After comfortably edging out Real Jaén in the last round, the serious business starts in this year’s Copa del Rey with Atlético facing a potentially difficult derby match against Getafe in the Vicente Calderón.
In what is a competition that many tip the Rojiblancos to do well in this year, Simeone has neglected the B-team approach he has taken up for cup games so far this season, naming a full strength squad for this clash.
Kick-off on Wednesday night is set for 22:00 CET.
On Sunday, a Falcao-inspired Atleti responded in the best way possible following two successive defeats, and on the back of a 6-0 win against Deportivo, will be hoping for a similar scoreline against Getafe before Sunday’s trip to Barcelona.
We’ve won 12 out of 12 in the Calderón this season, but the visitors come into the game in good form of their own and are one of the few teams with an outside chance of pushing for a Champions League place this season.
Just two points behind Málaga in fourth as things stand, the Azulones will aim to fare better then they did in last month’s league meeting, when Adrián and Arda secured a 2-0 win for Simeone’s side.
The Argentine boss has called upon all his big guns for the game, with 17 of the matchday squad from Sunday keeping their place.
Jorge Pulido drops out to make way for Miranda, available again after suspension, with teenage midfielder Saúl Ñíguez also coming in to join fellow canterano Javier Manquillo, who has been a regular of late.
The likes of Falcao, Arda Turan and Diego Godín are in line to make their first non-league appearances since the Super Cup, although Cebolla Rodríguez remains on the injury list. Sílvio, Cisma and Joel are left out because of technical decision.
With the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Valencia, Málaga and Athletic Bilbao all on the other side of the draw, Atleti are one of the bookmakers favourites to reach the final, and Cholo confirmed in his press conference today that the team will do all they can to get there.
He also highlighted the threat Getafe pose to our hopes of silverware, and stated the importance of getting a good first leg advantage before the return leg away from home after new year.
“In these types of games, I always look for my teams to score lots of goals and try to secure the tie,” he insisted.
“The most important thing is to win now, and after that there will be another leg. Our idea is to have a good game against a tough opponent, who will make things very difficult.”
“Recently Getafe have grown a lot, especially defensively. They pass very well and have a lot of speed in attack with the likes of Lafita,” he said. “I don’t think there are favourites in the cup, but we give every tournament we play in the utmost respect.”
Like his opposite number, Luís García has named a full strength squad for the short trip, with the draw for the competition giving teams in our half a real belief that they could stage a cup run and perhaps get to the final.
Diego Castro, Rafa and Sarabia return to the squad after missing their 0-0 draw against Málaga last weekend, with Paco Alcácer, Alberto Lopo and Adrián Colunga making way.
Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Asenjo, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe Luís, Cata Díaz, Juanfran, Miranda, Manquillo
Midfielders: Mario, Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Gabi, Emre, Saúl
Forwards: Adrián, Falcao, Diego Costa
Getafe match selection:
Goalkeepers: Moyá, Codina
Defenders: Alexis, Mané, Miguel Torres, Rafa, Abraham, Valera
Midfielders: Lacen, Sarabia, Gavilán, Pedro León, Diego Castro, Lafita, J. Rodríguez, Xavi Torres
Forwards: Álvaro, Barrada