Atlético Madrid have been dealt a blow in their Liga title hopes after it was confirmed on Wednesday that Luis Suárez has picked up a muscle issue and could be out of action for three weeks. The Uruguay forward pulled up during Atlético’s morning session and is likely to miss his side’s Liga fixtures against Betis, Huesca, Athletic and Eibar as Atlético attempt to keep Barcelona and Real Madrid at arm’s length in their hunt for a first title league title since 2013-14.
Atlético are hopeful that Suárez will be available again for the fixture against Elche on 2 May but the club’s medical staff have not put an exact timescale on the striker’s return to fitness.
Suárez absence a conundrum for Simeone
Suárez has been instrumental in firing Atlético to the top of LaLiga this season after his summer move from Barcelona. The Uruguayan has scored 19 league goals in 2020-21, 10 more than the next most prolific member of Diego Simeone’s squad, Marcos Llorente. His lethal touch has been the difference between a draw and a win on several occasions and he has required just 35 shots to reach that tally. Only Leo Messi has scored more in LaLiga than his former teammate this season.
Diego Costa’s departure in December left Simeone without a back-up for Suárez and although Atlético moved swiftly to fill the void by signing Lyon striker Moussa Dembélé, the Frenchman has only managed 42 minutes of LaLiga action amid fitness issues and contracting covid-19.
The onus will now fall on João Félix and Ángel Correa in Sunday’s fixture against Betis with Llorente serving a one-match suspension. Beyond that Simeone will hope his supporting cast of attacking players such as Yannick Carrasco, Vitolo and Dembélé find their scoring boots after a run of three wins in eight Liga fixtures.