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Atletico Madrid rest stars including Antoine Griezmann for Copa del Rey

Antoine Griezmann is among the players to sit out Wednesday's Copa del Rey game.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has rested stars including Antoine Griezmann and Koke for Wednesday's Copa del Rey round-of-32 first leg at Guijuelo, with five youth-team players called up.

Senior players Jan Oblak, Diego Godin, Juanfran, Gabi, Tiago and Kevin Gameiro have also been given the night off, with Atletico B youngsters Rober, Caio Henrique, Juan Moreno, Keidi Bare and Alberto given a chance to impress.

Guijuelo, a semi-professional side, are currently mid-table in their third tier regional division.

An Atletico club statement confirmed the squad news, with injured duo Fernando Torres and Filipe Luis also omitted, although the Brazilian left-back has stepped up his recovery from a muscle problem and could return for Saturday evening's La Liga game at home to Espanyol.

Guijuelo goalkeeper Carlos Morales, 20, also belongs to Atletico and will be unable to play due to a clause in his loan deal.

With Real Madrid's La Cultural Leonesa loanee Jose Leon having been in a similar situation before being granted permission to play, Morales told AS he was hopeful Atletico would follow in their city rivals' footsteps. 

"I really want to learn if I can play or not," Morales said. "I'm all the time looking at my phone to see if there's any good news. If I can play it would be very exciting. If not I would be annoyed, but I'd accept the decision of the club."

Atletico midfielder Saul Niguez, 22, is a former colleague of Morales with the Rojiblancos' youth setup but is now a key first-team player in Simeone's side.

He told AS that the aim for the competition this season was to repeat their victory in 2013, when they won the final at Real Madrid's Bernabeu stadium.

"The Copa is very important and a very nice competition," Saul said. "It is what gave us our first win at the Santiago Bernabeu and we want to fight for it."

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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