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Football: Costa, Benzema start Champions League final

Atletico Madrid's top scorer Diego Costa will start the Champions League final against Real Madrid after making a remarkable recovery from a hamstring injury suffered just a week ago.

LISBON: Atletico Madrid's top scorer Diego Costa will start the Champions League final against Real Madrid on Saturday after making a remarkable recovery from a hamstring injury suffered just a week ago.

Costa seemed certain to miss the clash after pulling up with the recurrence of a hamstring injury in their La Liga title clinching draw against Barcelona last weekend.

However, the Brazilian-born striker reportedly travelled to Serbia to have special horse placenta treatment on the injury and came through a fitness test in Atletico's training session on the eve of the game.

Arda Turan has not recovered from a hip injury he also suffered against Barcelona, though, so Raul Garcia comes into midfield.

There was mixed news for Real on the injury front as Karim Benzema has overcome an abductor injury to start alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in attack.

However, Pepe didn't recover from calf strain in time so Raphael Varane keeps his place alongside Sergio Ramos in defence.

Real boss Carlo Ancelotti has also sprung a surprise by naming Sami Khedira in midfield in the absence of the suspended Xabi Alonso.

Khedira only returned from seven month injury layoff due to cruciate ligament damage two weeks ago and is yet to complete 90 minutes since his return.

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