Atletico Madrid star Mario Mandzukic expected to face Real Madrid in crunch Champions League quarter-final clash

  • Atletico Madrid drew 0-0 with Real Madrid in first leg at Vicente Calderon 
  • Mandzukic was battered and bruised during the quarter-final match 
  • The Atletico striker came to blows with Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal
  • Diego Simeone says Mandzukic should be fit for Wednesday's second leg

By Tim Hanlon, Reuters

Published: 17:14 GMT, 21 April 2015 | Updated: 19:23 GMT, 21 April 2015

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Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic is still bruised from a physical Champions League quarter-final first leg against Real Madrid but is expected to be fit for the return at the Bernabeu on Wednesday, said coach Diego Simeone.

The Croatian suffered a cut to the top of the nose from an elbow by Sergio Ramos and fellow Real defender Dani Carvajal punched him in the stomach, an incident unseen by the referee, during the clash at the Calderon that ended 0-0.

Mandzukic also suffered an ankle injury that forced him to miss Saturday's 2-1 win at Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga but he is now back in training although showing the marks of his encounter with Ramos.

Mario Mandzukic was battered and bruised during Atletico Madrid's Champions League quarter-final tie

Mario Mandzukic was battered and bruised during Atletico Madrid's Champions League quarter-final tie

Atletico and rivals Real Madrid drew 0-0 in the first leg which was dominated by second half scraps

Atletico and rivals Real Madrid drew 0-0 in the first leg which was dominated by second half scraps

'We had a training session yesterday with two groups where we were making changes and he was fine,' Simeone told a news conference on Tuesday.

'We now have another training session where we expect him to be okay and I will base my plan, which I have fairly clearly in mind, around that.'

Mandzukic is favourite, ahead of Fernando Torres, to play in attack alongside Antoine Griezmann who took his time to settle in at Atletico but is now in a rich vein of form.

'He has developed a lot since he arrived and the goals that he has scored in La Liga show that,' said Simeone.

France international Griezmann hit both goals against Deportivo and has 20 in La Liga.

'He has adapted to a new position very well and is starting to show his potential. He is still young and he can improve but he is on the right lines to do that,' added Simeone.

Blood pours from the Croaface during the  quarter-final first leg in Madrid as he

Blood pours from Mandzukic's face during the Champions League quarter-final first leg in Madrid 

But Atletico manager Diego Simeone says Mandzukic should be fit for the second leg clash on Wednesday

But Atletico manager Diego Simeone says Mandzukic should be fit for the second leg clash on Wednesday

 

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