Atletico Madrid have scored nine goals in their last three games to keep up their chase of La Liga leaders Barcelona and will aim to take that goalscoring form into the second leg of their Champions League last 16 tie with PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday.
PSV played for more than 20 minutes with 10 men in the first leg but held on for a goalless draw against Diego Simeone’s side, who romped to a 3-0 win over Deportivo La Coruna on Saturday and are getting goals from everywhere.
“We’re scoring from different parts of the pitch, which shows we are creating more chances,” Simeone said.
Antoine Griezmann has scored in four league matches in a row and Atletico’s top marksman took his league tally to 16 against Deportivo
Simeone said that while Griezmann’s striker partner Luciano Vietto had not been among the scorers lately he was still making an important contribution.
“Vietto’s positioning is good even though he isn’t scoring, playing with his back to goal and laying the ball off or drawing defenders,” Simeone said.
“We also have people who come through from the second row like Saul and Koke,” he added of the midfielders.
“Our most important match of the season was Depor and from now the most important one is against PSV,” said Simeone, whose side is unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions and have conceded two goals during that run.
His PSV counterpart, Phillip Cocu, was less pleased with the Dutch leaders’ performance in a 1-1 draw with Heerenveen at the weekend.
“We should have shown confidence on the ball and aggression and we should have played a high tempo game, but we didn’t. It was really a below-par first-half performance,” said Cocu.
“I asked the players during the halftime talk to at least up a gear or two and demanded focus on this game rather than on next week’s clashes.”
PSV will be looking to avenge two group stage defeats by Atletico in the 2008/9 season in their only previous encounters in the competition.
Forward Luuk de Jong returns from suspension for PSV but Gaston Pereiro is suspended after being sent off in the first leg.
Atletico have Yannick Carrasco available after he missed the trip to Eindhoven with an ankle injury.