Atlético could seal qualification for the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League when they receive Austria Wien tomorrow.
Kick-off at the Vicente Calderón is scheduled for 20:45 CET on Wednesday.
A victory would place the leaders of Group G beyond the reach of the Austrians, as well as one of Zenit and Porto — perhaps even both — depending on the outcome of their match.
It would also make it four wins on the trot in Europe’s premier cup competition, which would set a new club record for the Rojiblancos.
After suffering their first defeat of the season a little over two weeks ago, Atlético won their following four games, starting with a dismantling of die Austria.
On that night, they dominated their hosts throughout, and left with a 3-0 victory thanks to goals by Raúl Garcia and Diego Costa–the ‘Beast’ bagging a brace.
It was a convincing performance by the Red and Whites, but they faced arguably their weakest opposition, a team that have yet to score in the group stage.
Though Atlético seem dead certs to win Wednesday’s game, Juanfran cautioned against underestimating their Austrian opponents in a press conference on Tuesday.
“One of our greatest strengths is that we respect all teams, whether they are weaker or stronger than us. They want to win here for sure, and we want to win and remain undefeated at home,” he said.
The Spanish international then commented on his team’s success in La Liga and the UEFA Champions League.
“We are Atlético Madrid, a great club who, during our history, have always been among the best both of Spain and Europe. This situation has to be normal to us.
“Things are going so well for us, because we carry on with humility and calm. Hopefully we can continue like this, because we’re all enjoying ourselves a lot, both the team and the fans.”
Also at the press conference, Diego Simeone spoke about recent contract renewals at Atlético, as well as the respect the club have earned from their peers recently.
“It’s a great job by the club and an important effort to strengthen the team. The fans are thankful to see the players here for a long time. This creates a structure, an idea, a future and, above all, a present.”
“I can see that Atlético’s work is highly recognized across Europe. I’m a part of the club and these appraisals make me happy. We know that without effort, endeavour and team work, we can’t continue on this path.”
Arda and Mario remain sidelined due to muscle and knee injuries, respectively. Asked about the absences of his key players, Simeone said that “Arda is yet to be cleared to play and Mario is recovering.”
Atlético match selection:
Goalkeepers: Aranzubia, Courtois
Defenders: Godín, Filipe, Alderweireld, Manquillo, Giménez, Juanfran, Insúa, Miranda
Midfielders: Tiago, Koke, Raúl García, Cristian Rodríguez, Gabi, Guilavogui, Óliver
Forwards: Adrián, Villa, Diego Costa, Baptistão
Austria Wien match selection:
Goalkeepers: Grünwald, Lindner
Defenders: Rogulj, Rotpuller, Ortlechner, Ramsebner, Leovac, Suttner, Koch
Midfielders: Šimkovič, Jun, Mader, Murg, Holland, Royer, Luxbacher
Forwards: Okotie, Hosiner, Kienast
Referee: István Vad