May 11, 2018 / 2:53 PM / 15 days ago

Soccer: Simeone rules out rotation against Getafe despite Europa final

MADRID (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone said he would not rest any players for Saturday’s penultimate Liga game away to Getafe, even with the Europa League final against Olympique de Marseille coming up on Wednesday.

Soccer Football - Europa League - Atletico Madrid Press Conference - Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - May 9, 2018 Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone during the press conference REUTERS/Sergio Perez

Atletico have already secured Champions League football for next season and their only motivation left in the remaining two games of the campaign is to stay second and finish above Real Madrid for the first time in four years.

Simeone’s side have 75 points to Real’s 72 and have a superior head-to-head record, meaning a win at Getafe would see them clinch second place, their highest finish since winning La Liga in 2014.

Atletico have the thinnest squad in the league after selling Yannick Carrasco and Nico Gaitan to Chinese club Dalian Yifang and letting goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya leave for Real Sociedad in February.

Injury to forward Vitolo means Simeone only has 16 first team outfield players available for Saturday but he ruled out rotating his side and drafting in extra personnel from the reserve team.

“The 16 players we have available will all be in the squad, we began this season with these players and we’ll finish it with them,” Simeone told a news conference.

“We’ll send out 10 players who have all played before and they’re going to compete. We’re going to try and make the most competitive team possible against an opponent that is having a fantastic season.”

Getafe won promotion back to the top flight last campaign and are eighth in the Liga standings, with a faint chance of unseating Sevilla who they trail by two points in seventh place, the final Europa League qualification spot.

“The only player who will not travel is Vitolo, otherwise the same players as always will play,” he added.

“This is like another final for us, we’re close to being second and that’s an important aim for the club as we always want to keep growing.”

Simeone added that Vitolo would be fit in time for the Europa League final.

The coach, however, will not be on the sidelines with his team on Wednesday in Lyon after his appeal against a four-game touchline ban in European football for being sent off in the semi-final first leg at Arsenal was rejected by UEFA.

The Argentine served the first of the four game ban in the second leg against Arsenal.

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis

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