Tuesday February 18 2014
Simeone: 'Atleti are not favourites'

Atletico Madrid Coach Diego Simeone insists his men “do not feel like favourites” against Milan in the Champions League.

San Siro hosts the first leg of this Round of 16 tie on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT.

“Tomorrow it will be an open game where anything could happen,” the former Catania boss said in his Press conference.

“I don’t want to make predictions, but this tie will be important ahead of the second leg.  I expect to see a great Milan and above all I fear their history, which on nights like this can really count. We’ll be facing a great rival.

“We do not feel like the favourites and must prove our strength on the field. It won’t be easy, because the Italian teams always make the most of their scoring opportunities. We will need intensity and concentration.”

Simeone also scoffed at suggestions Milan would be defensive on home turf amid an injury crisis.

“I expect both sides to play attacking football. We must do well in defence to ensure they don’t get scoring opportunities, as they have good forwards and are dangerous on the counter-attack.”

It is a return to the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza for Simeone, who played for Milan’s rivals Inter.

“I had extraordinary years here, so I have many memories and friends in Milan, but tomorrow the only thing that counts is the way my team plays. It will be wonderful for my lads to play in a stadium like this.”