News Live Scores
Atlético Madrid

Joao Felix set for Madrid derby appearance as Simeone allays injury fears

6:51 AM MYT 26/07/2019
Joao Felix Atletico Madrid
The Portugal international was forced off after less than half an hour of his debut for the La Liga outfit following his move from Benfica

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has confirmed that new signing Joao Felix's injury is not as serious as feared, and that the teenager could feature in their derby clash with Real Madrid on Friday.

The 19-year-old lasted less than half an hour of his debut clash against Numancia after picking up a hip problem, and subsequently sat out of their International Champions Cup encounter with Guadalajara.

But the Portugal international could be set to make a speedy return to action after his coach indicated that the former Benfica man could make the team to face Los Blancos this week.

"He's a little hurt. It's an annoying blow, but we need it to be fine," Simeone told the media ahead of the encounter, which is set to be played at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey as part of the pair's continued pre-season preparations.

"He trained in the morning without problems. I imagine tomorrow he will play for a while or start from the beginning."

Felix joined the ranks at Wanda Metropolitano during the off-season as a replacement for the outgoing Antoine Griezmann, following a fine breakout season in his home country.

Simeone has also added that he expects Diego Costa to reward the faith shown in him despite a difficult domestic campaign last season, with the Brazil-born Spain international only netting two goals in La Liga.

"Diego heard me speak in times of difficulty," the manager added. "I don't change a comma in everything I think. I am convinced that it will be a great season for him and his team-mates."

Atletico face their greatest rivals for the first time outside of Europe, in a further ICC encounter, with neutrals likely to enjoy a fierce encounter at the home of the New York Giants and New York Jets.

Midfielder Saul Niguez talked up the weight of the encounter despite its non-competitive status, stating that his side will treat the match no differently from any other face-off with Zinedine Zidane's side.

"Although it is a friendly match, it is a derby. It is always special, it is the first that is played outside Europe, it makes us very excited to compete tomorrow," he stated. 

"The really important thing is to prepare for the first official match, but we are going to play as if it were an official match, as if it were a final, because every time you wear the shirt of Atletico Madrid it is to give everything."