Diego Simeone believes that Barcelona remain favourites in the Supercopa de Espana, but that his Atletico Madrid team will be competitive.
Atleti head out to the Camp Nou this Wednesday evening for the second leg of the season’s traditional curtain raiser, chasing the result thanks to Barca’s away goal advantage from last week’s 1-1 first leg draw in Madrid.
For El Cholo, the hosts this week remain favourites to win, despite his team’s strong performance last week.
“For us, nothing has changed,” Simeone addressed reporters today.
“Let’s start from scratch. They are better than us and are likely to have more control, more possession and more chances and we will have to be prepared. The game lasts 90 minutes and we have to know when to hurt them and try to respond in the best way.
“We arrive with the game open in terms of the result, but on their field and for their characteristics they remain the protagonists.
“But we go into the game with ambition and competitiveness.
“Tactics? Without breaking the structure we have, we can look for alternatives. There are different ways to win. With our weapons we hope to be able to win the Cup.”
Lionel Messi is a doubt for the contest after a thigh injury picked up in the first leg.
“I hope that both Messi and Neymar play, for the sake of the show. Barcelona have many good players and it is the Coach that decides.”
Simeone was asked his view on Iker Casillas’ situation at Real Madrid and on Vicente del Bosque’s assertion that some players are ‘not equal’ to others.
“We are not thinking about Casillas because I have Courtois and two other goalkeepers who are waiting for their chances, so in that regard we are covered.
“All players are important, for me, the group is what matters.”
Simeone hinted at the weekend that Atleti may make some last minute moves in the transfer window.
“What I see from the players and what they show is that everyone is thinking only of winning and they are all committed to what they are doing.
“Everyone, including those who might expect something to happen.”