San Siro (Giuseppe Meazza)

Next Game

AC Milan v Lazio

Sunday, 31 August 2014, 17:00

Serie A

Last Game

AC Milan 0 - 2 Liverpool

Saturday, 02 August 2014, 23:30

Friendly Match

Simeone targets midfield

Atletico Madrid will advance to the next stage of the Champions League if they win the battle in midfield against AC Milan in the Spanish capital, according to coach Diego Simeone.

Last Updated: 11/03/14 at 11:48 Post Comment

Diego Simeone: Targeting midfield tussle

Diego Simeone: Targeting midfield tussle

The hosts carry a 1-0 lead into Tuesday's last 16 second leg following Diego Costa's late header at the San Siro three weeks ago.

"They need to score, and, naturally, they will be playing attacking football," Simeone said of AC Milan. "Accordingly, our game will be different.

"We need to try to control the game. I think the key will be in the intensity that we put in midfield.

"If we can be strong then we can play the game we need.

"We need to be focused and careful not to give away many spaces as that would only benefit our rivals."

Atletico - who are second in La Liga, just three points adrift of leaders Real Madrid - have not reached the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition since 1997.

Milan, meanwhile, have won the European title seven times and Simeone, a former Inter Milan and Lazio player, knows the Rossoneri can never be underestimated.

"Milan are a strong club," he said. "They are accustomed to playing in this competition.

"I expect the best Milan and I'm sure we face a very hard game against a very difficult rival.

"They have great players."

Simeone sees AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli as the biggest threat to his team.

Balotelli returned to play at the weekend having missed Milan's last two league games with a shoulder injury.

Milan have endured a dismal domestic campaign and travel to the Vicente Calderon stadium on the back of Saturday's 1-0 loss at Udinese.

The outcome dropped the Rossoneri to 10th in the Serie A standings, 37 points behind runaway leaders Juventus.

"We have to think positive and be optimistic," AC Milan coach Clarence Seedorf said. "We need to convince ourselves that we can produce a great performance against Atletico.

"I have confidence in my team and I know my players will respond on the pitch."

Atletico defender Diego Godin, midfielder Arda Turan and striker Costa will return to the starting line-up having been rested for Saturday's 2-0 triumph at Celta Vigo.

Costa, who scored at the San Siro in the opening leg to hand his team the edge in the tie, will lead Atletico's attack.

AC Milan midfielders Andrea Poli and Nigel De Jong have made the trip to Spain but are doubtful for the encounter with minor injuries.

Watch Atletico take on AC Milan live on Sky Sports 1 on Tuesday evening, with coverage from 7pm.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

E

ven if United were to sign CR7 & Messi to play upfront, the fact remains Fletcher and Cleverly are playing in midfield. That's where the problem is. Fletcher is too slow with an awful pass, while Cleverly is simply rubbish

mrunited4life
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

T

hese days, these days, you can't say something racist without somebody saying that you're a racist.

tk421
'Wrong' Views Not Silenced By Shouting...

D

rop Rooney (he's so disappointing, overrated and overpaid), and play Di Maria and RVP upfront, much like the set up at the Netherlands team with Roben and RVP...

eric bush3
Di Maria - A Signing of Necessity, or Opportunity?

Footer 365

Transfer news: Tottenham strike deal for Montpellier midfielder Benjamin Stambouli

Tottenham have agreed a fee with Montpellier for defensive midfielder Benjamin Stambouli, according to the French club.

Transfer news: Chelsea confirm agreement with AC Milan for two-year Fernando Torres loan

Chelsea striker Fernando Torres will have a medical at AC Milan on Saturday ahead of an agreed two-year loan deal.

Europa League: Roberto Martinez happy Everton start and finish at home

Roberto Martinez is happy with the way the fixtures have worked out for Everton in their tough Europa League draw.

Mail Box

Surely A Spurs Fan Should Remember...

...what happened to the fourth Champions League place the last time an English team won the thing. Plus, who would want to pay £60 to watch the current England team?

Ginger Pirlo? Don't Make Me Laugh...

A Sunderland fan in the mailbox is surprised by Jack Colback's call up to the England squad. Plus, thoughts on Welbeck and Liverpool's Champions League draw...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property