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Simeone: "The Madrid derby is a game for men - it'll be tough"

Atlético's coach is expecting a battle against Real Madrid at the Bernabéu. "Individually and collectively we are improving but as always, it will be a difficult game".

Simeone: "The Madrid derby is a game for men - it'll be tough"

Diego Simeone's Atlético have the chance to leapfrog Real Madrid in the league standings tomorrow but that will involve beating their city rivals at the Bernabéu. The two teams go into the match on the back of contrasting fortunes midweek - Atleti beat Huesca 3-0 while Lopetegui's Madrid were beaten by the same scoreline away at Sevilla. El Cholo however, is expecting a rough ride tomorrow. 

How do you think Madrid's defeat against Sevilla could influence the derby?

I don't usually judge rivals based on their last game. I look at their potential and Real Madrid is one of the best teams in the world.

Atlético training today.
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Atlético training today.EDUARDO CANDELDIARIO AS

Recent Madrid derbies

Atlético haven't lost to Real Madrid at the Bernabéu in the league for six years...

I don't spend time studying what happened in the past, football lives for today and we are facing a brand new game. I'm focused on how to make the game as comfortable as possible for us.

Diego Costa is going through a barren patch in front of goal, how does he seem to you?

He's looking fantastic and put in a great game the other night, he played a part in the first goal, his movement was good, physically he's strong and I expect him to have another great game tomorrow.

Do you still have a couple of doubts regarding your line-up?

A lot of things have gone through my mind, we make a decision based on small details. We'll see who starts.

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Atletico: three wins from three

The team seems to be over it's poor spell...

Individually and collectively we are improving. Our star players are getting better. It's going to be tough, complicated - as it always is against Real Madrid.

How much do you think Real Madrid will miss Cristiano Ronaldo in a big game like this?

The derby is a special game and Real Madrid know how to manage being without Ronaldo. But on the other hand, form doesn't really count for either side, these are games for men, with high emotions and those who are capable of playing to the limit of those emotions are the ones who will be able to deliver for their teams.

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Madrid going forward

Do you think Real Madrid are less direct going forward than last season?

I look beyond Madrid's last game - against Sevilla who are always a difficult team to face and it's not easy to compete against them. Madrid are still a very direct side with Asensio and Bale, who can interchange passes up front, with the vision of Kroos, Modric and Ramos, and they combine well with Ceballos and Isco...

Griezmann might be more motivated for his run-in with Ramos...

I've no idea, you'd have to ask Griezmann about that.

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