Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is reportedly facing the prospect of being without seven first-team players for their clash with Liverpool this month.
The two sides meet in the first leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie at the Wanda Metropolitano on February 18.
Before that, Atleti face Valencia on Friday night, and it remains to be seen just how many key individuals are missing for that encounter while others may be protected with the Liverpool clash in mind.
According to AS, seven players are currently facing a battle to be passed fit in time to feature, with Diego Costa, Joao Felix, Alvaro Morata, Kieran Trippier, Jose Gimenez, Santiago Arias and Hector Herrera all said to be doubts to feature in the first leg.
It’s added in the report that there is a sense of optimism that they will make progress over the next week, barring Trippier who is definitely ruled out, but time will tell if they step up their respective recoveries over the coming days and get the green light from the medical staff.
With such an important fixture coming up, it’s a nightmare scenario for Simeone as he will be desperate to be at full strength against the defending champions as they hope to take an advantage with them to Anfield for the second leg.
However, having scored just 23 goals in 23 La Liga games so far this season, they will surely desperately need either Costa or Morata back at least to give them some much-needed firepower in the final third to ensure that they give Liverpool something to worry about.
Time will tell who manages to recover in time and perhaps even gets minutes under their belt against Valencia later this week, but this is surely a very concerning picture for Atletico Madrid fans as they await some positive news.