Simeone: Trio to return for Milan game

The Argentine will ring the changes for the second leg of his side's last-16 Champions League clash and highlighted the notable threat of Mario Balotelli
Diego Simeone says Diego Costa, Diego Godin and Arda Turan will all return for Atletico Madrid's Champions League tie with AC Milan on Wednesday.

Los Colchoneros won the first leg of their last-16 clash 1-0 at San Siro. They head into the return leg in high spirits after moving into second place in La Liga by beating Celta Vigo 2-0 on Saturday.

David Villa scored twice against Vigo in the absence of Costa through suspension, but with the Brazilian-born striker set to return, he is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench.

Simeone told reporters: "We’ll see how the team recovers from its exertions in Vigo and after training today [Monday] we’ll decide. Diego Costa, Godin and Arda will return, and there could be more changes.” 

Milan heads into the game on the back of a 1-0 defeat to Udinese in Serie A but despite that defeat, Simeone is expecting a difficult game and highlighted the threat of Mario Balotelli.

"They’re a very strong club. They’re used to this competition and they have players with a lot of talent. Regardless of the result in the first leg, a team of such standing is dangerous in decisive matches.” 

"He [Balotelli] is a player who can make the difference, but the team makes him stronger. Their channels for getting the ball to him are the most dangerous. [Mattia] De Sciglio, [Sulley] Muntari, [Urby] Emanuelson... If you give them space they’re dangerous and we’ll try to deny them that space.” 

The Atletico boss concluded by urging his side to seize control of the game early on and not fall into the trap of being drawin into an open affair.

"I don’t know what type of game it’ll be. We have a small lead from the first leg and they will have to come out and look to score. We have to contain and control the match.

"The outcome will depend on the intensity we show in midfield. An open game suits Milan more. We have to make the most of the space they give us. The characteristics of the Milan players make them an attacking team.”