Diego Simeone backs Diego Costa to end La Liga drought

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has backed the ‘fantastic’ Diego Costa to end his drought in La Liga during the Derbi against Real Madrid.

Costa scored twice during Atleti’s 4-2 victory over Madrid in the European Super Cup, but the former Chelsea striker has not netted in the League since February.

“They’re a great team who have faith in their way of playing and know how to combine possession with quick breaks,” he said at a Press conference.

“I never judge opponents on the last game they played, I do it on their characteristics and potential and we’re going to face one of the best in the world.

“They’re competing in a huge well and have managed Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit well. These are games for emotions and lads with a lot of characters.

“Those who can play at that mental limit are those who end up deciding the game in their team’s favour.

“I won’t stop to analyse what happened before because football lives in the present. This is a new and different match.

“We’re only focused on competing in a way that’s most comfortable for us. I don’t think there can be any comparisons between a Final and a League match.

“In a Final there’s a winner and on Saturday there will be two results instead of just one. I think the team are improving and and as a result, it brings out more of our individual quality.

“It’s difficult for a player to do better if the team aren’t doing well. It’ll be a tough and difficult game, like it’s always been against Real Madrid.

“I see Costa in a fantastic way. He had a very good first half on Tuesday and was always on the move. Physically he’s strong and I’m sure he’ll have a great game.

“A derby has an emotional component, so we have to be prepared in all respects. It’s not just another game.

“I don’t have the impression that the team are more motivated in the Champions League. The reality is that we’re motivated and eager to win the League.

“We’re in a very good position, although it’s going to be a long and arduous campaign. Our motivation is at the maximum possible.

“Every game at this club is special and very important.”

Atleti squad to face Madrid: Adan, Oblak; Godin, Filipe Luis, Arias, Juanfran, Lucas Hernandez, Gimenez; Thomas, Koke, Saul, Lemar, Rodri, Vitolo; Griezmann, Kalinic, Correa, Costa, Garces

Tags Derbi Derbi Madrileno Diego Costa Diego Simeone