Simeone: No surprises from Atletico, just hard graft

By Sports Desk March 10, 2020

Diego Simeone has no plans to spring any surprises with his tactical approach in Atletico Madrid's crunch second-leg clash against Liverpool in the Champions League.

Atletico won the initial last-16 encounter 1-0, with Saul Niguez's early strike the difference at the Wanda Metropolitano as the holders suffered a rare loss.

The LaLiga side surrendered a 2-0 first-leg advantage against Juventus at the same stage of last season's competition, with head coach Simeone eager to avoid a repeat at Anfield on Wednesday. 

He conceded that surprise will not be a weapon at his disposal against the Premier League leaders, but the 49-year-old has confidence in his tried and tested methods that secured a path to the final in 2014 and 2016.

"Whether we can vary how we play, Liverpool will know pretty clearly how we are going to play," said Simeone.

"They know pretty much what our tactics are going to be going into the game after being here for eight years. If we start well, we have to keep it up.

"You know pretty much what I'll be doing, I don't think our line-up will be too far off what you think it will be.

"The game will demand that we are on our top form. We will see what sort of game we play and tactics we adopt. We think we can hurt them.

"There is a Plan B, of course. But if I tell you my plans for a game, it wouldn't be logical, would it?"

Reflecting on his side's exit at the hands of Juve, Simeone is hopeful of a more positive outcome this time around. 

"We couldn't play in Turin, they never let us compete," he said. "Hopefully [on Wednesday] they will let us compete and that will help us be competitive.

"Experiences in life always help you. But you have to make sure you don't repeat errors you have done before."

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