Having missed last week's 1-0 first-leg victory through suspension, forward Sergio Agüero is determined to make a difference as Club Atlético de Madrid travel to Liverpool FC in search of a UEFA Europa League final place.
I came to Europe to experience games like this one, to try and win trophies," said the Argentinian international. "Any player would love to play at a stadium like this and I'm fortunate enough to be in a semi-final against Liverpool. In the first leg I really wanted to be involved but could only watch. The fact I can now take part means I'm eager to do well and help the team progress. It's a huge game as it's against Liverpool, one of best teams in the world, and they're on their own patch.
"The opening stages will be very important, we've got to stay switched on and give it our best shot even though we're the away team," added a player whose two goals in this season's competition both came in a 2-2 draw away to Sporting Clube de Portugal in the round of 16. "We need to stay calm, relaxed and look to hurt them on the counterattack.
Liverpool will be expecting us to play on the break, so if we do create chances we have to take them."
Not that Agüero, a scorer in his last two Liga games, is expecting his team to be daunted by the atmosphere at Anfield. "Liverpool are a great team, and the fact they have already pulled off a couple of comebacks will be good for their confidence. But we believe in ourselves and can look back on what we've already achieved in the competition away to teams like Sporting and Galatasaray [AS]."
Those feelings were echoed by coach Quique Sánchez Flores. "The majority of this squad played here last season in the UEFA Champions League group phase and know what the atmosphere is like. Also, in this competition we have played in places like Lisbon, Istanbul and Valencia.
Any team wanting to reach a final needs to put in a performance somewhere like Anfield to earn their place."
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