Trippier raring to go for Atletico after ban put on hold
Coach Simeone says the England defender is in good shape and really looking forward to playing
Madrid - Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone says Kieran Trippier is ready to return to action for the first time at home to Sevilla on Tuesday after his suspension for violating betting rules in England was put on hold.
The England defender missed Atletico’s league wins over Getafe and Alaves after being suspended for 10 weeks by the English FA for sharing details of his move to the Spanish side from Tottenham Hotspur with friends who placed bets on it.
World organising body Fifa placed the ban on hold at the start of January, pending an appeal lodged by Atletico. Trippier, who had played every single minute in La Liga and the Champions League before his ban, was due to return against Athletic Bilbao on Saturday though the game was called off due to the snowstorm in Madrid over the weekend.
“Trippier is in very good shape and is really looking forward to playing, he is raring to go,” Simeone told a news conference. “Sime [Vrsaljko, Atletico’s other right-back] is also competing well although he has different characteristics, and we’ll decide who plays tomorrow.”
The thick snow levels led the team to train at the Wanda Metropolitano stadium on Monday instead of at their training ground though Simeone said the pitch was in a good state after groundsmen cleared the heavy snow.
Atletico managed to stay top of La Liga despite not playing as second-placed Real Madrid drew 0-0 with Osasuna and victory against Sevilla would take them four points clear of their local rivals with two games in hand.
Sevilla are in excellent form, unbeaten in all competitions since December 5 and winning seven of their past nine games.
“We know they’ll come here to compete properly, they are on a roll at the moment,” Simeone said of Julen Lopetegui’s side, who are sixth in the standings, eight points behind Atletico.
“They are getting better with every game, they have strengthened well and have a great squad which I’m sure will be fighting to win the league until the end of the season.”
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