Atlético Madrid kick off 2018 with a Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg match against Lleida and Diego Simeone already has a good idea of his first starting 11 of the new year.
During the squad’s Tuesday training session ahead Wednesday’s match in the Camp d'Esports, Simeone experimented with an attacking side featuring two number nines – Fernando Torres and Kevin Gameiro, with Yannick Carrasco and Ángel Correa in support on the wings. Augusto and Saúl will form a midfield anchor with Miguel Ángel Moyá; Juanfran, José Giménez, Diego Godín and Lucas Hernández at the back.
Diego Costa and Vitolo in line for debuts from the bench
Diego Costa and Vitolo, who have finally be cleared to play after the club’s ban on registering new players expired on January 1, are in the squad but not expected to start in Lleida.
Simeone decided to hand a rest to some first-team players and called up just 16 of his full complement of 24 players, with Koke and Filipe Luís missing with muscle problems.
Atlético squad for Lleida
Moyá, Werner, Godín, Hernández, Giménez, Juanfran, Thomas, Augusto, Saúl, Carrasco, Vitolo, Correa, Griezmann, Torres, Diego Costa and Gameiro.