Match preview: Sant Andreu vs Atlético

Defending champs kick off Copa campaign against Segunda B outfit

Atletico coach Diego Simeone

Simeone at the press conference prior
to the game (Clubatleticodemadrid.com)

Atlético commence their Copa del Rey title defence this Saturday, with Barcelona-based outfit Sant Andreu the host for the incumbent champions’ opening game. Kick off is scheduled for 16:00 GMT.

Last season’s Copa del Rey final was the stage on which Atlético ended their Madrid curse, conquering their cross-town rivals at the Bernabéu to claim another trophy.

It was the Rojiblancos’ tenth triumph in the King’s Cup, their highest tally for a competition they’ve played in.

His men may be competing in the Champions League this year, and be level on points with Barça in La Liga, Diego Simeone stays true to his philosophy and refuses to let the Copa take a back seat.

“Since I started as the coach, we’ve had a clear idea of being competitive in everything we play: friendlies, the Copa, La Liga, the Supercopa. This is what we aspire to,” the Colchonero boss said on Friday.

He added: “Tomorrow, we meet opponents with a lot of excitement, enthusiasm, humility and eagerness to show everything they have. We have to show the same humility, commitment and intensity.”

Looking back on last year’s cup success, Cholo remarked that a final is “a special and unique game. At that time we played to win and live an unforgettable moment in the history of Atlético de Madrid.”

He continued: “It assured us that we were on the right track to continue growing. From there, we started the pre-season and we’ve continued to where we are now.”

Asked about the playing conditions at Sant Andreu’s ground—the Catalans play on artificial turf—the Argentine answered in a decided manner.

“Football is football. Whether there is wind, rain, mud, or an artificial pitch; it’s a part of the sport. Undesirable situations always occur, but they have to be resolved. There are no excuses.”

“The artificial turf is not natural. It has to be seen how fast the ball moves. The pitch is narrow and there will obviously be more interruptions and lots of players in small spaces.”

Sant Andreu have been in Spanish league football’s third tier since 2008. They reached the playoffs for promotion to the Segunda twice in recent years, but failed to progress on both occasions.

After succumbing to Atlético Baleares on Sunday, they sit in eleventh place in their regional Segunda B league, having collected only twenty points in their sixteen league games so far.

In the Copa del Rey, the Catalans defeated Santa Eulàlia and Olot in the first two rounds before a bye in the third allowed them to reach the sixteenth-finals.

Courtois misses out for the first time this season. The goalkeeper of the year was forced to withdraw from training on Friday with a muscle strain in his thigh.

Mario is still recovering from his knee injury, Léo is struggling with his left ankle, Cebolla has muscle fatigue, and Juanfran continues to experience discomfort in a toenail.

Gabi has to sit out Saturday’s trip.  The captain incurred a one-match ban with his dismissal in last year’s final. Finally, Miranda is rested.

Atlético match selection

Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Bounou
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Giménez
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Arda, Guilavogui, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa

Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco


  • kris

    Sant Andreu 0-3 Club Atletico de Madrid.

  • kris

    Forza Atleti!

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    no team has yet successfully defended their Copa del Rey title in this millennium,
    (the last team who repeated their title was Barca in 1996-97 & 1997-98)
    let’s be the first one to do that ..
    after all, with Simeone, Atleti achieved many firsts

    speaking of El Cholo, in the press conference when he was asked about if he will give the opportunity to the players who don’t play often, he answered :

    ” I don’t like the word “opportunity”, it sounds like certain games are played to satisfy some players, and I do not appreciate that
    The situation is that in some games the team needs a certain type of players, and they have to be good to play”

    He is thinking of every single word coming out of his mouth, he does not want to disrespect any of his players, or any of his opponents
    WHAT A MAN !

    Mourinho and many other managers should take lessons from him about how to make a statement and how to give a press conference

    I feel that Simeone likes Bono very much, he has a great faith in him
    But the Moroccan GK has played many games this season with Atletico B, while Aranzubia hasn’t make any appearance yet
    So, I guess Dani is the one who will play

    and this is what I think will be the rest of the team :

    Manquillo – Godin – Giménez – Filipe
    Tiago – Guilavogui
    Oliver – Koke – Adrian
    Villa

    although the reports said that Koke played as a DM in the last training (as both Mario and Gabi are absent for injury and suspension respectively)
    maybe he will switch during the game if we needed to take Tiago or Josuha out

  • kris

    Well the offucial eleven is as follows so no ‘opportunity’ for Guilavogui or Gimenez:
    Aranzubia
    Manquillo,Alderweireld, Godin, Filipe
    Tiago-Koke
    Oliver-RG8-Arda
    Adrian

    Lets win this boys, And to Manquillo, Oliver and Dani, prove them what you’re worth! Aupa Atleti!

  • kris

    Or actually Oliver starts behind Adrian. I love when he plays in that position. COME ON BOYS!!!

  • kris

    Great cross in by Filipe, and it is none other than RG8 to score… 0-1.

  • pantic#10

    RG8, who else? 😉

  • kris

    GOOOOL DE ARDA!!!Assist. Manquillio. 0-2

  • kris

    What great vision by Oliver. What a great ball to Raul.

  • kris

    1st half ends in favor of Atleti. 0-2.

  • pantic#10

    Manquilla is super fast, what a run he did on the right!
    fast as CR7 (well maybe i exaggerated…but you get the idea!)

  • kris

    Damn! Aranzubia with some great saves.. Damn..

  • kris

    Damn it. Oliver out for Villa.

  • Jeronamo

    ughhh i think cholo favors some players more than others

  • kris

    Great piece of skill by Adrian for dat pass. Damn. Beautiful.

  • kris

    GREAT GREAT GREAT GOAL BY VILLA!! 0-4.

  • kris

    Awesome!!! Good win.

  • kris

    Alderweireld definite Man of the Match for me.. Who was your man of the match?

  • Jeronamo

    Must admit. He was my man of the match also