Article

Simeone and Atletico wary of Qarabag threat

17 October 2017 16:45

Diego Simeone says his past experience of facing Champions League minnows means Atletico Madrid will know to expect a tough test against Qarabag.

Atleti have collected only a single point from their opening two Group C games - having been held to a stalemate at Roma and lost to Chelsea - and Simeone's men must now defeat Qarabag in Azerbaijan to ensure they remain on track for qualification.

But the Spanish side have dropped points in similar games before - drawing 0-0 against Astana in 2015 - and their coach is wary of another upset as he acknowledges the importance of this clash.

"I believe in my team and believe that we can win," he told a pre-match news conference. "I think we are on the right track.

"We should have won the match with Roma, but dropped points. Also we should not have lost to Chelsea.

"But we will continue in the same spirit and there will be more successes. As for how to achieve it, it's important for me to earn three points [on Wednesday] and I'll make any necessary changes in order to do that.

"Even though the opponent may seem weak, we have dropped points against teams like Astana.

"In addition, Qarabag had a good second half against Chelsea, and Roma struggled to win in Baku, so it will not be easy for us."

Saul Niguez - a scorer in Saturday's LaLiga draw with Barcelona - is hoping Atleti can grab an early goal and recover from a poor start to their European campaign.

"We have ourselves to blame for having just one point from two matches in the Champions League," the Spain international added. "We must overcome this problem ourselves.

"We will try to relieve ourselves of stress by scoring an early goal. We have to start strongly and have a great start to the match."

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