Diego Simeone is expecting to come up against some familiar characteristics when Atletico Madrid-like Sevilla host his side in La Liga on Sunday.
Atletico make the trip south looking to extend their recent good run against Unai Emery’s men, having not lost any of their last 11 meetings, but Simeone acknowledged that his former team pose just as much of a threat as the Madrid giants.
Sevilla finished just two points behind Atletico in the league last term and earned a lot of plaudits for their aggressive pressing and startling counterattacks, with some pundits often comparing the styles of the two coaches.
And Simeone is in agreement, highlighting that the teams have similar philosophies.
The former Sevilla midfielder said: “I have great memories [of playing for Sevilla]. My introduction to Spanish football was in Sevilla. I was treated very well and had some very good years here as a player.
“As a rivalry this is an important game against a very strong team which is matched to us.
“They are a mirror to us in certain situations with a very competitive coach in Emery, who has managed to reinvent the team.”
Atletico enjoyed what appeared to be a successful close-season, recruiting well and replacing departed players with some fine talent in the shape of Luciano Vietto, Jackson Martinez and several others.
But Simeone is refusing to call the current squad the best he has had at the club, reminding the players that they need to star as a team rather than individuals.
“You have the names,” he said. “But these do not make the team. The facts will decide whether it is true [that this is his best squad].
“There are good players but that does not guarantee to make a good team.”
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