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Diego Costa & Alvaro Morata available for Atletico’s showdown with Barca

Diego Costa, Alvaro Morata, Diego Simeone, Atletico Madrid
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Atletico Madrid have received a vital boost ahead of their top of the table clash at Barcelona after both Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata were passed as fit.

Both strikers had been big doubts for Atletico’s visit to Camp Nou tonight in La Liga amid injury problems.

Costa picked up a hamstring problem in last weekend’s 4-0 victory at Deportivo Alaves after doubling their lead. The former Chelsea star was taken off at half-time and didn’t reappear.

Hence, Costa was ruled out of Atletico’s 2-0 win against Girona on Tuesday and had been doubtful for the Barcelona match.

On the other hand, Morata sustained a sprained ankle on Tuesday and seemed set to join Costa on the sidelines this weekend.

But the loan forward, who had been a target for Barcelona during the January transfer window, has been passed fit along with Costa.

“Good news! Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata have received the medical all-clear and will be available for Barca-Atleti,” read a club statement on Twitter.

Speaking in a pre-match conference on Friday, Atletico boss Diego Simeone had been hopeful of including the pair in his team for the trip to Catalonia.

“In principle, both players are fit [Costa and Morata], and from here we’ll decide who plays,” Simeone told reporters.

“It depends on how we see the game and what we believe will be necessary. Then we’ll decide if the three forwards will play together or not.”

Although French midfielder Thomas Lemar will remain sidelined for Atletico due to a thigh injury ahead of a crucial moment in the club’s campaign.

As things stand, Atletico trail leaders Barcelona by eight points in La Liga heading into the final eight fixtures and know that victory is a must if they are to retain their slim title hopes.

But history isn’t on their side at Camp Nou, with Simeone having only won twice in 24 attempts. While Atletico last tasted victory at Barcelona in February 2006 under Jose Murcia.

The Barcelona and Atletico game will begin at 20:45 (CET).