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Atletico Madrid superstar misses training ahead of Bayer Leverkusen clash

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Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

After narrowly beating FC Porto on the opening matchday of the UEFA Champions League, Atletico Madrid are set to face another daunting test as they take on Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

A win for Los Colchoneros could go a long way in helping them gain an early headstart in their quest to top the group.

However, heading into this game, Atleti have been dealt a major blow as their star goalkeeper Jan Oblak did not train with the team. His participation in the Leverkusen tie remains uncertain, and the player will be tested tomorrow morning to see whether or not he will be available, reports Carrusel Deportivo.

Oblak was included in the team that travelled to Bay Arena, but the goalkeeper appears to be struggling with a bruise on his left thigh. He did not feature in the recent game against Celta Vigo, and it is plausible that he could miss out once again – this time against Leverkusen.

Oblak’s potential absence could serve as a major blow for Atletico Madrid, especially against a sharp attacking Leverkusen side that boast the services of Patrik Schick, Moussa Diaby and Adam Hlozek.

The Slovenian international has not been at the top of his game for a while now. But he remains one of the most highly-rated goalkeepers in the world. His shot-stopping ability, therefore, could come in handy for Atleti ahead of the Leverkusen encounter.

In case Oblak does miss out, Atletico Madrid have Ivo Grbic as the desired replacement. Formerly of LOSC Lille, the 26-year-old has only featured in three competitive matches for Atleti since joining the club in 2020.

Despite his lack of game-time, Diego Simeone will be banking on Grbic to fill the gap once again and help the capital outfit keep a clean sheet, although that is a tall order up against a Leverkusen side boasting unlimited wealth going forward.

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Atletico Madrid News

Ancelotti talks Courtois, Militao, Bellingham, VAR controversies ahead of Las Palmas vs Real Madrid

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Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images

Coming off a highly controversial game against Almeria, Real Madrid will now travel to Gran Canaria to take on Las Palmas tomorrow as part of the early kick-off.

Carlo Ancelotti spoke about the clash tomorrow, starting off by confirming his goalkeeper for tomorrow, “Lunin will start tomorrow.”

He also added that Madrid were looking to get back to their usual level after back-to-back poor performances, one of which included elimination against Atletico Madrid in the Copa del Rey round of 16.

“We are motivated to return to our best level after 2 bad games.”

The Italian gaffer also commented on the biggest football story in the world today, which was Jurgen Klopp announcing his decision to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

“It’s quite surprising, I understand. Working for a long time with the same club and players lowers your motivation a bit. He’s doing a fantastic job at Liverpool.”

And of course, Ancelotti also spoke about the leaked VAR audiovisual, some of which are highly controversial for all parties involved. Barcelona coach and players have also commented on the same, in light of the Negreira case.

“They have talked a lot. Everyone knows what has happened in the last 20 years in Spanish football. The Civil Guard is carrying out an investigations. That is the real problem of Spanish football.”

Luckily for the manager and fans, all injured players — minus the ACL trio of David Alaba, Eder Militao, and Thibaut Courtois — are available. Jude Bellingham is suspended, however.

“Everyone is available now after the recent period of injuries.”

“Making up for Bellingham’s absence tomorrow? Brahim and Joselu are available options. They were able to show themselves after I relied on them as substitutes,” he added.

And as far as Militao and Courtois are concerned, both of whom tore their ACL early in the season, Ancelotti suggested that they could make their return before the season ends.

“Courtois and Militão both have the option to play this season. The recovery process is going very well, they are training on an individual level. It is February and these types of injuries last 6-8 months, so I think they will recover before the end of the season.”

Source: Mundo Deportivo

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