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Simeone forced into rookie back line for Eibar visit

The Atlético manager has only 16 first team players available for Saturday's match and has called up Theo and Nacho Monsalve from Atlético B.

Diego Simeone directs Atlético training ahead of the Eibar match.
Sergio BarrenecheaEFE

A raft of injuries and suspensions has left Diego Simeone with just 16 first team players for Atlético’s home game against Eibar on Saturday (16.00, CET). Juanfran, Diego Godín, Filipe Luis, Stefan Savic, Augusto Fernández and Tiago are all unavailable while Jackson Martínez and Guilherme Siqueira both left the Calderón during the transfer window.

Simeone has been forced to dip into the youth ranks to bolster his defensive options and has called up Nacho Monsalve and Theo Hernández from Atlético B. Monsalve has represented the first team in pre-season and friendly matches and Theo, the younger brother of Lucas Hernández, can play either in the centre of defence or at left back.

Simeone confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Savic has been ruled out of the match with a muscle strain and that his back four against Eibar will consist of Jesús Gámez, José Giménez, Saúl and Lucas, a makeshift line that has never previously played together.

Simeone’s starting 11 for the game is likely to be: Oblak; Gámez, Giménez, Saúl, Lucas; Thomas, Gabi, Koke, Carrasco; Griezmann and Correa.

On the bench will be: Moyà, Monsalve, Theo, Kranevitter, Óliver, Fernando Torres and Vietto.