On Thursday night, Atlético will not just take part in one, but two friendlies. We have been invited to a mini-tournament in Granada where we’ll play one half against the hosts and the other against Besiktas.
At 21:00 CET Atleti kicks off the evening against the Turkish side, where we will meet up with an old friend. Not only does one of our favourite opposing players, Guti, play for the team in black and white, but we also rendezvous with Simão.
After those 45 minutes we take a short break, before we take on newly promoted Granada, who organised the event to celebrate their return to Spain’s highest level after struggling in the lower divisions for 35 years.
Besiktas and Granada then have another 45 minutes to bring this ménage à trois to its climax, when they kick off for the third time at 23:00 CET.
Earlier this week our canteranos Andrés, Regalón, Manquillo, Sául and Collado returned to Atlético B to start pre-season with Milinko Pantić. Gregorio Manzano decided to keep César, Iago and Pedro around until all first team players have returned.
Atlético is still without their Copa América stars and also don’t have freshly signed Tiago available, as the 30-year-old has stayed behind in Madrid to work on his fitness.
Another new signing, Adrián López, has been included in the match selection and could make his debut in Los Cármenes after officially joining the team on Tuesday.
It’s doubtful whether Eduardo Salvio will be able to play, as he practised apart from the rest of the group during the final training session.
Manzano selected the following 21 players:
Goalkeepers: Joel, Iago
Defenders: Valera, Sílvio, César Ortiz, Miranda, Domínguez, López, Filipe
Midfielders: Mario Suárez, Assunção, Raúl García, Gabi, Fran Mérida
Forwards: Reyes, Juanfran, Noguera, Salvio, Diego Costa, Adrián and Pedro.