The scene is set as Atletico Madrid prepare to confront Deportio Reus in the second leg of the Copa del Rey round of 16 game at the Vicente Calderon. Los colchoneros arrive into the fixture with a 2-1 advantage from the first tie. With two away goals, it is hard to see a way back for Reus given Atletico's good form defensively this season.
When asked in his press conference about what starting XI he will chose for the fixture, Cholo Simeone told: "We count on the resources we think will help us to be in the next round. We will give Copa del Rey the importance that it deserves because we have had a lot of happy moments in this competition. Atletico Madrid are a historically strong Copa del Rey opponent."
In addition, the manager talked about the status of pressure: "I see the round more level than in our favor. It was not a 4-0 final score the last day. In football difficult situations always appear and we have to be ready in order to try to avoid them. We have to respect the opponent, they played well the last day. Reus have good aspects, mainly in their forward player's speed that caused us difficulties. We hope to solve it properly, trying to be a strong team as we have been recently."
Jackson is not ready yet
Despite having participated in two training sessions at the same pace as the rest of his teammates, Jackson Martinez could not be included in the squad for the match on Thursday night. The Colombian striker seems almost recovered from the injury that has kept him out of the team for 7 matches. Simeone prefers not to take risks with players like this and we must now wait until at least Sunday to see if he will feature.
For the rest of the team, it does not appear very different from the chosen XI for the first tie. While some important players like Godin and Griezmann have been left out, other more present starters like Gabi and Carrasco are mentioned in the squad and could see some game time. We might get the chance to see Thomas Partey yet again and Oliver Torres also, who played well the last time these two sides met.
The starting XI could look like this: Moyá; Gámez, Savic, Lucas, Siqueira; Saúl, Thomas, Óliver, Correa, Vietto, Torres.
In: Moyá, Oblak, Siqueira, Savic, Lucas, Gámez, Giménez, Gabi, Koke, Saúl, Thomas, Óliver, Carrasco, Correa, Vietto and Torres.
Out: Godín, Filipe Luis, Juanfran, Griezmann, (tactical), Jackson and Tiago (injury)