Diego Simeone says continuity is key as Club Atlético de Madrid seek the win needed against FK Austria Wien to progress, with Nenad Bjelica telling Austria to "do our best".
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A meeting between on-song Club Atlético de Madrid and an out-of-sorts FK Austria Wien team fighting for UEFA Champions League survival looks like a mismatch, but Diego Simeone is not letting the Spanish side take their foot off the gas for one second.
A fourth victory in as many Group G outings would seal a last-16 spot for Atlético, and Austria – bottom of the section after losing 3-0 at home to the Liga high-fliers a fortnight ago – must "do our best and be lucky" according to suspended coach Nenad Bjelica.
Diego Simeone, coach
We are striving to be competitive in every match and to do that we have to take it day by day. Diego Godín's continuity in the team [the defender has played every minute in the Liga this season and signed a new deal last week] has been great for the team; he and the other regulars help the side's cohesion. Supporters feel happier when they see the same players in the team for a long time. It generates a structure, an identity and a future for the team.
I thank Bjelica for his compliments and I wish him all the best for the rest of the competition. Austria are working at a good level and were unfortunate that we were so good in the first 30 minutes [racing into a 2-0 lead] at their place. I can see that Atlético's work is highly respected in Europe. I'm part of the club and I feel happy. But without further effort, endeavour and team work we cannot continue on this path.
Sunday: Atlético 2-0 Athletic Club (Villa 32, Diego Costa 41)
Courtois; Juanfran, Miranda, Godín, Filipe Luis; Adrián López (Raúl García 72), Gabi, Tiago, Koke; Diego Costa, Villa (Cristian Rodríguez 83).
• Diego Costa scored the second goal on Sunday and now has 12 in his past ten outings in all competitions – and 15 in 13 in the Liga.
Mario Suárez (knee) and Arda Turan (hip) have been ruled out but Léo Baptistão is available having shaken off a sprained ankle while back-up goalkeeper Daniel Aranzubia is back from an injured finger.
Nenad Bjelica, coach
I've already said that Simeone is the best coach around at the moment. He has the trophies to prove it. They are doing superbly in the Spanish Liga and have got three victories in UEFA Champions League.
We must be focused from minute one and not allow our opponents any room because they have very dangerous forwards. Atlético took advantage of our worst 20 to 25 minutes of the season in the home match. If we can go long enough without conceding a goal, we will have more opportunities to do something good. We will have to do our best and be lucky.
Sunday: Austria Wien 3-0 SC Wiener Neustadt (Kienast 8 38pen 48)
Lindner; Koch, Ramsebner, Ortlechner, Leovac (Horvath 80); Šimkovič (Dilaver 69), Holland, Mader, Murg (Suttner 65); Royer, Kienast.
• This Austrian Bundesliga victory ended Austria's seven-game winless run in all competitions, although they have lost eight of their last 13 matches.
Alexander Grünwald has been out with knee ligament trouble since 15 September while Alexander Gorgon is expected to be absent until the new year after undergoing knee surgery. Marko Stanković has not featured since being forced off with a muscular problem on matchday three.
• Atlético would confirm their qualification for the knockout rounds for the first time since 2008/09 with another victory and would also set a club record for consecutive wins in Europe's elite competition.