Atletico Madrid can stop Messi, says Diego Costa

The Brazil-born attacker is eagerly anticipating Saturday's encounter and has stressed the Vicente Calderon side do not fear the Argentine forward
Diego Costa is confident that Atletico Madrid have the players to stop Lionel Messi ahead of this weekend's La Liga clash against Barcelona.

The Argentina international returned to match action, scoring a double in Barcelona's Copa del Rey win over Getafe on Wednesday after a two-month injury lay-off.

Nevertheless, Costa has insisted that Atleti do not fear Messi as he is confident his side's defence is up to the task of nullifying the 26-year-old's threat.

"Messi is Messi. We all missed him while he was out. It’ll be nice to have him up against us. He’ll be up for it after being out for so long," Diego Costa told AS.

"But we will be making it difficult for him, we have players at the back who are capable of stopping him.

"It’s going to be a difficult game against an opponent who have some of the world’s best players. But we are at home and we can make life difficult for them."

Atletico and Barcelona currently sit joint first in La Liga with 49 points from 18 games.