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Juanfran cleared to face Barcelona

Atletico Madrid right-back Juanfran Torres has been cleared to play in Saturday's top-of-the-table clash against Barcelona after the Spanish FA (RFEF) accepted an appeal against his booking during the 1-0 win at Malaga.

Juanfran rejected an opportunity to join Arsenal.
Juanfran is now able to play against Barcelona.

Juanfran was shown a fifth yellow card of the season by referee Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes for a block on Malaga left-back Vitorino Antunes at La Rosaleda, meaning he would miss Atletico's biggest game of the season so far.

But coach Diego Simeone said the club planned to appeal -- and the RFEF competition committee confirmed on Wednesday that the booking had been rescinded, meaning the Spain international can play at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

The official document, published on the RFEF website, said: "The booking received by Juanfran Torres Belen has been left without any disciplinary effects."

The RFEF’s reasoning appears to have been that the foul included in the match report by referee Jose Antonio Teixeira Vitienes did not take place.

“In respect to the yellow card shown to the player don Juan Francisco Torres Belen,” the official decision said. “An appreciation of the evidence permits a conclusion beyond all reasonable doubt, that the action included in the referee’s report did not happen, so the appeal has been accepted and the booking left without any [further] effect.”

The official’s report filed after the game had claimed the foul had been evident. "In the 53rd minute the player Juan Francisco Torres Belen was booked for the following reason -- knocking over an opponent in a dispute for the ball,” Teixeira Vitienes wrote at the time.

While Juanfran now looks certain to start, Colchoneros coach Diego Simeone has a defensive concern, with Uruguayan centre-back Diego Godin again missing training on Wednesday with a muscle strain.

Godin is expected to return, but Belgium international Toby Alderweireld will deputise if he is unable to do so.

Simeone also has a decision to make in attack, where he may decide to replace out-of-form former Barca forward David Villa with Raul Garcia after the latter scored a fourth goal in five games in the 1-1 Copa del Rey last 16 first leg draw at Valencia.


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