Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simone called on his supporters to create an explosive atmosphere that will advance his team to the Europa League final when they host Arsenal in the second round of the semifinals on Thursday.
Atletico left the first stage in the Emirates Stadium with a 1-1 draw while Arsenal was dominated during his defense against the wall but he failed in capitalization.
Atletico has reached three European finalists under Simon, winning the Europa League final against the Airlatic Bilbao in 2012, losing Champions League showpieces in Real Madrid in 2014 and 2016.
Arsenal has entered two European finals under Arsene Wenger, who are leaving the club at the end of the season after 22 years, defeated Galatasaray in the UEFA Cup Final of 2000 and Barcelona in the 2006 Champions League Final.
“We need positive energy and stadium explosions,” Simeone said at a press conference. “We have a great will to win the final.”
“We will try to get organized very well,” said Simon, whose side has not scored a goal in all of his last 11 games in all competitions at their home, eventually to score a goal against Girona on 20 January.
“We will try to direct and crush very much and will continue to win every second at maximum intensity, knowing how important each ball is.”
In the first stage, Simeone was sent along with Vrsaljko and long-auxiliary German Mono Burgos would be in their place.
On Thursday, Wenger’s 250th European game will be in the capacity of a coach; it will be the last chance to sign out at the highest level on their long arsenal career by defeating the Olympique de Marseille or Salzburg.
The French had won the Premier League three times and seven FA Cups after taking charge in 1996, although their legacy has worsened due to the failure to compete for the league title in recent years, or after 2010. The Champions League has moved forward from the last 16 of the league.
Arsenal has failed to finish in the top four in the league in the last two seasons and to win the Europa League; it is the last chance to avoid disappearing on Champions League qualification for the second consecutive year.
Wenger said, “Goal is to reach the European Games 251.”
“The next game is always the most important in my life; it affects the future of my club, which is why it is a very big game for us, will we qualify for the Champions League or not?”
After sending to London on Thursday, Simeone has been banned from the touchline, so his assistant German Burgos will again be in charge of the Bench.
Former Argentina international official said, “German is capable, and passion and inspiration are just like me.” “I am not in his body, but we know one another from memory, we do not need to see each other. I am resting about staying on the bench about it.” What the team does against their rivals is yet to be seen.