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Atletico Madrid superstar misses training ahead of Bayer Leverkusen clash



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

Atletico Madrid midfielder on the derby against Real Madrid: “Very difficult to beat them”



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

Following a 1-1 draw in their Champions League opener against Lazio, Atletico Madrid will shift all their attention to La Liga, as they brace themselves for the derby against Real Madrid this weekend.

Heading into this game, Atleti midfielder Marcos Llorente spoke about Real Madrid’s quality and Atletico Madrid’s chances of squeezing all three points from this iconic derby.

Llorente on Madrid derby

“The sensations are good. The team is very good, the other day we played a great game despite ending up drawing. I really think that the team did a great job that must be maintained for this match,” Llorente said in an interview with Diario AS.

When asked whether or not Real Madrid being tagged as favourites could aid Atleti, the midfielder said, “Honestly, it neither motivates me nor demotivates me. We simply have to do what we work on during the week, what the coach asks of us.”

Llorente stressed the importance of the game, adding, “It is a great rival we have in front of us, they are having a very good start to the season and that motivates me and everyone to try to play a good game.”

Real Madrid is a great club, they have great players and it is very difficult to beat them. I think we have competed, we have also achieved several draws, but in the end, either you go out one hundred percent and do things very, very well or it is difficult to beat them,” he added.

A former member of the Real Madrid youth academy, Llorente joined Atletico Madrid in 2019. Since then, he has racked up over 150 competitive appearances for Los Colchoneros.

Llorente, though, said he feels no sense of vindication when he performs well against his former team.

“No. In the end, it’s been many years since I left there and I’m at Atlético. Perhaps in the first years, those types of feelings and sensations can arise, but today they no longer do,” he said.

Marcos Llorente confident of Atletico Madrid’s chances ahead of the derby (Photo by FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

Llorente on Vinicius, Koke & Bellingham

The Atletico Madrid star went on to talk about other aspects of the game, including the fact that his team had one less player every time they faced Real Madrid last season.

“I have zero worries. These are things that are not in our remit, that escape our hands. We play football, the referees referee and those who have to decide decide,” he said.

Llorente, in fact, said that the return of Koke could be a real boost for Atleti. “It is always good that Koke is with us, both on the field and in the day-to-day life of the game,” he said.

“Beyond the grass. The support he gives, the advice he gives us, his experience. it is always important to have him and it is great news that he is already training with us,” he added.

Talking about the absence of Vinicius Junior and the form of Jude Bellingham, Llorente said, “Well, you have to be careful with everyone. All Real Madrid players are very good and can make a difference at any moment of the game. Bellingham is having a great start and we have to take that into account and be very focused.”

Finally, Marcos Llorente put out a message for all the Atletico Madrid fans, claiming their support ahead of this crucial encounter this weekend.

“It will be a full house as always. We don’t have to tell them anything, they know the importance of this match for Atlético, we know that they never fail, they are always supporting us and we count on them,” he said.

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