Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone on Champions League draw and fitness concerns for Barcelona

Atletico Madrid welcome Barcelona to the Metropolitano on Sunday night, in the headline fixture of the La Liga weekend, with both sides looking to continue to the good atmosphere created by important Champions League wins in midweek. Atletico manager Diego Simeone is dealing with a late injury though, after Mario Hermoso was ruled out on Saturday.

Hermoso is expected to be out for several weeks, but Simeone was clear on who would replace him.

“Mario has suffered an injury and Reinildo is ready. He has been training well and has always given everything for the team. We don’t expect anything else if it’s his turn to play.”

Los Colchoneros are just two points ahead of Athletic Club in fourth place, and will play 24 hours beforehand, against Alaves, with a chance to go ahead of them.

“La Liga requires us to be attentive. The championship is complicated because Athletic Bilbao is doing very well and La Real are also coming strong. We are up against a team that we know well because they have hurt us in the last few games. We hope to take the game to where we believe we can do damage.”

While he was confident Reinildo Mandava would replace Mario Hermoso, Simeone was more coy on the presence of Antoine Griezmann, who played 105 minutes on Wednesday off the back of three weeks out.

“Tomorrow at noon I will sit down with him and we will see what is best for us and for him.”

He also had some words on the Champions League draw, where Los Rojiblancos will go up against Borussia Dortmund, with the first leg at the Metropolitano.

“We have a tough team, as the Germans always are. We know very well the atmosphere that will await us in the second leg. We will need to do well in the first leg. They are a difficult opponent who fought for the Bundesliga last year. This year they are like us and we do not expect anything other than a difficult game.”

Tags Antoine Griezmann Atletico Madrid Barcelona Borussia Dortmund Champions League Diego Simeone Mario Hermoso Reinildo Mandava
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