- Carrasco and Koke sit out ahead of Copa del Rey fixture
Tomorrow, Atlético Madrid will take on Elche in the first leg of their Copa del Rey matchup with the Valencian club. But they will likely do so without Koke and Yannick Carrasco. Both players were sidelined during training this week with muscular and left knee issues respectively. Mundo Deportivo suggests the players are hoping to make a return this weekend against Villarreal.
- History repeats itself — kind of
Speaking of the upcoming match with Elche, an article from AS points out an interesting historical anomaly with the upcoming Copa del Rey tie.
Atlético have faced Elche in the Copa del Rey on two previous occasions, 1959/60 and 1987/88, both of which saw los colchoneros advance in the tournament. However, to do so in 87/88, Atleti had to contend with José Antonio Ñíguez, father of current midfielder Saúl Ñíguez. The elder Ñíguez played in a substitute role for Elche at the time but did make appearances in both legs that year. Unfortunately, he missed a fateful missed penalty during the decisive shootout in the second leg, which saw Atlético advance. If Saúl makes an appearance for Atleti in this match it will mark the continuation of an interesting family tradition.