel Messi is back to world-class form after scoring twice to help 10-man Barcelona start the season with a 3-0 win over Elche.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.