Atletico missing key men for Villarreal tie

Atletico Madrid midfielder Raul Garcia has every faith in the depth of his team's squad, believing they will manage without key personnel against Villrreal.

 Arda Turan (R) of Atletico de Madrid competes for

Top scorer Diego Costa has been ruled out of Saturday's home match after injuring his hamstring against Barcelona on Tuesday, while midfielder Arda Turan strained his groin during the 1-1 draw at the Nou Camp, and captain Gabi is suspended as Atletico seek to maintain their place at the top of the Primera Division.

"We have full confidence that every player can help the team," Garcia told reporters.

"This is a team in the true sense of the word because the players that play less often than the regulars always do a good job when ever they are needed."

However, Garcia admitted that his team could certainly do with having the three absent players available.

"We truly believe in every player in the squad but we're not going to hide the fact that these players are important for us," he said.

"These things can happen, especially at this stage of the season when you are competing at this level."

Garcia sat out the tense Champions League quarter-final first-leg encounter with Barca through suspension but is available to face Villarreal, while Diego Ribas, who came on as a substitute for the injured Costa to give Atletico the lead at the Nou Camp with a stunning goal, is expected to join him in the starting line-up on Saturday.

"We were all delighted for Diego, not just because of his goal, but for his entire performance," said Garcia.

"We weren't surprised though because he is capable of contributing a lot to the team and he knows that too. I hope he keeps playing this well, it would be great for the team."

Diego Simeone's side must win to retain top spot in the table but were only able to draw 1-1 with Villarreal earlier in the season.

However, Atleti head into Saturday's game in far superior form to Marcelino's side, having won five league games on the bounce, while Villarreal have taken just five points in as many matches.

The match sees goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo return to his parent club, but fellow Atletico loanee Oliver Torres is forbidden from playing according to the terms of his contract.

And Villarreal have even more significant problems than Atletico, with defender Mateo Musacchio and forwards Giovani Dos Santos and Ikechukwu all out with injuries, while defender Jaume Costa is suspended.



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