Simeone wary of PSV's counter-attack

2016-03-15 11:39
Diego Simeone (Gallo Images)

Madrid - Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has warned of PSV Eindhoven's threat on the counter-attack as the Spanish side seek to reach the Champions League quarter-finals for the third consecutive season on Tuesday.

The tie is finely balanced at 0-0 ahead of PSV's trip to the Vicente Calderon, where Atletico have only conceded in three of 14 Champions League games under Simeone.

However, the Argentine is wary that with a full house of 55 000 expected to put the onus on Atletico to attack, they could be caught out by a vital away goal for the Dutch champions.

"I think that PSV's best quality is the counter-attack," said Simeone.

"With spaces they work very well and have players that arrive late into the box."

Atletico will be at full-strength as Fernando Torres has shrugged off the knee injury which saw him miss Saturday's 3-0 win over Deportivo la Coruna.

However, the former Liverpool and Chelsea striker is expected to start on the bench with Yannick Carrasco and Luciano Vietto set to partner Atletico's top scorer Antoine Griezmann in attack.

And Atletico captain Gabi admitted progress once more to the last eight is vital to the club's growth both on and off the pitch since Simeone's arrival four years ago.

"Tomorrow is decisive and we have the obligation to get the result we need in front of our fans," he said.

"We know what is at stake for the fans and the club. Our progress in this competition is very important and we are in great form heading into tomorrow."

Indeed, Atletico have scored three times in three consecutive La Liga games for the first time in a year and beaten Real Madrid since the sides last met three weeks ago.

However, PSV midfielder Andres Guardado admitted it is breaching Atletico's rock-solid defence which remains his side's biggest challenge.

"We are playing against the best defence in Europe and it will be very difficult to score a goal," said the Mexican international.

"But we believe in our qualities and the tie will be decided on whether we can score here.

"The way I think we can win the game is by believing in our potential. We are a very offensive team and it is rare that we don't score.

"We can't drastically change our style of play."

PSV will at least be able to recall top scorer and captain Luuk de Jong, who missed the first-leg through suspension.

And they have a recent guide of how to go about eliminating Atletico as Celta Vigo dumped Simeone's men out of the Copa de Rey in January with a 3-2 win at the Calderon having drawn the first-leg 0-0 at home.

"I've watched many Atletico games, so I know their qualities and way of playing," said PSV coach Phillip Cocu.

"We have to believe in ourselves to achieve the objective of going through. The Celta game is an example of how we can get the result we need."


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