Saturday, August 18, 2018

Vitolo available for Europa League final

SoccerNews in La Liga 11 May 2018

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Vitolo will be available for Atletico Madrid in Wednesday’s Europa League final with Marseille.

The winger had been facing a fitness battle after suffering a hamstring injury in Atletico’s surprise 2-0 defeat to Espanyol at the Wanda Metropolitano last time out.

But he is in contention to play in the showpiece in Lyon, though he will not feature in Saturday’s LaLiga visit to Getafe, while Juanfran has also shaken off a hamstring problem.

Asked if performances in this weekend’s fixture will impact his selection for the final, Simeone told a media conference: “I live in the present, just thinking at the game ahead, all of my seventeen players can play, including Victor [Vitolo], who will be available for the final.

“We know better than anyone else that three minutes in a final can change everything. So we need all of our seventeen players available.”

Atletico are three points clear of city rivals Real Madrid in the race for second place behind unbeaten champions Barcelona.

Simeone refused to reflect on whether a runners-up finish and the second Europa League trophy of his tenure would serve as a successful season for the Rojiblancos, keeping his focus squarely on neighbours Getafe.

“I have too many things in my head right now, no time to think about that, I choose to focus on tomorrow’s game,” he added. 

“I will try to choose the most competitive team, we will play with a strong team that does a great job in defence, a really well-balanced team that is great for counter-attacks.”

The Argentine also would not discuss the potential frustration of having only three days to prepare for Marseille, adding: “I can’t focus on situations like this.

“I understand that it’s almost impossible for the guys who decide this to keep everybody happy, there will always be somebody unhappy, we’re okay if they just do things with common sense.”

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