Simeone: “The best thing this team has done in these past few years is to compete, in every competition we play in, and I think this is a big strength of this group. Today we will find a big atmosphere, Leicester will feel very strong at home with their fans behind them and we have to be ready to play in a way that allows us to do them damage and we have to have as much of the ball as we can to make that happen.
“I understand we are similar teams and I said before the first leg, it’d be a close result and the tie would be decided in this second game. I don’t think these teams will change at this stage of the season. We come out strong at home, and they do the same in their stadium. We’re two teams that feed off small details. It’s a close contest and a complicated one.”
Simeone, finally, is confident that Griezmann could cope with a man-marking job, should Leicester attempt that strategy tomorrow night. “To be fair we’ve not had any man-marking on Griezmann. If it happened I’m sure he has the footballing qualities to find a solution. Maybe he would find space for himself in open play or at free-kicks where defenders have to go back a certain distance so he could get the ball there. But this situation hasn’t arisen yet.”
Craig Shakespeare, Leicester manager
There are no free games in football and we are not here to make up the numbers, we’re here to have a right go – that will be the first message. Yes, you want footballers to enjoy it and play with a smile on their face because that is when you get the best out of them, but we also need to be smart and alert to all the things it takes to win a match.
We have the right balance within the squad – you have to have fire in your belly but you also have to have cool, smart heads at times and we’ve proved over the last 18 months we are more than capable of that. We know what we have to do and we can’t sit back for 90 minutes because we need to score. We will start as underdogs but we’re comfortable with that.