Whilst Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are struggling for goals and form in the white half of Madrid, Antoine Griezmann has finally felt the wrath of his manager, Diego Simeone, and the Atletico Madrid supporters, after another sub-par performance at the weekend.

The first Madrid derby at the Wanda Metropolitano should’ve been an occasion for the French striker to rise above his recent woes and propel the rojiblancos ahead of Real in the table.

As it was, not only did he not score, he didn’t have a single shot at goal. This is a €100m player we are talking about here.

Whether you believe that Griezmann has had his head turned by Barcelona or not – (rumours of an agreement continue to do the rounds and BetVictor’s price for the transfer is currently ) – the plain fact is that for a supposed world-class front man, his return in 2017/18 is pitiful.

It wasn’t a surprise to see Simeone take him off before the end of Saturday night’s La Liga showpiece, but to hear the cacophony of boos and whistles that greeted him as he departed proceedings will have hurt Griezmann.

Perhaps it is the first sign of a once blossoming relationship coming to an end, and one can’t really argue against how disinterested the player looks of late.

Griezmann must step up or face the axe

That’s a dangerous game to be playing in a World Cup year, and Simeone won’t hesitate to replace Griezmann with Diego Costa when the latter is available to him again in January if the former’s insouciance continues.

Of more immediate concern is the Champions League tie against Roma on Wednesday. Simply put, this is a genuine ‘must win’ game for Atleti, and every player needs to perform – particular Griezmann.

It’s a tall order because the Italians have won their last six in all competitions including an epic battle against Lazio in the Rome derby on Saturday. The ability to dig in and mix it will hold then in good stead against an Atletico side that love to go to war when given the opportunity.

And in Edin Dzeko, they have a striker in the kind of form that Griezmann can only dream about.

If ever Atleti needed their biggest name to stand up and be counted, it’s right now because no win will relegate them to Europa League football at best, and there’s no way that the club would’ve countenanced for such a scenario in the summer.

The last time Roma failed to score was against Atleti back in September and you’d be hard pressed to bet against them finding the net at the Wanda.

Given the do-or-die nature of the fixture, and that Atleti are already 10 points adrift of Barca in La Liga – meaning their season could effectively be over with a bad result on Wednesday – I believe the hosts will come through one of their toughest tests.

Therefore Bet Victor’s odds of for an Atleti win and both teams to score represents good value as does their bet for a 2-1 home win.

Don’t be surprised if Griezmann gets one of them either (17/4 first goalscorer), because if he doesn’t show up now, the exit door will be held open for him.

Odds are correct at the time of posting

Join the discussion