Atletico Madrid’s big injury boost for Liverpool trip despite two doubts

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Diego Simeone could call upon a fully fit Atletico Madrid squad for Wednesday night’s Champions League decider at Anfield, despite two key doubts in the buildup.

Atleti will travel to Merseyside on Tuesday morning as they aim to build on their 1-0 win in the first leg and knock out the defending European champions.

Liverpool are hoping for another famous Anfield night following the disappointment of their defeat in Madrid, and having returned to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday will take confidence into the tie.

Jurgen Klopp is expecting Jordan Henderson back for the Reds’ last-16 decider, but Alisson and Xherdan Shaqiri are set to miss out, with Adrian filling in between the sticks.

Simeone, meanwhile, may be forced to make a difficult decision when he names his travelling squad, with no major injury concerns to report.

Alvaro Morata missed training on Monday morning due to a thigh injury, but according to AS both he and Thomas Lemar are likely to be available, with the Spaniard “expected to play in good condition.”

Morata and Lemar are Atleti’s only doubts, with Renan Lodi back among the group.

Kieran Trippier is fit after a long-term groin injury, with the right-back having played the last three games including 90 minutes in back-to-back draws with Espanyol and Sevilla.

Kieran Trippier and Vitolo celebrates a goal during the UEFA Champions League group D match between Atletico Madrid and Juventus at Wanda Metropolitano on September 18, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Rubén de la Fuente Pérez/NurPhoto)

Atleti could field a full-strength side at Anfield, with Simeone likely to push for another victory rather than hold onto the one-goal lead established last time out.

Jan Oblak should start behind a back four of Trippier, Jose Gimenez, Felipe and Lodi, with Thomas Partey back from suspension to partner Saul Niguez in midfield, Koke and Angel Correa out wide and Morata starting alongside Joao Felix up front.

Meanwhile, Spanish publication Marca have outlined their “Anfield formula,” highlighting Diego Costa as a possible key man to “sow panic” in a Liverpool back line they deem to have “weaknesses.”

Costa came off the bench in the first leg at the Wanda Metropolitano, but has only scored twice in 18 outings so far this season, with six of those appearances coming as a substitute.

Atletico’s 2-2 draw with Sevilla on Saturday leaves them fifth in LaLiga and 11 points off second-placed Real Madrid, with Real Sociedad able to leaprfrog them with a win at Eibar on Tuesday night.

Possible Atleti XI vs. Liverpool: Oblak; Trippier, Gimenez, Felipe, Lodi; Correa, Saul, Thomas, Koke; Felix, Morata

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