Simeone appreciates Roma approach

Diego Simeone stood up for Antoine Griezmann and Atletico Madrid, but “it’s wonderful for football to have teams who play like Roma.”

It kicks off at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT and anything less than a victory will eliminate the Spaniards from the race for qualification.

“Roma have just won the Derby della Capitale against Lazio, now they will have even more confidence, they’ve picked up the pace in their attacking movements and believe in what they are doing.

“We all know that winning a derby boosts confidence and they know that they’ve got the chance to secure a spot in the knockout rounds of the Champions League. I don’t think they have any doubts about playing an open and attacking game.

“Whether or not we qualify, we are a prestigious club and must always give our all. We must win and then see the other results, but the beauty of football is there are always surprises.”

Much of the controversy around Atletico Madrid has surrounded Griezmann, who could be heading elsewhere in January and struggled for form this season.

“Even if he hasn’t scored lately, Antoine has played well. In recent years, he always scored goals and now that it’s not happening, he is irritable. We must give him support.

“We must respect everyone’s opinions, he is young and his teammates are with him. After four years of giving so much, it’s normal people expect more of him, but that is true of everyone at the club, including myself.

“Fernando Torres will play tomorrow, he will work with intensity and he will be in the starting XI.”

Simeone and Roma Coach Eusebio Di Francesco faced off as players for Lazio and Roma respectively.

“I remember playing against him, he is a fighter, similar to me. I saw his Sassuolo play and now he’s been able to do well straight away at Roma too. I am not surprised by any of this, as it’s wonderful for football to have teams who play like Roma.”

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