Luis Garcia and Jose Enrique warn Guardiola of 'complicated' Atletico task

By Sports Desk April 04, 2022

Pep Guardiola must be wary of the "complicated" challenge Atletico Madrid can pose to Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-final, according to Luis Garcia and Jose Enrique.

Atletico battled to a 2-1 aggregate victory over Manchester United in their last-16 clash to tee up a first-ever meeting in Europe between Diego Simeone's side and City.

But Guardiola and Simeone are no strangers to one another given they have faced off four times, and Atleti eliminated the Spaniard's Bayern Munich in the 2015-16 Champions League semi-finals.

Atletico averaged just 27 per cent possession across the two legs and scored twice from 18 shots, while Bayern netted the same number of goals from 53 attempts as the Spanish side progressed on away goals.

Garcia, who enjoyed two spells at Atleti during his playing career, expects Simeone to set up in a familiar fashion when the two teams meet on Tuesday and warned that City could suffer on the counter-attack.

"It is one of the teams that you don't want to face, because of the rhythm and the players that Guardiola has developed, he knows how to use the players in every situation," he told Stats Perform. 

"But Atletico is a complicated team when they have confidence and return to the basics of defending well together.

"With players in attack like Joao Felix and Angel Correa, with players like Yannick Carrasco and Marcos Llorente, they can be dangerous on counter-attacks and we have seen City suffer against teams that sit back."

Former Liverpool defender Enrique echoed his fellow Spaniard's thoughts as he insisted Simeone will not care how his side plays as long as they get a result.

"Sometimes Cholo [Simeone] gets hit, but in this type of competition he knows what he has to do and it won't be easy," he said to Stats Perform. 

"Pep knows Cholo a lot and Cholo knows Pep a lot. Manchester City is going to have possession and that doesn't matter to Cholo, he just wants to win and across two games, Cholo is very complicated and can beat anyone."

After eliminating Ralf Rangnick's United with a 1-0 victory at Old Trafford, Atleti are eyeing consecutive wins on away trips to face English sides in European competition before the second leg in Spain on April 13.

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