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Memphis appears hopeful of playing in Atlético’s clash with Barcelona

The Dutch star might be close to a return from injury, but will he be back in time for Sunday’s partidazo?

Atletico de Madrid v Valencia CF - LaLiga Santander Photo by Ruben de la Fuente Perez/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Atlético Madrid forward Memphis took to social media on Thursday to post a quartet of gym workout photos, perhaps hinting that he is close to making his return from injury this weekend against FC Barcelona.

Memphis has missed nearly a month of action since picking up a hamstring injury while on international duty with the Netherlands. The 28-year-old hasn’t played in any of Atlético’s past three games, and though the Rojiblancos have continued to win, they have missed Memphis’s strength and ability to find space in the final third.

Those qualities will be important against a Barcelona defense that has shipped only two goals in 14 home games this season. Memphis’s former club are on course to win its first league title in four years, but the Blaugrana’s form has tailed off in recent weeks, perhaps (optimistically) just in time for Atlético to record a first win at Camp Nou Spotify since 2006.

Atleti still seem to be playing it safe with Memphis, who trained individually on Friday and as of now seems unlikely to play, let alone start Sunday’s match. Diego Simeone’s idea is to keep the Antoine Griezmann-Ángel Correa pair in attack following a successful outing against Almería last weekend.

Meanwhile, Marcos Llorente will be suspended for yellow card accumulation after the club lodged an unsuccessful appeal of the booking he received late in the 2-1 victory over Almería. Thomas Lemar, who didn’t play in that match, looks well-positioned to take Llorente’s place in the 11.

At the back, Stefan Savić has been cleared to return to Simeone’s defense after he missed last Sunday’s game with back soreness.