Tonight sees Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano. The hosts have been in poor form domestically and will be looking to make up for that in European competition. Thankfully for Liverpool, Diego Simeone has issued a pessimistic Diego Costa injury update.
The Reds will be journeying to the stadium which hosted their recent Champions League triumph.
It will also be a fully fit Liverpool side with Jürgen Klopp in a position to play his strongest XI for the first time this season.
Atletico Madrid however are not as lucky.
The Madrid side have had to contend with injuries to Alvaro Morata, Diego Costa and Joao Felix in recent months.
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Although Morata and Felix are thought to be fit enough for the squad, Costa is less certain.
The Liverpool ECHO reported Diego Simeone’s Diego Costa injury update, with the gaffer saying:
“He is improving, not sure if he will make the squad but he is training with the group and is in contention.”
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This doesn’t sound like the most optimistic news from Simeone.
If he isn’t even certain that Costa can make the squad, then we can’t be expecting him to start. If he does start then Virgil van Dijk will make mincemeat out of him in a 50/50 challenge.
With Costa either too injured to play or too frail to make an impact if he does start, Liverpool have been given a massive boost ahead of the game.
Costa is the one Atletico forward with the most experience of playing against a Premier League defence, although he has never played against a Premier League defence as good as this one.
His tenacity, gamesmanship and instinctive poaching ability will be sorely missed for the hosts.