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Costa back fit, Godin unavailable for Barca clash

Atletico Madrid’s Diego Costa returns from injury to face Barcelona on Saturday © AFP / GABRIEL BOUYS

MADRID, Spain, Nov 20 Striker Diego Costa returned to training on Tuesday but defender Diego Godin will miss Atletico Madrid’s top-of-the-table clash with Barcelona this weekend.

Former Chelsea forward Costa has been suffering from a foot injury which kept him out Spain’s recent fixtures against Croatia and Bosnia, but photos on the club’s website showed him training.

Uruguayan Godin has a problem with his thigh and the 124-time capped international missed his country’s friendlies against Brazil and France.

“I know what I have, I know myself, I know my body, it is a tear that will take a few weeks, 20 days or a month,” Godin told Marca.

Left-back Lucas Hernandez is fit for the fixture between table-topping Barca and third-placed Atletico but central defender Jose Maria Gimenez is a doubt to face the La Liga champions.

Coach Diego Simeone faces a selection headache at the heart of his defence with Montenegro’s Stefan Savic also out with a calf issue.

Simeone admitted he would have to call up Atletico B teenager Francisco Montero or move Saul Niguez from his usual position in central midfield.

“It is possible that Montero will play while there is also the chance that Saul will play at centre-half which he has done in several games,” the Argentinian boss said.

The Wanda Metropolitano’s pitch has been replaced in time for Saturday’s game.

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After Atletico’s 1-1 draw at Monaco on November 11, Costa criticised the surface which was laid only last September.

“The pitch is shameful, it’s fatal,” Costa told El Mundo.

“Wanda’s turf is horrible, we can not have such a bad pitch,” he added.

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