Madrid: Atletico Madrid playmaker Arda Turan is out of Wednesday’s Champions League quarter final, second leg at home to Barcelona but forward Diego Costa has been included in the squad, the La Liga leaders said on Tuesday.
Arda has not managed to shake off a groin problem, while coach Diego Simeone remains hopeful Costa will have recovered sufficiently from a thigh muscle strain to play a part in the match at the Calderon.
Simeone said if Costa was unavailable his place in the starting line-up would be taken by Adrian, with David Villa likely to partner him up front.
“I have every confidence in him (Adrian),” Simeone told a news conference. “He is in good form, he has given us a great deal these past few seasons and I am sure that tomorrow he will get a goal,” added the Argentine.
Atletico have a fine record in recent European appearances at home, having won 16 of their last 17 matches at the Calderon, including four in a row this season.
However, they have not beaten Barca there since February 2010 and the Catalan club are unbeaten in five visits since.
“I am expecting an emotional match, with two contrasting ways of playing,” Simeone said.
“One that relies on talent, possession and with a recent history of success, and ours based on humility, heart, effort and counter attacks.
“We will see who is the strongest in this battle of styles.”
Barca and Atletico are also battling it out for the La Liga title and leaders Atletico have a one-point advantage over second-placed Barca with six games left.
Barca playmaker Cesc Fabregas expects another tough game on Wednesday but is confident he and his teammates can find a way through Atletico’s miserly back line. “Atletico have one of the strongest defences around,” Fabregas told a news conference on Tuesday.
“It is going to be very difficult but we have the technical ability and talent to beat them,” added the Spain international. “We have played four very close and tough games and we have been thinking hard about how to do them damage.
“Tomorrow we need to be courageous and be very true to the Barca playing philosophy.”
Andres Iniesta says it will be special to play his 500th game for the club. Iniesta made his Barca debut against Bruges in the Champions League in October 2002, and will now reach the landmark at Atletico's Estadio Vicente Calderon, in the return game of a tie.
“It is something very special, which makes me very happy,” Iniesta said. “I want to say that the years pass and you keep competing and feeling good. This the hardest club to play for.”
Iniesta said that Barca — who have drawn all four games against Atletico so far this season — would need to play a “perfect game” at the Calderon to progress.