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Bjelica urges Austria to get tough for Atlético

There was mutual praise between the coaches of FK Austria Wien and Club Atlético de Madrid, but Nenad Bjelica knows the home side will have to be at their most resilient.

Austria Wien coach Nenad Bjelica was in a relaxed mood at the press conference
Austria Wien coach Nenad Bjelica was in a relaxed mood at the press conference ©AFP/Getty Images

Nenad Bjelica wants FK Austria Wien to show their mettle when they welcome Club Atlético de Madrid in UEFA Champions League Group B on Tuesday. Home coach Nenad Bjelica believes it will take a strong defensive performance to keep out Atlético – "the best team in the group" – but he is savouring the prospect of locking horns again with his opposite number, Diego Simeone.

Austria Wien
Nenad Bjelica, coach
Atlético are a top team with great players. They have a great coach, one of the best in the world. I expect Atlético to play their typical 4-4-2 formation. Our midfield and defence need to get close to the likes of Diego Costa and David Villa. If they get enough space, they are very dangerous and can decide the game by themselves.

Our defensive display will be the key to success tomorrow. We have to take the positives from the first two games and improve on where we've fallen short. I want to see a determined, aggressive, disciplined and well-organised Austria side and players fighting for the result, for their club.

Having spent six years in Spain I have many friends there and lots of good memories. Having also played against Diego Simeone, tomorrow will be a special occasion. I am really looking forward to the game. We are playing the best team in the group, but we have the confidence to do well.

Weekend result
Saturday: SV Ried 1-1 FK Austria Wien (Perstaller 19; Hosiner 16)
Lindner; Koch, Rogulj, Ortlechner, Suttner; Holland; Royer, Mader, Simkovic (Kienast 85), Leovac (Spiridonovic 69); Hosiner.

• Roman Kienast hit the woodwork two minutes from time as Austria's winless run in all competitions extended to five games. They have now lost six of their last ten matches.

Team news
Alexander Grünwald (knee ligaments, 15 September) and Marko Stanković (calf injury, 21 September) remain sidelined, while Thomas Murg missed Saturday's draw through illness. Alexander Gorgon had resumed training following a shin and calf problem, but now requires knee surgery. Bjelica expects to have Tomáš Jun fit.

Diego Simeone, coach
It will be a difficult test against a team who are well-drilled. They also have some outstanding individual players in Stanković and [Florian] Mader. They have a solid defence and will be tough to break down. We can't afford to underestimate them.

I know Nenad Bjelica very well from his time at Albacete. He is a good coach and has my respect. I'm sure he'll prepare his team in the correct manner. Arda Turan is an important player for us and he's improving with every game. He links the play very well. David Villa lives for goals and I'm sure they'll come. It's only a matter of time and he's got my full backing.

Weekend result
Saturday: RCD Espanyol 1-0 Atlético (Courtois 54og)
Courtois; Juanfran, Alderweireld, Godín, Filipe Luís; Koke, Gabi (Adrián López 62), Mario Suárez (Cristian Rodríguez 77), Raúl García (Arda Turan 58); Diego Costa, David Villa

• Atlético's club-record eight-game winning start to the Liga – and a 15-match unbeaten run in all competitions – came to an end. Defender Toby Alderweireld made his first appearance for the club since joining from AFC Ajax.

Team news
Striker Costa – who returns from a two-game suspension – has travelled to Austria despite suffering an ankle knock at the weekend. Defender Miranda is also in the squad having shaken off a muscle strain but forward Léo Baptistão misses out with a sprained ankle. Adrián López (fractured cheekbone), Raúl García (ankle), Gabi (knee) and Villa (ankle) all returned to action on Saturday. Back-up goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia is still out with an injured finger.   

Match fact
• After victories over FC Zenit at home and FC Porto away, Atlético are looking to complete a sequence of three successive wins in the European Cup for the first time since their very first campaign in the competition in 1958/59 (Dublin City FC 8-0 h, 5-1 a; PFC CSKA Sofia 2-1 h).

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