Atlético Madrid were nearing full health midweek, but enter Sunday’s match versus Levante with yet more selection question marks.
In Lisbon, Atlético clinched a spot in the Europa League semifinals — but it came at a cost. Diego Simeone lost Lucas Hernández (facial injury) and Diego Costa (hamstring) during the 1-0 loss to Sporting Clube de Portugal. While Lucas is in the squad to face Levante, Costa will be out for Atlético’s next few fixtures, with an obvious goal of returning for the first leg of the Europa League semifinal at Arsenal on April 26.
Levante struggled for much of this season but have been one of LaLiga’s hottest teams since Paco López’s appointment as coach on March 4. The Valencian side is unbeaten in five and essentially secured safety last week with a dramatic 2-1 win over Las Palmas. Despite that, the granotas still lie 17th in the table.
With Lucas back in the squad after his facial scare, it’s probable he gets the start or plays some role at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano. Thomas will miss out due to yellow card accumulation, which will perhaps open the door for Vitolo to make a third straight start. Costa’s absence will likely see the French Connection of Kévin Gameiro and Antoine Griezmann reunite in attack.
Atlético have never lost a home league match to Levante, and the visitors took points at Estadio Vicente Calderón just twice — in 2001 and 2005. A clean sheet on Sunday will run Atleti’s shutout streak at A Stadium Called Wanda to three months and keep alive hopes of an unbeaten league season at the new grounds.
Oblak; Vrsaljko, Giménez, Godín, Lucas; Koke, Saúl, Correa, Vitolo; Griezmann, Gameiro.
Atlético Madrid 2-1 Levante.
How to watch
Date: April 15, 2018
Location: Estadio Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain
Kickoff time: 16:15 CEST, 15:15 GMT/BST, 10:15 a.m. EST, 7:15 a.m. PST
SB Nation opposition blog: N/A
Available TV/streaming: beIN Sports LaLiga, Movistar+ (Spain), beIN Sports en Español, fuboTV (United States), beIN Sports MAX 7 (France), DAZN Europe (Germany), QQ Sports Live (China)
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