Atlético Madrid will welcome Real Betis to the Wanda Metropolitano in the last game of a difficult spell that saw them play five times in just over two weeks. They have remained unbeaten in those games, with wins over Monaco, Getafe, Huesca and Club Brugge along with a draw at Real Madrid in the Santiago Bernebeu.
The run has taken its toll though, and Diego Costa and Jose Giménez were absent from training Thursday morning. Both players were taken off against the Belgian side at the Wanda on Wednesday night as the Uruguayan in particular continues to struggle for fitness.
Costa has started every game during this recent run but finished just two. He has a history of hamstring issues, but there has been no official announcement from the club as to how long he will miss. He was not named in Luis Enrique’s squad and will have almost two weeks to recover from what ails him during the international break.
Koke recalled to the Spain squad alongside Rodri and Saúl
Speaking of the Spain squad, Luis Enrique chose his footballers to play England and Wales next week and Koke is back in the team. He will join up with Saúl and Rodri as Atlético’s midfield looks set to be the Spain midfield for the next several years.
Koke missed out on the initial squad named by Luis Enrique that played and beat both England and Croatia last month. He said he would work hard to get back into his plans, and his goal against Club Brugge capped a nice spell for the midfielder as he tries to adjust to a new leadership role following Gabi’s departure.