By Pete Jenson for MailOnline
Published: 13:41 GMT, 18 February 2020 | Updated: 13:41 GMT, 18 February 2020
Most of the predicted line-ups have him on the bench but you can bet your breakfast that even as late as Tuesday morning Diego Simeone was staring into his coffee cup and turning over a certain tempting possibility in his head: 'And if I start with Diego Costa?'
He may have already decided, in which case those thoughts would have been doubts about having made the right call.
Atletico Madrid are out of the title race and the Spanish Cup and Simeone has been sending out the 'save our season' flares for a while now.
Diego Costa was in high spirits in training on the eve of Atletico Madrid's game with Liverpool
Manager Diego Simeone may still be tempted to start Costa in Tuesday night's first leg
If Tuesday night at the Metropolitano Costa should come riding to the rescue it will not be the first time.
It was almost exactly a year ago when Atletico faced Cristiano Ronaldo's Juventus in the Metropolitano at this stage of the competition and Costa had been out injured after surgery on a foot problem.
He had managed to speed up his recovery with the Champions League on the horizon and was a surprise addition to Simeone's starting XI.
His inclusion lifted everyone and although he did not get on the score sheet on the night he helped provoked a memorable performance.
Atletico won the game 2-0 and could and should have won by more. Costa was key for 57 minutes before trotting off to be replaced by Alvaro Morata. Atletico's great night was soured only by an inability to finish the job in Turin.
Costa was suspended and could not play the second leg and Ronaldo scored a hat-trick and they went out.
Costa raced back from injury to make an impact as Atleti beat Juventus 2-0 12 months ago
But he was shown a yellow card before going off and missed the second leg they lost 3-0
Will Diego Simeone be tempted to gamble and start Costa for the visit of Liverpool?
ATLETICO MADRID vs LIVERPOOL
Tuesday, 8pm kick-off (UK time)
Champions League last 16, first leg
Live on BT Sport 2 and BBC Radio 5
'He's been training with enthusiasm' said Simeone on Monday night in his pre-game press conference.
Costa certainly looked the life and soul on Sunday when the