Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has acknowledged the true test his side face if they are to reach the final of the 2017 Champions League.
The three-time European runners-up face city rivals and 11-time winners Real Madrid in their semi-final first leg on Tuesday, with a spot against one of Monaco or Juventus waiting for the successful team in the 3 June final at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.
Ahead of the match, Simeone told a media conference: “I see a match in which they make a strong start. They will try to hurt us in the first minutes with the intensity of their players.
“We will have to take the match to where we feel more comfortable.”
He added: “Two very big teams are going to play each other this Tuesday.
“We will put together a team that competes with the heart of any fan of Atlético de Madrid.
A positive for Simeone is that Yannick Carrasco has been cleared to play after the Belgian was injured in the 1-0 loss to Villarreal a week ago.
Meanwhile, Atletico captains Gabi and Diego Godín also spoke of the importance of a good performance in this match.
Gabi said: “We have to control our emotions very well and play the perfect match to try to beat Real Madrid. In fixtures as evenly matched as this one, any detail, any success against the opposite goal are the ones that set the result.”
Godín added: “My team is doing very well. We are well physically and mentally prepared. We are eager and enthusiastic to do things well.”
Source: Kwese Sport