Diego Simeone has insisted that difference in budget will be no excuse for Atletico Madrid when they make the short trip to arch-rivals Real Madrid on Saturday.
Madrid’s annual budget dwarfs that of Atleti by €400m, but Simeone made it clear his side would not contest the derby at a disadvantage, although he admitted Los Blancos’ financial muscle gave them “a bigger chance of success”.
“[On Yannick Carrasco’s injury] we must seek alternative ways to attack in the best way possible,” he saidafte.
“We’ll prepare accordingly to the time we have available and play [on Saturday] at four, which is the scheduled time.
“Over the years, we changed more players us than them and, except for James, they’re virtually the same as they’ve always been.
“They’re tough opponents, difficult, with great attacking potential, so we must put in important defensive work to curb this potential.
“It’s always important to win for ourselves as what they do doesn’t depend on us.
“We have to take the match to where we feel most comfortable and do well in consequence.
“The only way I know [a scoring drought can be halted] is to continue creating chances.
“The other day [against PSV], we had four important ones. That’s the way forward.
“You can have many chances and not score or have one and take it.
“The players, mainly those who are involved in goalscoring, live for these moments and hopefully we’ll regain that key facet of scoring goals.
“Regardless, we have a line of work and style of play and won’t change them.
“I consider [Madrid] as a rival, like everyone else, nothing more or less.
“[On differences in budget], the economic differences are real, but in a game there’s no difference.
“In the long run, the team who have a bigger budget usually go further because they have a bigger chance of success.
“From there, the situations may vary, but that’s the logical explanation.
“While there are points, the League is always up for grabs. We’re also aware that it will be difficult for Barcelona to drop nine points.
“It would follow a line of continuity in the work we’ve been doing in the previous six months [if we finished second].
“Finishing second is always better than finishing third.”
Atleti squad for Madrid in full: Oblak, Moya; Juanfran, Gamez, Gimenez, Godin, Filipe Luis, Lucas; Augusto, Thomas, Gabi, Koke, Saul, Oliver, Kranevitter; Griezmann, Torres, Vietto, Correa