Atlético Madrid wait on Marcos Llorente for Liverpool clash
Marcos Llorente trained alongside one of the club's fitness trainers. He is not completely ruled out for the Liverpool game but it looks unlikely he will be fit.
The Atlético Madrid squad rested on Thursday but several players decided to turn up anyway at the club's Cerro del Espino complex in Majadahonda. A few of them exercised voluntarily out in the sunshine alongside the reserves. Griezmann, Carrasco, Koke and Trippier took part in an intense workout with the ball, supervised by Simeone who kept them busy with a series of passing drills to speed up circulation of the ball.
Marcos Llorente also trained, but not with his team mates. The midfielder trained alongside one of the club's fitness trainers. He picked up a hamstring injury during Atleti's last outing against Barcelona 11 days ago and is now fighting to be fit for the next week's Champions League meeting with Liverpool. He won't be risked for that game, even though playing against Liverpool will always be special for him. It was his performance against Klopp's team just over 18 months ago which completely transformed his fortunes at Atleti.
Magical night at Anfield, the turning point for Llorente
The player told Cadena SER this week that beating Liverpool, then the defending European champions, last year in front of a sell-out Anfield and to score twice, was a night he will never forget. "That game was definitely a turning point for me, and left a mark on. As I have always said, it was the best night of my life as a footballer. I don't think I will experience the emotions I felt that night ever again. My situation at the time was very different to how it is today. After that night, everything changed for me at the club and I also was later called up by the national team. I will take that game with me to my grave".
He also gave an update on how he is progressing with his injury. "My recovery is going really well. I don't know whether I will make this first game against Liverpool at the Metropolitano, I would only have a few training sessions with the team and I won't know how I'll feel until I'm back in full training. It'll depend on how my injury evolves over the next few days, the pains and everything else, I might make it, or I might not".
Llorente has five days ahead of him to gauge how he feels and make a decision as to whether he would risk returning to the team. If he doesn't play, his absence will be a headache for Simeone, as Llorente has been in the starting XI for all of Atleti's 10 official games so far this season (eight in LaLiga and two in the Champions League). One of his qualities that would be missed is his versatility - he has filled in at right-back, central midfield, in a holding position or in a more advanced role, just behind the forwards. Simeone has capitalised on Llorente's ability to adapt ever since that famous night in Anfield.
El Cholo take each games as it comes and similarly, Marcos Llorente will be taking every training session between now and Tuesday one at a time. Friday's session will be a chance to see how he comfortable he feels, then he will take it from there. For Atlético, the Liverpool game is vitally important, we will have to wait and see if Simeone can count on one of his key players for it.