Diego Simeone has branded Atletico Madrid’s clash against Juventus as a potential ‘final’ while he also outlined his respect for the Turin side.
Los Colchoneros host the Bianconeri in an almost must-win situation after their shocking loss in the first game of Group A.
Simeone told the reporters in his pre-match conference,“This is a final with Juventus, as are all the games and as the next one will be. We are a competitive team and I will have many options for tomorrow. The games are all different and depending on the game I will see who will play. Juventus are a team who have always worked very well, they are a solid team that it is hard to take points from.
“Tomorrow we will need to play a game at the highest level in order to bring home the three points. We will see, however, in training tomorrow, to dissolve any doubts [about team selection]. We face Juve with the utmost respect that they deserve as an established team. I like the work done over the years by Juve, we note the great work done behind their victories.
Again, I have much respect and admiration for them. I don’t think that Juve will play on the counter-attack, they will enjoy a lot of space and recover the ball well. Llorente and Tevez push right to the touchline but they need to feel close to the midfielders. Juve will be expressive.”
Simeone did not comment much about Alessio Cerci’s chances to make the squad tomorrow but he showered praises on his compatriot Carlos Tevez. “We know that he is an extraordinary player, he moves a lot between the lines, and he is very difficult to control. The secret will be to not allow him time to think, and not allow him to receive the ball.”
Simeone returned at the weekend following a lengthy touchline ban and he claimed, “It’s important, but the key on Sunday [against Sevilla] was the performance. We managed to defend and attack well, maintaining the pressure high up. It is all in the head, my public presence, but the essential thing is the daily work.”
Diego Godin was also in the press-conference with his manager and he also emphasized the importance of this crucial game. He said, “We’ll defend as usual: starting from the first striker to the defenders, we know their strength. Is this a final? Yes, but we are accustomed to playing such important games every Sunday, we’ll play in front of our fans to grab the three points. Buffon? He needs to start worrying, we know Juventus’ defensive solidity, we’ll play the game trying to win. Surely the return of Simeone is a great boost, he transmits a lot more while he’s on the bench and it was immediately visible. Juventus is a strong team that had a good start, they come here with many fans and we’ll face them in the best possible way.”
Atletico Madrid are looking to recover from their slow start in this group after the opening day loss at Greece against Olympiacos.