Pre-match reports


Our 22-man squad travels to Atlético de Madrid, who have have another home tie after beating Real Madrid in the Round of 16
Cuerpo Superior

Insider view: 

Amer Al-Hashimi, Atletico Universe 


Atlético de Madrid are 10-time Copa del Rey winners, how important is the cup this season for the club? 

The Copa del Rey has been a significant obsession for Atleti fans for quite a while now, especially since the last time we won it was over a decade ago. For some, it's even their favorite competition. You will always see Atleti fans making banners with motivational quotes for the players during training sessions every year before a crucial Copa del Rey game.

Having lost to Real Madrid in the Supercopa only a week before, how impressed were you with their 4-2 victory in the Round of 16? 

Very, very impressed. It's no secret that Atletico Madrid has been the only club this season that could compete and keep up with Real Madrid. The two wins in three games against them are quite evident, and I'd even say that in the game we lost, we deserved to win. We were just 5 minutes away from sealing the game, but it just wasn't our day. What makes the win more impressive is the fact that Real Madrid only lost twice this season, and both losses came against Atleti.

Given that Atlético de Madrid are unbeaten at home since January 2023, how important will the home advantage be?

Our win against Real Madrid marked over a year without a loss at home. This is mainly due to the fact that the relationship between the club and the fans has only gotten better. The home advantage will be very crucial, as Atleti fans never fail to impress. It's like having a 12th man playing on the field. The players need the fans' support to perform well. When you look at the difference between our home and away record this season, it's actually mind-blowing. Our recent win against Granada was our first La Liga away win in three months, and I think this has to do a lot with the players not feeling at home.

Quique Sánchez Flores took Atlético de Madrid to the final of the Copa del Rey back in the 2009/10 season, how do Atleti fans look back on his time with the club and does that give even extra motivation? 

Atleti fans have a lot of respect for Quique Sanchez Flores. I believe that the widespread notion among Atleti fans includes a feeling of gratitude for Quique. He is someone who gave his all for Atleti, especially considering the club's lack of competitiveness before his arrival. However, like most managers, he had some areas of criticism as well, such as a sense of underachievement in La Liga given the number of stars in his squad, as well as a period of confrontation with a key player like Diego Forlan. That being said, he was in charge during the Europa League win in Hamburg, which marked the beginning of a title-winning era for the club, and Atleti fans don't forget that kind of achievement. Atleti fans look back at that era with nostalgia. It was undoubtedly painful to see Atleti lose the final in 2009/10 against Sevilla, but even when Atleti seemed destined to lose the game, their passion never wavered. They sang their hearts out and lit up the Camp Nou, and later, the streets of Barcelona. Since then, there have been many games against Sevilla, so I'm not sure if the memory of the final still serves as extra motivation for the upcoming Copa del Rey tie, but it undoubtedly holds a significant place in the hearts of the Colchoneros.

What play style do the team have under Diego Simeone? 

Atleti has established itself as an attacking side in recent times. Ironically, they are no longer a great defensive team. This is due to the lack of investment in defenders. They now employ a 3-at-the-back system with two wingbacks. This tactical change aims to generate more goal-scoring opportunities and seems to be yielding positive results. While they may no longer excel defensively, their newfound attacking ability has become a defining feature of Atleti's recent performances.

Who are the key players to look out for?

Atleti's key players are obviously Griezmann and Morata, who, in the eyes of many, form the best striking duo in the world. Now that we've addressed the elephant in the room, I would say that Rodrigo De Paul, Samuel Lino, and Axel Witsel are key players to look out for. They've undoubtedly been some of Atleti's best and most crucial players this season. De Paul is finally starting to play like the player the club signed from Udinese and the player we watch in Argentina. Samuel Lino adapted very quickly to Simeone's system in a completely different position and has established himself as one of the best talents in the world; the way he dribbles, cuts inside, and does everything is just perfect. On top of all this, he had to deal with the pressure of succeeding Carrasco, especially after his departure. As for Axel Witsel, the 35-year-old had to completely transition from being a midfielder to a center-back, and he's done that very well. He is undoubtedly Atleti's best center-back this season and continues to perform consistently.

The preview of...

Atlético de Madrid-Sevilla FC, Copa del Rey quarter-final, kicking off at the Cívitas Metropolitano at 21:00 CET.


The teams have faced off 11 times in this competition, including the 2010 final at the Nou Camp, which went in our favour. Atlético saw revenge in 2013 when they beat us 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals, but we again emerged victorious from our last meeting in 2018, winning those quarter-finals 5-2 across two legs.

Opponent's cup run

Tonight's opposition gained direct entry into the Round of 32 given they qualified for the Spanish Super Cup.

Round of 32: Lugo 1-2 Atlético de Madrid

Round of 16: Atlético de Madrid 4-2 Real Madrid

Team news

Quique Sánchez Flores's matchday squad compromises of 22 players, including Marcos Acuña, who returns following several weeks out through injury Boubakary Soumaré, who was suspended for last weekend's trip to Girona. The full squad list is as follows: Dmitrovic, Nyland, Alberto Flores, Juanlu, Jesús Navas, Acuña, Pedrosa, Sergio Ramos, Badé, Nianzou, Marcao, Soumaré, Agoumé, Sow, Jordán, Rakitic, Óliver Torres, Suso, Ocampos, Lamela, Rafa Mir and Isaac. 

Match officials

The match will be officiated by Gil Manzano, who will be assisted by Hernández Hernández on VAR duty.