Match preview: Atlético vs. Guijuelo

Cholo names a strong squad as red and whites play final match of the year

Atleti were 6-0 winners in the first leg

Atleti were 6-0 winners in the first leg

Atlético Madrid bring the year to a close on Tuesday evening, taking on Segunda B side Guijuelo in the second leg of their Copa del Rey round of 32 clash.

The rojiblancos are 6-0 up from the away leg, but Diego Simeone has named a strong squad as he looks to end 2016 on a high.

Kick-off at the Vicente Calderón is set for 21:00 CET.

Having failed to win or even score in their previous three matches, Atleti returned to winning ways on Saturday afternoon with a 1-0 triumph over Las Palmas.

However, whilst the three points were much needed it wasn’t the most convincing of performances, with problems both in front of goal and in defence still apparent.

It’s fair to say that the red and whites are safely through to the next round of the Copa del Rey having won handsomely away at Guijuelo at the end of November, but tomorrow’s second leg won’t be just a formality for Cholo‘s men.

Judging by the players he has called up, the Argentine is keen to get a solid win and performance in the bank before the new year. None of his squad have been allowed to leave early for their Christmas break.

The main news is the improbably return of Alessio Cerci, who received medical clearance on Tuesday and could play some part in the match according to Simeone.

“I never leave anyone out in the cold, I always want to give players opportunities,” he said when asked about the Italian. “Cerci has been through a rough time and will get a chance.”

Gabi, Diego Godín, Antoine Griezmann are rested, but otherwise it’s more or less full strength with the exceptions of Jan Oblak, Augusto Fernández, Filipe Luís and Tiago who remain injured.

With Christmas coming up and some fans feeling the pinch, Atleti are selling tickets at a reduced price and have offered 10,000 to schools, councils and disadvantaged groups at just €2 each.

Socios aged under 18 can also gain entry for the same price, with adult tickets ranging from €5 to €25. Not a huge amount are still on sale, so there should be a good attendance to see the team into 2017.

It may be the last competitive match of the year, but Atleti will be back in action on December 30th with a friendly in Saudi Arabia against Al-Ittihad, before returning to La Liga action away at Eibar on January 7th.

Before that – barring a miracle Guijuelo comeback – will be the first leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16, with the draw set to take place on Friday.

Atlético match selection
: Moyá, Moreira
Defenders: Savic, Vrsaljko, Lucas, Juanfran, Giménez
Midfielders: Koke, Saúl, Carrasco, Cerci, Thomas, Gaitán
Forwards: Torres, Correa, Gameiro

  • Kris

    Cerci finally back. Hope he gets a start.

  • Hannu

    Look forward seeing Cerci play and this is not joke. I quess Simeone talked in some interview that Cerci will get his chance. Other than that maybe Thomas and Gaitan get some playing time.

  • AndersAT

    It seems like Real Madrid had succes in their appeal of their transferban, and can sign players in the summer.

    We didn’t appeal… this sucks

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Of course we did appeal, why wouldn’t we ?! and we will hear our verdict soon, and I’m guessing it will be the same as Madrid.
    Although I can’t understand this, it should either be a total removal of the ban because they didn’t violate the regulations concerning signing minors, or keeping the ban for two windows, like Barca, because that’s what the disciplinary rules say.

    Anyway, and this may sound strange, but I was actually happy with the ban, because it meant that we will keep all our key players for one more year, because I don’t believe that any of them would be unfaithful enough to leave while we are under a transfer ban, and I really like our current squad, including our many loanees, we just don’t know how to use them (by we I mean Simeone).
    If the ban was reduced to one window and we were allowed to sign players next summer, I can see Grizi leaving, and I would be worried about Koke.

  • AndersAT

    My bad. I thought we accepted the ban, but apparently we just accepted the January ban.

    Well I am not that worried about Koke. But grizi, who knows.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I really still don’t know why was Cerci treated that way, some said that he didn’t fit our system, that he didn’t do his defensive part as every Simeone’s Atleti player should, but he wasn’t given any real chance to do that, 114 minute in La Liga and 37 minutes in The Champions League.
    Other people in the media claimed that he had some disciplinary problems, but they never told us what exactly did he do, we have never seen him pick a fight with a teammate, or post something controversial on social media, or criticize Simeone publicly, except when he asked for more playing time, like what Cebolla & Mario did.
    And there is a less popular theory that suggests that Simeone didn’t ask to sign him, and he was forced on him, and if that was true then I really don’t know what to make of it.

    I don’t love Cerci or hate him, but I think what Atleti did with him wasn’t right, his career would have gone a totally different way if we didn’t sign him and bench him.

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    Since Moya is now our first GK after Oblak’s injury, I can’t see a better opportunity to give Moreira his debut, who knows, maybe we have a great GK in the making, of course a game like tonight’s won’t prove anything, but it will be a start.

  • Zinni DUDU

    Cholo showing again that he is a coward… Juanfran will play in middlefield..while cerci is on the bench 🙁

  • Ahmed Haider Sultan

    hello atletico fans, i wanted to know which websites are the best for english atletico madrid news ?

  • Koke

    I agree. I don’t think someone like Griezmann will just leave us to fend for ourselves while we’re banned from signing replacements; I think he’s a good guy (even though I think I read something about him suggesting Barca could be an option for him someday?!?!?)

    I’m really happy with our current squad, and I don’t think it could get that much better if you include our loanees. For goalie and defense we’re completely set except for backup LB (for which I’d like to see Theo or Grimaldo, although Lucas has been doing well.) For midfield we have everything but a CAM (Oliver). For attack it would be nice to see us sign a big strong fast in form striker, but who really is available? Only players that I can think of that would improve our squad are Costa, Icardi, and maybe even our own former Baston. But even if we make no signings for a while, we should be set for a couple years as long as the veterans maintain their form. (But seriously, Filipe will need a replacement within a couple years, and we should start thinking of one seriously.)

  • Ahmad Hossainy

    I think Lukaku is a big, strong, fast, in-form striker, and I thought he was our perfect fit last summer and we should have made a bid for him, and I would have gone as high as 60 million if Everton were ready to sell, but I barley heard his name from the media or the fans, if even he was mentioned at all.

    I watched some games for Alaves, including the ones against Real Madrid & Valencia, and I was very impressed with Theo, he was named Man of The Match by his club in 3 or 4 occasions.
    I think we already have Filipe’s replacement.
    However, we still will need to sign another LB in a couple of years to rotate with Theo and to create a competition for that spot, unless Simeone is planning to keep the “Filipe way” and use only on LB all the time, that’s if Simeone is still here by then.

  • Karlp

    For game review, I prefer this site (look also the comment section, many good review) and maybe Atleti’s reddit.

    For general news (transfer, new stadium, etc) probably twitter, AS english, Marca english. But I recommend to look at AS & Marca in spanish, and use google translate.