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Simeone to make late call on key duo

23 May 2014 19:20

Diego Simeone will make a late decision on the involvement of Diego Costa and Arda Turan before Saturday's UEFA Champions League final.

Atleti meet fierce rivals Real Madrid in the final of Europe's premier club competition, with head coach Simeone attempting to orchestrate a famous double after guiding the team to a first La Liga triumph since 1996.

However, their chances of winning the clash at Estadio da Luz are hindered by doubts over two of their most influential players in the form of top scorer Costa and winger Turan.

Spain striker Costa - who has eight goals in the competition - limped out of a 1-1 draw at Barcelona last Sunday that secured the title, while the latter injured his hip in the same fixture

Simeone now has to decide whether to gamble with the duo's fitness, but is confident that whichever players are selected will be fully prepared for the battle.

"We will examine Diego Costa and the other injury doubts today," Simeone said at his pre-match press conference on Friday.

"They trained better yesterday but we have to see how they feel. Costa and Arda are important players but they are just names, it will either be them playing or two others who know who they are."

Despite the fixture marking one of the biggest in Atleti's history, Simeone insists he is able to deal with the weight of expectation, and the 44-year-old took the time to praise his squad for their drastic improvements since he took the reins at Vicente Calderon in December 2011.

He added: "I don't feel as overwhelmed as some people seem to think but I feel the weight of responsibility on my shoulders.

"I am feeling good, I feel responsible but all I care about is the game itself. That's what I have to do, focus on the match and ignore everyone else - seeing all these people I know it's a big match.

"These players have impressed us in the last two years with their efforts. I cannot thank them enough, they have managed to represent what me coaching team feel for the game - passion, unity, devotion - which takes them above the level of mere athletes.

"In terms of motivation, outside pressures make it easier to focus. We have to ignore those factors when we play, though.

"We don't know how Madrid will play, we've worked with different possibilities and we will try to block them and find a way to control the match the way we need."

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Info

Competition
UEFA Champions League
Date
24 May 2014
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
0 - 1
Full-time
1 - 1
Extra-time
4 - 1

Goals

0 - 1
36' D. Godín
 (assist by Juanfran)
Sergio Ramos 90'+3
(assist by L. Modrić) 
1 - 1
G. Bale 110'  
2 - 1
Marcelo 118'  
3 - 1
Cristiano Ronaldo (PG) 120'  
4 - 1

Lineups

# Player Bookings
1
4 27' 90+3'
5
15
2 120+3'
19
6 45+1'
11 110'
22
7 120' 120+1'
9
Coach: C. Ancelotti
# Player Bookings
13
23 53'
20 74'
3
2 36' 120'
5
14 100'
8 27'
6 86'
9 72'
19
Coach: D. Simeone

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
12 118' 118'
23
21
3
17
24
25
# Player Bookings
7
24
12
1
4
11
26

Friday 19 September

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