Simeone prepared for Celta clash

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone reflected upon his first year in charge of Los Rojiblancos as they prepare for the final match of the year against Celta Vigo.

Atletico Madrid, Joao Miranda, Felipe Luis

It is almost exactly a year that the Argentinian was appointed with Atleti struggling in the bottom half of the table and having been eliminated from the Copa del Rey by lower league Albacete.

Since then however, Simeone has guided Los Rojiblancos to success in the Europa League and European Super Cup and they will finish 2012 ahead of Real Madrid in the league table no matter what happens in the year's final round of fixtures this weekend.

He told AS: "We are halfway through the championship and we want to continue in the same line. I feel an enormous happiness because when we arrived the situation wasn't easy and the players have made a great effort to be able to be competitive.

"The most difficult thing is to maintain the stability. When the club makes such a huge effort, the players have to have the capacity to maintain the stability necessary to continue improving. Our objective is to be competitive in everything."

The hosts will be without left-back Filipe Luis who hobbled off with a thigh injury at half-time in the 4-1 defeat to Barcelona last weekend so Cata Diaz will replace the Brazilian in what is otherwise expected to be an unchanged side.

Celta meanwhile remain just two points off the relegation zone after a 1-0 defeat by Real Betis on Monday night and defender Carlos Bellvis is wary of a backlash from Simeone's men after suffering their heaviest defeat of the season last time out.

He told Marca: "It will be a very difficult game because Atletico are going very well. Up front they have a lot of firepower, we need to take care with their attacks and then try to take advantage of one of the chances we will have.

"The result in the Camp Nou will not take its toll. Atletico will pressure us a lot, they will not let us play. They are the favourites, but in one match anything can happen. If we can get one then they could have problems."

Bellvis is expected to start in place of the injured Roberto Lago at left-back, whilst manager Paco Herrera is expected to recall Cristian Bustos as the Galicians look to become the first side to take anything away from the Vicente Calderon this season.



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