Simeone ready for nervy Real clash

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April 22, 2015 08:58:41 UK

Atletico Madrid head coach Diego Simeone believes the side who cope with their nerves the best will win the Champions League quarter-final tie with Real Madrid.

A repeat of last season’s final saw the Madrid rivals play out a goalless draw in the Vicente Calderon, leaving everything to play for in the return leg in the Bernabeu on Wednesday evening.

I don’t think we have less pressure. It is the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the two teams want to go through.

Raul Garcia

And Simeone is expecting a tense tussle, with the two sides having already met seven times this season, with Real without a win in those clashes.

“Anxiety, commitment, nerves…the players feel all of that. Those who manage to overcome all of that and play the match will have an advantage,” Simeone told reporters.

“Neither team is pressured. The pressure, as we always say, is another thing in life. We have our responsibilities and I don’t think that one (team) has less than the other.”

Simeone is expected to have striker Mario Mandzukic fit despite an ankle problem to partner the in-form Antoine Griezmann in attack, while midfielder Raul Garcia has dismissed suggestions that Atleti have less pressure on them than the defending European champions.

“I don’t think we have less pressure,” he added. It is the quarter-finals of the Champions League and the two teams want to go through.”

Real go into the game shorn of the services of a number of key players, with Luka Modric (knee) and Gareth Bale (calf) joined on the sidelines by Karim Benzema, who has failed to overcome a knee injury.

Brazilian left-back Marcelo is suspended for the showdown, with Real 6.50 to win 1-0 in normal time and 1.70 to reach the semi-finals, while Atletico are available at 2.20 to qualify at the expense of their city rivals.

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