Atletico Madrid set for fascinating Inter Milan clash-Xinhua


Atletico Madrid set for fascinating Inter Milan clash

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-02-19 21:03:30

MADRID, Feb. 19 (Xinhua) -- Atletico Madrid travel to face Inter Milan in the last-16 of the Champions League on Tuesday as the season continues without letup for Diego Simeone's side.

Tuesday's game comes after Atletico thrashed Las Palmas 5-0 on Saturday lunchtime, in an impressive attacking display against a rival that also made errors in defense.

Simeone rested striker Antoine Griezmann and pushed Manuel Llorente into a forward role alongside Angel Correa and was rewarded by seeing how the pair caused and winger Samuel Lino caused constant problems to Las Palmas.

Griezmann is likely to start alongside Memphis Depay on Tuesday night, with Spain international Alvaro Morata missing out with a twisted knee. Meanwhile Rodrigo de Paul, Mario Hermoso and Axel Witsel are also likely to return to the side in what could be a season defining night for Atletico.

Simeone's side have hardly had a rest since the start of 2024, with a trip to Saudi Arabia for the Spanish Sueprcup and a run that has taken them to the semifinals of the Copa del Rey, where they have to overturn a 1-0 home defeat away to Athletic Bilbao on February 29th.

The defeat to Bilbao was Atletico's first home defeat in 28 games - a run going back to January 2023 and if they can get a draw or better in Milan, where Simeone spent two years as a player, they will be optimistic over reaching the quarterfinals.

Atletico will play with three central defenders and De Paul and Koke in front of them, looking to use Lino's pace on the break and their effectiveness from set pieces.

Inter impressed with a crushing 4-0 win at home to Salemitana on Friday night and the leaders of Serie A have had an extra day to prepare for what promises to be an intense and fascinating game.