TURIN, Italy (Reuters) - Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is expecting a very different challenge in Tuesday’s Champions League Group A clash at Juventus to when Atletico humbled the Italian giants in the Spanish capital in October.
Atletico’s 1-0 victory over Juve at their Calderon stadium means Simeone’s men can afford to lose by a single goal and still finish in top spot, when they would avoid fellow group winners in next Monday’s draw for the last 16.
While Atletico are already assured of their place in the knockout round, Juve need a draw to be sure of qualifying ahead of third-placed Olympiakos Piraeus, who host Malmo.
“They (Juve) are even stronger at their home stadium,” Simeone told a news conference previewing the game in Turin.
“We will have to play with a lot of intelligence,” added the Argentine, who faced Juve seven times during his playing career in Serie A, winning four and drawing two.
”What we will experience here will be very different, it will not be like what we have gone through in other stadiums.
“Because of their history, because of their status they will not allow themselves to fail.”
Juve should have talismanic Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo back for Tuesday’s game after he missed the match in Madrid through injury.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side are on a nine-match unbeaten streak at home in Europe and have lost just one of 14 games in continental competition at their new Juventus Stadium.
“We will be able to see a fantastic footballer on the pitch,” Simeone said of Pirlo’s return.
“We will have to stay very focused to combat his mental speed. He gives his team a plus when it comes to vertical play and dead-ball situations.”
Writing by Iain Rogers, editing by Martyn Herman