Atlético Madrid have been forced to cancel training and any pre-match gathering ahead of their game against Celta Vigo at the Wanda Metropolitano on Monday night. Yannick Carrasco is back for the rojiblancos after recently going through LaLiga’s coronavirus protocol but Mario Hermoso, João Félix and Moussa Dembélé are all out for the game.
The players are being forced to make their own way to the stadium on Monday night over fears of spreading the infection further, with Spanish media reporting two new cases of coronavirus within the squad.
According to Deportes Cuatro — and since confirmed by the club — Héctor Herrera and Thomas Lemar are the two latest members of the team to return positive results, mere hours before kickoff. The two players’ absences would leave Simeone short several of his first-choice attackers. B-teamers Mario Soriano and Óscar Castro will reportedly replace the two players in the squad for Monday’s game.
Several first-team players have already contracted the virus, along with Diego Simeone, but the possibility of more positive results after the most recent round of testing has forced Atlético to alter their plans entirely.
LaLiga’s protocol stipulates that a game will be postponed if a team has less than 13 players available with at least five first-team members. A game cannot be postponed a second time, with the affected club giving a walkover if they can not fill the requirements on the game’s makeup date.
The timing for Herrera and Lemar’s infections looks even worse considering Atlético play Chelsea in 15 days’ time. The duo will be hard-pressed to regain fitness in time for the first leg of that Champions League tie.