Atletico v Leverkusen preview

The Spaniards will be back at the Vicente Calderon stadium needing to rebound from a 1-0 defeat in Germany if they are to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

“We don’t think about anything else (other) than turning around the tie on Tuesday,” defender Jesus Gamez told Spanish sports newspaper Marca.

“We know it’s going to be difficult but our enthusiasm is big.

“We suffered in Leverkusen but this is a beautiful challenge.

“This is a great test in front of our home fans and we will all pull together to achieve it.”

Atletico, who finished runners-up in the competition behind city rivals Real Madrid last season, have reason to be upbeat.

The Rojiblancos have not given away a goal at home in European competition since March 11, 2014.

“We have an ambitious team,” Gamez said. “We know that they have the advantage but we have players with experience and we will give everything we have to progress.”

Diego Simeone’s men will need to step up their game with respect to their recent performances.

Saturday’s goalless result at Espanyol was their third straight league draw and further complicated Atletico’s hopes of defending the Primera Division title.

Atletico are fourth in the standings, nine points adrift of league leaders Barcelona, and have mustered just one goal in their last four games.

Atletico will have to overcome the absence of defender Diego Godin and midfielder Tiago, who are suspended.

Moreover, defender Siqueira and midfielder Saul are both out injured.

Leverkusen, who are fourth in the Bundesliga, have Lars Bender available for the trip to Madrid. The German midfielder missed Friday’s 4-0 triumph over Stuttgart with an ankle injury sustained in the opening leg against Atletico.

Leverkusen got their slender advantage thanks to Hakan Calhanoglu’s goal.

Visiting coach Roger Schmidt knows a real battle is about to take place.

“We are still outsiders,” he told the German media. “But we are outsiders who have a good chance.

“We’re going into this game with a lot of self confidence.”

Bayer have not conceded a goal in their last five games in all competitions.

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