Rudi Garcia: I respect Atleti

Marseille boss Rudi Garcia maintains he has the utmost respect for Atletico Madrid and says his own team is very similar.

At the same time, Garcia lamented the fact that opposite number Diego Simeone will not be on the bench because of suspension.

“We have a lot of respect for Atletico. They are very solid, have the best defence in the Spanish League, and formidable attackers in Griezmann and Costa,” the 54-year-old former Lille and Roma Coach told reporters.

“The character of both teams is similar; we’ve shown this in the Europa League and also to get into a Champions League place.

“Atleti are one of the great teams in Spain. Perhaps they have more experience but this is a 90-minute football match – and that’s it!

“But I’m disappointed Simeone is not on the bench. It’s difficult for a Coach to be deprived of being with his players. I think other ways of sanctioning us could be found without being removed from the technical area.

“Simeone is a born winner and he has done a fantastic job at Atletico. For almost a decade he has been one of the main figures in world football.”

Garcia acknowledged that his team having one day more rest than the opposition could be an advantage.

“The extra rest might be beneficial and we’ll have everyone on top form. I don’t know how many games we’ve played but it’s a lot.

“Those players we had injury doubts about are ready and in good shape.”

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