Match preview: Guijuelo vs. Atlético

Simeone set to ring the changes as Colchoneros prepare for Copa del Rey bow

Atleti squad take a moment to remember the victims of the Chapecoense air crash

Atleti squad take a moment to remember the victims of the Chapecoense air crash

Atlético Madrid begin their Copa del Rey campaign on Wednesday night, as they travel to Salamanca to face Segunda B side CD Guijuelo in the round of 32.

The match is the first of a two-legged tie, and will take place at the Estadio Helmántico rather than the home side’s usual 1,500 seater stadium due to it’s small size.

Kick-off is set for 21:00 CET.

Before the match, both teams will unite in a minute’s silence for the 76 victims of the Chapecoense air crash yesterday, which claimed the life of former Atlético midfielder Cléber Santana and his teammates.

The rojiblancos paid their respects with a moment of observation ahead of training on Tuesday, after tweeting a tribute to the club and their ex-player earlier in the day.

In the midst of a busy run, Diego Simeone has opted to rest some his starting players for the trip, calling up five players from Atleti B who could get a chance to impress.

Caio Henrique, Juan Moreno, Rober, Keidi and Alberto all make the 16-man squad, with one of the five guaranteed a spot in the XI. All are yet to make their competitive first team debuts.

Regulars such as Oblak, Juanfran, Godín, Gabi, Tiago, Griezmann and Gameiro have been given the night off, whereas Fernando Torres and Augusto remain injured.

Filipe Luís also stays in Madrid, but is expected to return for Saturday’s league clash at home to Espanyol.

“Historically, the Copa del Rey has always been an important competition for this club.” said Simeone in his press conference. “We’re playing against a team with a lot of hunger and will have to be careful.”

The Argentine boss also gave a mention to the Chapecoense victims, saying: “Unfortunately, it’s a tragedy that hurts everybody around the world. I’d like to send my condolences to the families and all affected.”

Guijuelo come into the match on six game winless run (five draws, one loss), form that lead to the sacking of manager Mateo García. He was replaced by Jordi Fabregat two weeks ago.

The B-team players involved for Atleti will be familiar with Guijuelo having played them in pre-season, a match they would probably rather forget having been comprehensively beaten 4-0 by tomorrow’s opponents.

As mentioned above, the game will not be played at their usual Municipial stadium but at the Estadio Helmántico in Salamanca, which can hold just below 18,000 fans and has hosted Spanish national team matches before.

The return leg will take place at the Vicente Calderón on Tuesday 20th December.

Atlético match selection
: Moyá, Moreira
Defenders: Savic, Vrsaljko, Lucas, Giménez, Alberto
Midfielders: Saúl, Carrasco, Thomas, Gaitán, Caio, Juan Moreno, Keidi
Forwards: Correa, Rober

  • Usavicente Calderon

    We are benching a lot of players. We need to be careful that we don’t lose. Real lost a couple years back to I think a 3 division team.

  • Koke

    Wow, this squad looks very thin. It’s nice to give time to the players that will never play for the first team, but the priority should be to win. And we should be giving time to the players that can play for the first team but haven’t been getting minutes, players like Correa, Thomas, Lucas, Vrsaljko, Moya, etc – these players desperately need more minutes. Anyway, I hope all this rotation doesn’t mean we get a poor result!