Simeone backs Gameiro & Torres to lighten load on Griezmann

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The strike duo are without La Liga goals for Atletico Madrid in 2017 - a stat their boss hopes will change against Leganes as they help their talisman

Diego Simeone is confident Kevin Gameiro and Fernando Torres will start sharing Atletico Madrid's goalscoring burden with Antoine Griezmann.

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Griezmann was on target in Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final, with Los Rojiblancos increasingly dependant on his ability to fire up front.

The 25-year-old's compatriot Gameiro last scored a league goal in the 3-0 win at Osasuna at the end of November, while Torres' top-flight drought stretches back to a brace in the 5-0 thrashing of Sporting Gijon last September.

However, Simeone expects the duo to come good this 2017 and help alleviate the duties of Griezmann as Atletico target Champions League qualification.

"I hope that these numbers will change," the trainer told a press conference ahead of Saturday's home match against relegation-threatened Leganes.

"I am always optimistic - we are thinking that [Saturday] will be a good day for us, so any of our strikers will find the net.

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"They are obviously motivated. And they work to get better so we want them to continue on this road.

"I hope the team can continue from where we left off in the second half from the other day [against Barcelona] and apart from this to have a game that obviously feels more comfortable for us."

Nevertheless, Simeone will not take a side who held his men to an early season 0-0 draw lightly, despite them claiming just two wins since the start of October.

"Leganes play well," he said. "It's a team that can play different styles - 5-4-1, they can play 4-4-1-1, with a lot of pace going forward.

"Obviously they can compete really well. In every game they always have their moments. They are very good competitors." 

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