Madrid – Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone has warned his side to take nothing for granted as they look to seal their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League against AC Milan on Tuesday.
The Spanish side haven't reached the last eight of Europe's premier club competition since Simeone played for the club back in 1997.
However, they are stong favourites to progress as they hold a 1-0 advantage from the first leg thanks to Diego Costa's late winner in the San Siro three weeks ago.
“Milan is a strong institution. They are accustomed to playing in this competition and they have players with a lot of talent,” said Simeone.
“It is a definitive match, but it is very dangerous despite the result in the first leg.”
Milan have had a dreadful domestic season as they lie in 11th in Serie A with winning the Champions League their last realistic hope of qualifying for the competition next season.
However, Simeone is wary that star players such as Mario Balotelli and Kaka still have the class to make it a long night for his side at the Vicente Calderon.
“Their form doesn't complicate anything because I expect the best Milan. It will be a very difficult match, as we saw in the first leg, because there is so much at stake.
“In these games the big players show up no matter what they are going through at the present moment.”
Uruguayan international Diego Godin echoed his manager's sentiments and believes Milan's ability to rest players in their weekend defeat to Udinese, whilst Atletico continue to fight for the La Liga title, could give them an advantage.
“They have rested players and they have played very well in this competition. I am sure we will see the best of Milan, but hopefully the best Atletico Madrid too.
“We have the smallest of advantages, but this is football and against a great team like Milan you can't rely on that. We need to play the game as if it was a final.”
Godin is expected to come back into the Atletico side along with Costa and Arda Turan as all three were suspended for Saturday's 2-0 win over Celta Vigo.
And Simeone confirmed he had no new injury worries from that game with midfielder Tiago the only senior player unavailable due to a broken wrist. – Sapa-AFP