Bench or start Suarez? Simeone's striking issue ahead of Atletico's meeting with Man Utd in Madrid


The Uruguayan scored a sensational goal from 40 yards out at the weekend however time seems overtaking the 35-year-old this season.Luis Suarez has especially delicate ears. The Uruguayan is among those players who is attuned to the criticism he receives and is thus always figured out to bite back.Those bites are ending up being fewer and further between, but are still lethal when they get here. Simply ask Osasuna.Entering into Saturday's match in Pamplona, Suarez had scored just two times in his previous 16 games in all competitions-- and one of those goals came in the Copa del Rey against third-tier opposition.

Lots of pundits and supporters, for that reason, questioning whether he needs to begin this week's Champions League last-16 first leg against Manchester United.

Atletico, after all, have numerous attacking options, from top scorer Angel Correa to the fit-again Antoine Griezmann and record signing Joao Felix.So, from almost 40 backyards out, Suarez decided it was time to state his case.

Charging onto a long ball from Felix, Suarez saw Osasuna goalkeeper Sergio Herrera out of goal and, most likely incapable of holding off the chasing defender if he ran towards the box, he speared home an incredible effort with his weaker left foot.Over the last two years of his Barcelona career, Suarez showed that no matter how bleak or disconnected his performance, he still has the capability to pull a goal out of nothing and alter a game, making it hard to leave him out.

His strike against Osasuna was a timely reminder of his quality for Simeone, who reports recommend is considering dropping the forward.Suarez is at his best when fired up, with something to show.

Last season, Barcelona's stinging rejection brought him a new lease of life at Atletico, netting 21 goals and driving the team towards their very first league title in seven years.

This season, when he scored against the Catalans at the Wanda Metropolitano, he commemorated with a phone gesture to make a point to then-Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who infamously informed him he needed to leave in a call which lasted less than a minute.Then, he broke a three-month league drought with a goal against Barcelona at Camp Nou in February, the first time he was back there playing in front of fans.

The visit of Manchester United on Wednesday is a similar occasion where Suarez will be extremely motivated, something Simeone might aim to harness, although they have had their ups and downs of late.Simeone was not spared Suarez's wrath in December, with the striker raging after being substituted throughout a 2-1 defeat by Sevilla..

" F *** ing idiot," grumbled Suarez. "It's constantly the same modification.".

The forward was on his most barren spell since playing for Ajax in 2007 however was fuming at being hooked.Suarez's contract expires in the summer and it's unclear if Atletico want to maintain him beyond that." It's a trick question," stated Simeone, when asked in an interview. "I'm not entering into it.".

Nobody in Manchester has actually forgotten his confrontation with Patrice Evra in 2011 when then-Liverpool gunman Suarez was banned for 8 matches after being found guilty of racially abusing the French defender.The occurrence is long in the past, but the bitterness remains.

Whether to start with Suarez or not is a difficult decision for Simeone, as the forward has actually physically declined, as is regular for a player who turned 35 in January, meaning the coach needs to make other selection decisions based on supporting him with able runners.

Manchester United coach Ralf Rangnick, whose side is spearheaded by veteran Cristiano Ronaldo, may exchange some words of compassion with Simeone on the issue prior to the game.It appears at times Simeone has actually been reluctant to start with Suarez on the bench because of his status, with Rangnick dealing with a similar dilemma with Ronaldo at Old Trafford.

Yet as troublesome as Suarez has actually been, it would be unfair to dump all Atletico's problems at his feet. The Spanish champions have defended woefully this season, even worse than in any other campaign under Simeone.

The clean sheet they kept at Osasuna on Saturday in their 3-0 win was their first for eight games, and likewise the first they have actually handled on the road all season in La Liga or the Champions League.

Suarez is not Atletico's only issue but still a substantial one.But then, this is exactly the sort of talk which is fuel for his fire and something for Manchester United to be careful of in the Spanish capital.And if he begins on the bench, possibly even more so.

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