• Champions League

Atletico prepared for Chelsea barrage

ESPN staff
April 29, 2014
ESPN FC: Chelsea win when it counts

Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa says he expects Chelsea to come out and attack in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final second leg at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was heavily criticised in the Spanish media for 'parking the bus' in the goalless first leg at the Estadio Vicente Calderon last week.

Chelsea target Costa told Atletico's official website that he believed the onus would be more on Mourinho's men to attack in front of their own fans in the return.

"The game will be a little bit different to how [Chelsea] set up at the Calderon," Costa said. "I believe they will have to come out a bit more. We are going there in our best form and we believe we have a chance to do something really big."

The return game is again being widely seen as a battle of minds between Mourinho and Atletico boss Diego Simeone, who fit again Arda Turan has said are now the top two coaches in the game.

Arda told Turkish service Agencia Anatolia that Simeone was on the way to being the world's best and had instilled a fighting spirit and confidence in his side which could take them through to the final in Lisbon.

"Simeone and Mourinho are the two best coaches," Arda said. "It is normal that there is a battle from the bench over tactics. Simeone is on track to become the best in the world. I believe the 0-0 is not an advantage or a disadvantage. Our team will fight in every minute, in every part of the field. We believe in ourselves. We will make the final."

Atletico will have to take to the field at Stamford Bridge without suspended captain Gabi, who told AS that it pained him to be restricted to watching brief for the game.

"Of course it hurts me not to be out on the pitch, but whatever happens they will do well," Gabi said. "I will try and push them as I can and lift them with scarves. I am sure that the team will be at the level needed for the game, and will go through to the final."

The former Atletico youth teamer, who is likely to be replaced by ex-Chelsea midfielder Tiago in the XI, said his team-mates' hunger to win things could be decisive.

"I am sure that the team is ready for these great occasions, that there is a lot of confidence," Gabi said. "We know the difficulty, but I am sure the team will be in the final. The team has a level of conviction and ambition that I have rarely seen before.

"We are players who unfortunately have not won much. Taking out El Guaje [David Villa] the rest of us are new to this business of winning trophies, apart from what we have won here. We have this hunger which characterises us."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close