Simeone ready for another thriller with Salzburg

Oleh Dom Farrell 9 Disember 2020 8
Simeone ready for another thriller with Salzburg

Diego Simeone expects a "brave" Salzburg to take Atletico Madrid out of their comfort zone in Wednesday's crunch Champions League clash.

Atleti, two-time finalists under Simeone, have drawn each of their past three group matches, including being pegged back to 1-1 by a late Thomas Muller penalty for Bayern Munich last time out.

A fourth consecutive stalemate in Salzburg will seal qualification for the knockout stages at their Austrian opponents' expense, but Simeone knows Jesse Marsch's expansive side needing victory makes them particularly dangerous.

"This game is a bit like when you play in a knockout game and you're away from home in the second leg," said Simeone, with Atleti having won a thriller between the sides 3-2 at the Wanda Metropolitano in October.

"The opponent always needs to go for the game, they've got a very good side and it will be difficult for us.

"We will try and do them damage; in the first meeting with them there were goals and it might well be similar."

Despite their contrasting tactical approaches, Simeone is full of admiration for opposite number Marsch.

"Salzburg are a brave side with a great coach, who force you into losing possession," he explained.

"They try and break in numbers, at pace and with good football.

"Against Lokomotiv Moscow they were very close to winning, and also they were close to beating Bayern until 80 or so minutes in.

"They're doing a very good job and everyone can see that."

Atletico will again be without Diego Costa but Simeone reported encouraging progress in the striker's recovery from deep vein thrombosis.

"It is better if the doctor explains it," he added. "He is training and it is a good sign.

"From then on we are excited and the doctor will clarify his situation. We will be here waiting for him."

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Dom Farrell