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Dec 14, 2012

Falcao a doubt for Barca-Atletico clash

Radamel Falcao is a doubt for Atletico Madrid's Primera Division trip to Barcelona on Sunday after missing full training on Thursday with a minor muscle problem.

• Preview: Barcelona v Atletico Madrid

Falcao, whose five-goal salvo against Deportivo la Coruna last weekend took his total to 16 in 14 La Liga games, sat out Atletico's 3-0 Copa del Rey last 16 first-leg win over Getafe on Wednesday.

The Colombian's fellow forward Adrian Lopez, who was withdrawn early against Getafe after picking up an ankle knock, is a more serious injury worry for the Barca game.

An injury update released on Atletico's club website on Thursday said: "Cristian Rodriguez, Falcao and Raul Garcia did not train with the main group.

"Adrian underwent a physiotherapy treatment on the sprained ankle which forced him to leave the pitch 17 minutes into the game against the Blues [Getafe]."

Second-placed Atletico, six points behind Barcelona in the table, can strengthen their claim to be plausible challengers for the title if they can at least avoid defeat at the Camp Nou.

Colchoneros coach Diego Simeone, who has a history of not risking key players for important games, left out regular left-back Filipe Luiz for the visit to local rivals Real Madrid two weeks ago, with Cata Diaz filling in out of position as Atletico were beaten 2-0.

The Argentine has also been careful with his use of Falcao this season, with El Tigre yet to play in the Europa League or Copa del Ray.

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