Diego Pablo Simeone spoke in the build up to the league match against Malaga (Sunday, 19:00) of the excellence of the opposition led by Manuel Pellegrini: "I hope the team is well after a couple of days to recover. Hopefully we’ll be in good shape as we come up against Malaga who are playing very good, in a great stadium and led by a great coach. It will be a good game"
The absence through suspension of Gabi and Tiago due to an injury will force the Argentine to make tweaks to the starting lineup. "Mario, will play, he will bring dynamism to the game in the center of the field and that we will generate an aggressivenesswhen trying to win the ball. And Koke or Rodriguez, let's see which of them can do the job in the morning, we're getting better output from Koke on the ball, and Rodriguez will give us much more aggressive and a faster change from defense to attack”.
Simeone returns to the field in which he debuted more than a year as Atletico coach: "My return to the club will always be an important memory. The club lived a difficult time and we played against Malaga, coming off a draw with Real Madrid in the Cup and they were in European places, but there was a great response from the players in a match where the home side suffered enough and we were close to winning in the second half."
"I always remind the players that time prior to the game against Malaga. If we manage to maintain and find what we felt before game in Málaga, the path will always be the best. The search will be recovered in memory those feelings because football is always changing, we live the game tomorrow, and beyond that we are back in a final, we know that tomorrow's game is very important one and it will be difficult," he said.
Tiago's injury will will be a blow to Simeone has he has played a lot in recent months. "Tiago is important in the group. He is very liked by his peers, a hard worker, a player who knew how to wait his time in the first half of the season and then responded as I always imagined he would, like last season. Tiago gives us a great competition."
The Argentine sticks to his philosophy of going step by step and avoid falling into discussions about other thins. "It would isolate us from what we say every day: thinking game by game. I can not stop thinking about tomorrow's game. Malaga is a great team with a keeper who’s having a great season. It will be an entertaining game," he concluded.