Monday, February 24, 2014

Osasuna-Atletico Madrid Preview: Costa dilemma for Simeone

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa celebrates a goal

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone faces a selection dilemma over whether to include Diego Costa for Sunday's La Liga clash with Osasuna.

The striker has been instrumental in Atleti's excellent campaign so far, scoring 27 goals in all competitions and helping the Rojiblancos keep pace with Barcelona and Real Madrid in an enthralling title race.

Costa heads into the match in good form, too, having found the net in Saturday's 3-0 success over Real Valladolid and again in the 1-0 Champions League win at AC Milan on Wednesday.

However, with the Brazilian-born forward one yellow card away from suspension, Simeone may opt to rest Costa and save him for the potentially pivotal derby clash with Madrid a week on Sunday.

Elsewhere, defender Filipe Luis and midfielder Tiago are poised to return for Atleti, but Javier Manquillo is still out with a neck injury.

Meanwhile, Osasuna remain without midfielders Miguel de las Cuevas (toe) and Patxi Punal (leg), while long-term absentees Nino and Sisi (both knee) are still on the sidelines.

Javi Garcia's men are only five points above the relegation zone, but have lost just two of their last nine La Liga outings, holding Madrid to a 2-2 draw at the start of that run.

Despite their improved form, Osasuna remain highly vulnerable at the back, as evidenced by recent 5-1 and 3-1 defeats to Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal, respectively.

Osasuna-Atletico Madrid Preview: Costa dilemma for Simeone Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown

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