Atlético and Benfica keen to build on good starts
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Atlético Madrid face Benfica with both sides chasing a second Group C win, Fernando Torres seeking his 100th goal for the hosts and visiting coach Rui Vitória full of respect.
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- Atlético Madrid take on Benfica with both teams having won Group C openers
- Fernando Torres starts game with 99 Atlético goals to his name
- Benfica without a goal in three away matches this season
- Diego Simeone highlights Benfica's Nicolás Gaitán
- Visiting coach Rui Vitória stresses "respect" for Atlético
Atlético: Oblak; Juanfran, Giménez, Godín, Filipe Luís; Correa, Gabi, Tiago, Óliver Torres; Torres, Griezmann.
Out: Koke (hamstring)
Benfica: Júlio César; Nélson Semedo, Jardel, Luisão, Eliseu; André Almeida, Samaris, Gonçalo Guedes, Gaitán; Jonas, Mitroglou.
Diego Simeone, Atlético coach
It's normal that some players need time to adapt to a new team. Some have come from other leagues and other positions even. All the strikers have scored goals and Jackson [Martínez] will score too. Ángel [Correa] is growing and we expect he will offer us fresh attacking options. He can play in every part of the pitch and in different positions too. This is a tough match against a team that is very used to winning. They are a very competitive side with pace down the flanks.
This match demands intensity from us and we will try to put the ball where we want from the start. [Nicolás] Gaitán is absolutely the fulcrum of their team. He is an important player in key areas for Benfica. Every player who wants to be a starter in my team has to help solve the problems that we face to win a match. Tiago is possibly one of the best midfielders I've ever had. He exaggerated a bit when he said I was the best coach he's ever had. We love each other so much.
Rui Vitória, Benfica coach
When I say Atlético are an aggressive team I mean they are an intense side. They are a very competitive outfit. We give Atlético the respect they are due in the same way they have to respect Benfica as a quality team of European stature. There is no psychological barrier to winning away from home. Our goal is winning the match, respecting Atlético and not underestimating them.
Past results are in the past and we must be focused on Wednesday's game. Three thousand Benfica fans will support us tomorrow and that proves this club's greatness. Atlético's stats just reflect the respect we must show them.
Villarreal 1-0 Atlético (Baptistão 14)
On-loan Atleti player Léo Baptistão got the only goal against his parent club to send Villarreal top of the Liga. Diego Simeone set a record by coaching the Rojiblancos for a 211th consecutive game, taking the mark from Luis Aragonés, whose total of 611 matches came in multiple spells.
Benfica 3-0 Paços de Ferreira (Jonas 34 73, Gonçalo Guedes 67)
Jonas made it seven goals from six Liga outings, with 18-year-old Gonçalo Guedes also registering his first senior strike. Benfica are now within two points of Porto and Sporting CP at the Portuguese summit.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)
Reporter's view: Joe Walker (@UEFAcomJoeW)
Having succumbed to a goal from an old boy at the weekend, Simeone will be determined to prevent lightning striking twice against a Benfica side possibly containing four former Atlético players. With both teams having won on matchday one, three points here will go a long way towards deciding a berth in the knockout phase – and the Rojiblancos' formidable home form means they should be confident of doing just that.
Did you know?
Atlético have won 21 of their last 24 European fixtures at the Vicente Calderón, including all three in last term's group stage when their goal difference was 10-0. Find out more in our match background.