Atletico Madrid are nervously awaiting the well-being of talisman Antoine Griezmann ahead of their Champions League clash with Manchester United.
The two giants of their respective countries will lock horns over two legs to see which advances to the quarter-finals, but Atleti remain wary of using the Frenchman.
With the start of the knockout stages of Europe’s elite competition looming on the horizon, fears of a recurring muscle problem are growing.
Spanish news agency HOW have reported: “No one wants him [Griezmann] relapsing again and having further problems so that his return could be made for the next day of the league.
“United expect the 23rd in the Champions League, it’s a game marked in red on the Atletico calendar and this game not only marks Griezmann’s calendar but the whole team.”
He picked up the problem in the derby against Real Madrid in mid-December but saw the problem flare up again a month ago in the cup clash with Rayo Majadahonda.
United’s Premier League rivals Liverpool have already found the quality of world champions after yielding a brace in the 3-2 defeat by the Merseyside side but it ended early for the 30-year-old, who showed received a red card for a high foul on Roberto Firmino.
The latest concerns have been raised by the absence of the clinical finisher in preparations for Sunday’s clash against Griezmann’s parent club Barcelona, in what has been speculated to be the fierce Argentinian boss’s latest precautionary measure to keep him injury-free for the month’s clash.
It is an away first leg for Ralf Rangnick’s side before the Spaniards return to England a fortnight later.
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