Leicester City head to the Spanish capital for the first leg of their quarter-final to keepAtheir fairy-tale run alive.
Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid await Leicester City at the CalderA?n on Wednesday evening. It will be an intriguing tactical skirmish, ‘one for the purists’, if you will. Both teams are known for their counter-attacking style and endless resolve.
Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone has put his players on alert to combat in-form Jamie Vardy. HeAhas scored seven goals in his last 10 games after previously struggling to net this season.
Atletico come in to the match in a superb run of form. Prior to a derby draw against Real Madrid on Saturday, Atletico had won six consecutive La Liga matches. This purple patch propelled the club in to third position and La Liga; yet while a title-push is not impossible, it is highly unlikely.
Leicester face Atletico as the only English club left in the competition having seen off Sevilla, with Claudio Ranieri dismissed just 24 hours after their 2-1 first-leg defeat. But, despite being underdogs against the LaLiga side, Shakespeare insisted the Foxes are not about to roll over.
“In terms of life experiences you use them as you go along, you have new ones and this is one for us in the Champions League this season,” he said.AYet Shakespeare will warn the side against collecting bookings with Robert Huth, Wilfred Ndidi, Islam Slimani and Vardy all a caution away from missing next week’s second leg.
His Spanish counterpart quipped,A”Both teams rely on hard work and intensity, consistency and concern. We know they will be two challenging games.”
“We’re probably in our best moment of the season. After the group stage of the Champions League we have always found our best football. Every game is decisive and we are in very good spirits.”, Simeone further added.
French striker Kevin Gameiro is a doubt for the home side. In his absence, Antoine Griezmann may partner Fernando Torres in attack. Tiago and Nico GaitA?n trained on Tuesday, but the Leicester match may come to soon for them. Augusto Fernandez, Miguel A?ngel Moya, and Sime Vrsaljko are unavailable.
One definite absentee for Leicester will be club captain, Wes Morgan. The colossal centre-half has travelled to Madrid with his teammates, but a back injury rules him out.
Danny Simpson, Riyad Mahrez, Christian Fuchs, Wilfred Ndidi, and Shinji Okazhaki were named as substitutes in the Everton game. All five will expect to return to the starting XI at the CalderA?n.A
AtlAtico Madrid : Oblak(GK); Juanfran; Savic; GodAn; Filipe; Carrasco; Gabi; SaA?l; Koke; Griezmann; Torres
Leicester City XI: Schmeichel (GK); Simpson; Benalouane; Huth; Fuchs; Mahrez; Drinkwater; Ndidi; Albrighton; Okazaki; Vardy