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Griezmann makes first start of the season for Atletico Madrid amid game-time controversy



Photo by Lukas Schulze/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid are set to lock horns within the next hour in what would be the biggest encounter of the 2022/23 La Liga campaign so far.

Heading into the contest, Barcelona were given a pleasant surprise as Atletico Madrid have decided to hand Antoine Griezmann his first start of the season.

The Frenchman is set to spearhead the Atleti frontline alongside Joao Felix. He starts ahead of Matheus Cunha, Alvaro Morata and Angel Correa, with Diego Simeone hoping that the attacker’s experience can come to the fore up against Real Madrid’s sturdy defensive line.

Griezmann’s start comes after a run of seven back-to-back matches in all competitions, where the forward has not played more than 30 minutes, as part of Atletico Madrid’s plan to exploit a special clause in his loan contract.

The clause states that Griezmann must play at least 45 minutes of a particular game in order to meet the 50% quota of matches for the season which would trigger the €40 million permanent purchase obligation.

His start against Real Madrid, though, does not guarantee a game as Simeone always has the option to sub him off within the first half.

However, that is unlikely to be the case, especially at a time when Atletico Madrid desperately require his services, in their quest to secure a win against their arch-rivals this evening.

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