Diego Simeone insists Saturday’s Derbi against Real Madrid is just another game for Atletico. “It’s like going to any other stadium.”
Atleti will be looking for their fourth straight win at the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend, but Simeone made it clear that Los Colchoneros simply wanted to win so that their objectives for the season could be met.
“Favourites according to Griezmann? Any player who’s going to play in a game like this feels the excitement of winning, it’s a logical answer,” the Coach said at a Press conference.
“Madrid and their numbers are extraordinary: they’ve won the Champions League and Club World Cup, they’re still top and on their way to winning the League, they look focused and their numbers speak for themselves.
“Gabi? Beyond being our captain, he has a leadership that conveys feeling and the collective work that the team needs.
“With just a glance, we understand each other quickly. He’s someone that manages the rhythm of a game.
“Gameiro? He’s not going to be with us. Have the differences between Atleti and Madrid been shortened? What we’re doing at the moment is very good.
“Pride at beating Madrid? What makes me proudest is to have drawn at Barcelona and won the League.
“Griezmann? I always want the best for Antoine, he’s experienced a huge growth because he wanted to, he wanted to fit in here.
“He’s gone on to become a man and make his own decisions. He’s on his way to being among the best players in the world. He’s had a good-enough season and we’re hoping for the best Antoine [on Saturday].
“The Bernabeu? It’s like going to any other stadium, we always want the three points. We need the points for our objectives.
“We expect our opponents to come out strong, with very high pressure and lots of pace in the first 20-25 minutes.
“BBC aside, I imagine Isco will play and that they’ll have more possession than if Casemiro plays.
“Madrid the favourites? A match is just a match and different situations, which have no connection with when it’s being played, can happen. You can win any match.
“What’s changed from the beginning of the season? Our defensive strength.
“Sergio Ramos? I admire him. He’s an important player for Spanish football. You have to look for any defensive deficiencies that they may have and minimise their attacking power when they attack.”
Atleti squad for Madrid: Oblak, Moreira; Godín, Filipe, Savic, Lucas, Juanfran, Gimenez; Koke, Saul, Carrasco, Gabi, Cerci, Thomas, Keidi; Griezmann, Fernando Torres, Correa, Rober