Atlético officials graciously accepted third division side CD Toledo’s request for a friendly to be played today at 21:00 CET, in a match that will take place while our la Liga campaign is already underway.
According to AS, manager Quique Sánchez Flores plans on resting most of his key starters and will give several backups an opportunity to get some playing time in. Mario Suárez and Diego Costa will almost certainly make it into this evening’s starting XI.
The event may be useful for Quique to experiment with certain players on the wings, in order to find a suitable replacement for José Manuel Jurado following the Andalusian’s last minute departure to Germany. Fran Mérida’s recent injury has only served to highlight our severe lack of depth at this position.
Young midfielder Alberto Perea, who impressed many this past pre-season, is among the leading candidates to take over Jurado’s role. The canterano is strong with both his left and right feet and can play on either flank – a strength that could easily work into Quique’s strategy of utilizing inverted wingers. Presently with Atlético B, Perea will likely be on call for the first team throughout the season.
Tiago, Agüero, Domínguez and De Gea did not travel to Toledo as they are all away on national team duties.
According to the Castilian-Manchegan side’s official website, today’s game was scheduled in order to honour the club’s most loyal supporters, the ones that have always been there in spite of the team’s many ups and downs. Atleti, world-renowned for having one of the most ardent and faithful fan bases no matter the team’s performance, is possibly the most fitting guest for this encounter.
Toledo’s 5,500 capacity Salto del Caballo stadium awaits our Super Cup champions and domestic league leaders, a site where they will be paid special tribute to. Tonight’s spectators will be reminded that Atlético legend Luis Aragonés scored the first goal ever at the stadium on November 23, 1973, in the park’s inaugural game that we went on to win 3-1.
Ahead of the contest, El Toledo’s General Director Fernando Collado said:
“Atlético’s visit fills us with pride. It is a way for CD Toledo to stay alive and have the opportunity to measure itself against teams of such stature. We all dream of once again being able to watch official games of the highest level at the Salto de Caballo, and we don’t have a single doubt that, sooner or later, this will once again come to pass.”
Goalkeepers: Joel, Iago
Defenders: Valera, López, Filipe, Benítez, Pulido, César, Atienza
Midfielders: Mario, Camacho, Assunção, Simão, Koke, Perea, Mínguez
Forwards: Diego Costa, Gallegos, Roberto, Hermosa