Saturday, March 23, 2019

Godin passed fit as Simeone warns against focusing on Ronaldo

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 11 Mar 2019

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Diego Simeone expects Diego Godin to be fit to face Juventus but has warned Atletico Madrid must not put all their efforts into stopping Cristiano Ronaldo alone.

Godin sat out the 1-0 LaLiga win over Leganes on Saturday amid concerns over a thigh muscle injury.

Simeone says the centre-back has looked good in training, though, and thinks he will be ready to play in Tuesday’s Champions League last-16 second leg.

However, the Atletico boss thinks it would be wrong to ask Godin to focus only on keeping Ronaldo quiet.

“Godin is fine. I think he can play,” Simeone told a news conference. 

“I don’t think we should only talk about Cristiano Ronaldo. There is [Paulo] Dybala, [Mario] Mandzukic, there are many important players for Juventus who we need to pay attention to.”

Atletico take a 2-0 first-leg lead into the match at the Allianz Stadium, but Simeone insists they should not consider themselves favourites to progress.

“No, because it’s very difficult at half-time to say that a team is the favourite. We have to wait until the end,” he said.

“When the round starts with such important teams, you have two separate times: one at home, and one away. Whoever progresses the best in these times will win.

“They’re two games. They’re important knockout matches and one will go through. Whoever takes advantage of the space given will progress.”

Simeone also hopes Alvaro Morata is able to put in a positive display against his former club, having scored three goals in two appearances since the first-leg win.

“Morata, like all the forwards in the world, can give solutions to stretch the team, to keep the game going, to take advantage of the spaces that a team who overwhelms you can leave in behind,” he added.

“Hopefully, he can play an important match for the team.”

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