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Apr 23, 2013

Atletico appeal Diego Costa ban

Atletico Madrid are to appeal the yellow card shown to Diego Costa during last weekend's 1-0 Primera Division win at Sevilla, in the hope of clearing the forward to play in Saturday's derby against Real Madrid at the Estadio Vicente Calderon.

Costa, 24, had been involved in several controversies during the match at the Estadio Sanchez Pizjuan, clashing with a number of Sevilla players and attempting to get defender Cala sent off during one confrontation.

However, Atletico believe his booking - for a foul on Geoffrey Kondogbia - was unjust, and as it was the Brazilian's tenth yellow card in La Liga this season, it brings an automatic two-game ban.

According to AS, referee Jose Luis Gonzalez Gonzalez wrote in his match report that Costa's offence was "knocking over an opponent in a challenge for the ball". Atletico feel that the challenge was not even a foul, and have sent a video of the incident to La Liga's appeals committee to attempt to get the decision overturned. A similar appeal cleared defender Diego Godin in early April, after the Uruguay international was booked against Getafe.

Atletico are especially keen to have Costa, who has five goals in his last ten club games, for Saturday's clash with Real Madrid. Colchoneros fans see an opportunity for a first derby win since 1999, with their neighbours perhaps distracted by next Tuesday's Champions League semi-final second leg against Borussia Dortmund.

The bustling centre-forward's physical approach has unsettled Madrid defenders Sergio Ramos and Pepe in the past, with TV cameras catching Ramos apparently spitting at Costa during Atletico's limp 2-0 defeat at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu last December.

Saturday's return game at the Calderon is also seen as important chance for both sides to lay down a marker ahead of their Copa del Rey final meeting on May 18 at the Bernabeu.

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