Cholo: Barca ready for Calderon

Diego Simeone doesn’t expect Barcelona to be caught out by the Atletico Madrid fans’ expected rowdy atmosphere.

The clubs meet in the Champions League quarter-final second leg with Barca holding a 2-1 lead and a feisty evening in prospect at Vicente Calderon.

“The game can only be won by scoring one more goal than the opponent,” Simeone countered, AS reports, when asked if the atmosphere could tip the balance.

“The enthusiasm and the support is fantastic but Barca’s players won’t be surprised. We have to do what we do, the people will respond as always and look for the semi-finals on our pitch.

“The atmosphere won’t be a surprise to us as we’re used to it. We’ll play the game we propose. Being Atletico? It’s to persevere, to fight with difficulties, and not give up anything for lost.

“It’s knowing there are others who are better but we are competitive to fight with them. Best time to play Barca? It is because it’s when we have to.”

Simeone was asked how he saw the game going and though he deflected that question, explained what he expected from the two teams.

“It’d be an advantage to know what was going to happen. We prepare for the game on what we consider important and we’ll bring to the game what we want: intensity, contact and Barca will play the game they normally play,” he said.

“What happened before is in the past. During the game you can see previous situations, but before the game nothing that happened earlier will influence it.”

Simeone also declined to discuss too much the suggestion he would change up the Atletico approach for Barca’s visit, but did point to the options he has to replace suspended Fernando Torres.

“Luciano [Vietto], [Angel] Correa, [Yannick] Carrasco…we’ll look for the number of variations we have for the game,” he noted.

“You seek to improve what you do game after game. We’ll look for the variant to hurt our opponents the most, and most importantly, to win the game.

“Koke? He’s an important player for us. He reads very well the movements of his teammates. We’ve got a very important player in midfield.”

Tags Diego Simeone