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Simeone turns to Torres for Champions League inspiration

Diego Simeone is likely to hand a start to Fernando Torres against Rostov on Tuesday as Atletico Madrid look to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Last season’s beaten finalists boast a 100 per cent record in the group stage this term and will guarantee a spot in the knockouts if they beat their Russian opponents at the Vicente Calderon.

Torres has not started a match since the 1-0 win in the reverse fixture on October 19, and the former Liverpool striker has not scored for Atleti since netting a double in the 5-0 LaLiga win over Sporting Gijon on September 17.

However, Simeone is keen to lean on the 32-year-old’s experience as he looks to seal safe passage to the next phase with two games to spare.

“We’re not in a situation where certain players will play in one competition and others in another,” he said. “We go on form and the way the players are playing.

“Fernando knows the competition and has the quality to help the side. We need him to play as he did in Rostov, where he helped the side a lot. That’s why I’m thinking of starting him.

“We remember Rostov as a compact side. Their results have been close, be them positive or negative. That’s their strength. 

“As we saw at their place they have their ideas, they take advantage of their tools and tomorrow is sure to be similar to the game in Rostov.

“We have to come out with intensity in order to take the game where we want it. It would be nice to win and then be able to look forward to the knockout phase, which is good for the club.”

Mon 31 Oct, 2016
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