Atletico’s Costa to start vs Alaves; Saul, Griezmann out of squad

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Madrid, April 28 (IANS) Atletico Madrid’s forward Diego Costa is to start a La Liga match against Alaves after recovering from a hamstring injury that kept him on the sideline for four games, coach Diego Simeone said on Saturday.

Costa was on the bench during Atletico Madrid’s away 1-1 draw against Arsenal in the Europa League semi-final first leg, but he did not appear in the game, reports Efe.

“We talked with Costa to see how he feels. He was getting ready to play on Thursday, but I did not think his participation was a necessity,” Simeone said at a press conference.

“Tomorrow surely he will start the game and we will see how he feels during the match,” he added.

Simeone also revealed that forward Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Saul Ñiguez are to be left out of his roster for the La Liga game after the big effort both have been putting in lately.

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Atletico’s goal keeper Jan Oblak is to be also sidelined with calf discomfort, as well as suspended Jose Maria Gimenez, and injured Filipe Luis and Juanfran Torres.

Axel Werner is expected to replace the Slovenian Oblak, a month after he last started in Atletico’s 5-1 away win against Lokomotiv in the second leg of the Europa League round of 16 against on March 15.

Werner only took part in one other match with Atletico; in the first leg of the same tie, played at the Wanda Metropolitano (3-0).With these absences, Simeone has only 13 first team players available for the Sunday game, so he has to call five of the reserve team.

–IANS

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