Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone says he is expecting a “very difficult” game when his side take on Celtic in the Champions League on Wednesday night.
The Spanish club will head into the match after a confidence-boosting away win over Celta Vigo on Saturday and, speaking after the match, Simeone said he wants his players to rest up ahead of what he believes will be a battle at Celtic Park:
“We are now thinking about Celtic. We expect a very difficult game on Wednesday. I want us to rest well ahead of the game in Glasgow because we put a lot of effort into this.”
Simeone is certainly giving the Scottish champions the respect they deserve heading into the midweek fixture. They were hard done by in their last Champions League match against Lazio when they lost late on.
They could have arguably won that game if Luis Palma’s goal hadn’t been ruled out for offside but, as things stand, the Hoops have 0 points and sit bottom of their group.
Celtic will have to keep an eye on Griezmann
After scoring all 3 goals in Atletico’s 3-0 victory against Celta at the weekend, Brendan Rodgers‘ side must ensure that Antoine Griezmann is kept on a tight leash.
The Frenchman’s hat-trick last time out means he has now racked up 8 goals in 11 appearances this season, and he will be Atletico’s danger man.
A win would blow the group wide open
Despite losing their first two group fixtures, a victory later this week would put them just a point behind Atletico with 3 matches left to play.
Of course, beating the La Liga giants does seem unlikely due to their pedigree in Europe. The bookmakers have made the away side odds-on to secure the 3 points, but it would be a massive result if Celtic can produce an upset.