Atletico being cautious with Antoine Griezmann ahead of United CL tie

Manchester United and Atletico Madrid are set to lock horns in their Champions League last-16 first leg in three weeks time.

But the La Liga champions are taking all the precautions to ensure their influential forward Antoine Griezmann is fit to face the Red Devils.

Diego Simeone’s side re-signed the World Cup winner from Barcelona on loan in the summer.

This came two years after the France international made the move the other way after the Catalans paid his £107m buyout clause (BBC Sport).

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From 22 appearances this season, Griezmann has eight goals and three assists to his name. The 30-year-old scored four of Atletico’s seven Champions League group stage goals.

But after picking up a muscle injury in the 2-0 defeat to arch rivals Real Madrid in mid-December, Griezmann has suffered setbacks in his recovery.

Ahead of Sunday night’s clash against Barcelona, who could leapfrog Los Colchoneros into fourth place with a win at the Nou Camp, Griezmann wasn’t pictured training alongside the returning Marcos Llorente and Geoffrey Kondogbia.

Although Griezmann has featured in recent training sessions, AS report that Griezmann’s situation is “getting more and more complicated” ahead of potentially featuring against his parent club, due to his physical condition.

Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

After picking up the muscle injury against Real Madrid on 12 December, Griezmann reappeared in the Copa del Rey clash against Rayo Majadahonda last month (6 January), but suffered a relapse of his previous injury.

Griezmann has missed the last four matches after suffering a reoccurrence of his muscle problems.

AS state: “Nobody wants him [Griezmann] to relapse again and have more problems, so his return could be for the next league day.

“United awaits in the Champions League on the 23rd, it is match marked in red on the Atletico calendar, and that match marks the calendar not only of Griezmann but of the whole team.”

Photo by Mateo Villalba/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

El Cholo’s team have three La Liga matches before United travel to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, but they are seemingly becoming increasingly cautious with Antoine Griezmann’s condition ahead of the Champions League tie.

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Passionate Football fan that completed a NCTJ-accredited Diploma in Multimedia Sports Journalism in 2016.