Featured Matches
Previous
Celtic
KR Reykjavik
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FC Levadia Tallinn
Sparta Prague
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 7
Game Details
Skenderbeu
BATE Borisov
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Debrecen
Cliftonville
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
VMFD Zalgiris
Dinamo Zagreb
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Sutjeska
Sheriff Tiraspol
3:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
F91 Dudelange
Ludogorets Razgrad
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 4
Game Details
FC Levadia Tallinn
Sparta Prague
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 7
Game Details
FK Qarabag
Valletta
4:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Maccabi Tel-Aviv
Santa Coloma
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
T.N.S.
Slovan Bratislava
5:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
HB Torshavn
Partizan Belgrade
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Skenderbeu
BATE Borisov
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
VMFD Zalgiris
Dinamo Zagreb
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
Debrecen
Cliftonville
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Celtic
KR Reykjavik
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Zeljeznicar Sarajevo
Metalurg
7:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Sarpsborg FK
Aalesund
5:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Nacional
Defensor Sporting
12:15 AM GMT
Leg 1
Game Details
Olimpo de Bahía Blanca
Atletico Rafaela
6:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Figueirense FC
Bragantino
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Icasa
Portuguesa de Desportos
10:00 PM GMT
Game Details
Goianiense
Oeste
10:30 PM GMT
Game Details
Next
 Posted by Dermot Corrigan
Mar 31, 2014

Pressure is on Atletico, says Martino

FC's Craig Burley thinks Atletico Madrid can keep up their winning ways as they face Barcelona in the Champions League quarterfinal first leg on Tuesday.

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino admits that Atletico Madrid have tested his team in their three meetings so far this season, but says that Tuesday’s Champions League quarterfinal first leg at the Camp Nou will be another game entirely.

Lionel Messi could not break the deadlock for Barcelona.
Barcelona trail Atletico Madrid by a single point in La Liga with seven games left to play.

• Ledwith: Messi caps great week
• Tomas: The future of Barca

Los Blaugranas and Los Rojiblancos have been unable to find a way past each other so far during the 2013-14 campaign, with three draws and just two goals highlighting the competitive nature of the games.

The Blaugrana coach told reporters at his official pregame news conference that these matches had been very evenly fought battles, but the level of pressure on Diego Simeone's side in the midweek meeting would be much higher.

"You can see [Atletico] are very strong," Martino said. "In the three games against them they have showed they are a very difficult opponent.

"The difference now is the stage of the competition. This is a Champions League quarterfinal."

Martino said if his players could match the "intensity" of their opponents, and not lose the ball in dangerous areas, then their better individual quality should decide the tie.

"The secret of the game, and all games against Atletico Madrid, is to match their intensity," he continued.

"But our weapon is to be Barcelona. We need to match their intensity, and then play our game. I do not expect it to be very open.

"We must be very careful when we lose the ball and [not allow] spaces into which Atletico can counter. We must always be aware of what the rival can do.

"But we must never forget we are Barcelona and first think about what our team can do."

In team news, Pedro Rodriguez missed Barca's training session on Sunday with gastroenteritis, but returned to practice on Monday morning. Alex Song is also available after recovering from a minor calf injury.

Both are expected to be on the bench against Atletico, with Martino likely to again pack his midfield and play Neymar up front alongside Lionel Messi.

The Argentina international said he was aware that this narrow shape could allow opponents to attack Barca down the wings, but that was a risk he thought worth taking.

"[Andres] Iniesta likes much more to play in midfield than on the wing," Martino said. "And Neymar prefers to play on left than right. But they play for the team.

"We knew Man City attacked well through full-backs, the same with Real Madrid. Sometimes you know the rival can do you damage, but you can also hurt them on the break.

"We are not going to change our team because of what our opponent can do."

Martino finally allowed himself a moment of self-congratulation when asked if his rotation policy -- which was criticised earlier this season -- was now paying off, with Barca in the hunt for the Champions League, Copa del Rey and La Liga treble.

"Xavi Hernandez is coming to the end of the season in good form," he said. "Which means the rotation has gone well. Which means I have done well, something I never say. But it is the truth."

Barca’s Spanish Supercopa ties against Atletico earlier this season finished 1-1 and 0-0, with January's league clash at the Estadio Vicente Calderon bringing another goalless draw.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.