Atletico are currently second in the table, behind Bayern Munich and ahead of Lokomotiv and RB Salzburg. Los Rojiblancos have won one, drawn one and lost one so far, and will be hoping to put three points on the board in Madrid tomorrow.
Simeone was cagy on team selection. “You have to adapt to the circumstances in which you find yourself in, whether that’s the league or the Champions League,” the Argentine said in quotes carried by Marca.
“We’re still not clear with which players we’re going to start. We’ll train in the morning and I’ll decide how best to carry out on an important game.”
Simeone was also up front about his preference for pragmatism and his fondness for prioritising victory above all else. “We are here to do what we think is best,” he said.
“I’m only interested in the team winning. We’ll always look for ways to win. Sometimes we will play better, other times no. But that’s football.”
Simeone was also quick to play down the idea that the clash would be a walk in the park. “The Champions League is never waiting for you,” he said. “This is an important game with a rival who works tactically well, with a good counter attack.
“We’ll have to be attentive and try to hurt them. It will be a tough game. They are a rival that works well and does not give away much space.”
Of paramount importance for Simeone is the day to day, taking each training session and game on its own merits in the construction of a brighter future. “It’s important to me that things are being done well,” he said.
“Everybody around us will have an opinion, and we can’t allow that to get us excited or cause us to lose focus. I don’t understand football in any other way than game by game.
“I always say the same thing year after year. The important things are decided when the season ends, then you can see where you are and whether the goal was met.
“That’s the only thing that counts. Along the way there will be good moments and difficult moments.”
Last Saturday evening was most certainly a good moment for Atletico and Simeone. Cholo earned his first victory ever in La Liga over Barcelona, beating them 1-0 at the very same ground they’ll welcome Lokomotiv to tomorrow. They’ll go into it with confidence.
Featured image courtesy of Diario AS.