Guardiola won’t underestimate Atletico

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Bayern boss Pep Guardiola insists he won’t underestimate the threat posed by Atletico Madrid in their two-legged clash in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Bavarains received what certain fans perceive to be a favourable draw after avoiding Real Madrid and Manchester City in the final four of Europe’s top-tier club competition.

However, Guardiola does not hold the same view, claiming that Diego Simeone’s side deserve to be considered on the same level as Primera Division giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.

“Spanish teams have always been on top of their game in European games over the past few years,” Guardiola told reporters.

“I have been keeping a close eye on the Spanish league in recent years, so I know how good Atletico Madrid are.

“People are always talking about Real Madrid and Barcelona, but Atletico have been up there as well in the past five years. They are on par with Madrid and Barcelona.

“Barcelona have been the best team around over the past 10 years or so and Atletico managed to eliminate them twice in the last three seasons.

“That is further proof that this is a very tough draw. I hope my players will remain healthy in the build-up to the two games against Atletico.”

He added: “Atletico have a strong defence, but Bayern have not conceded many goals either.

“There’s no denying they are a strong opponent, though, just like Juventus were.

“They press their opponents, defend deep and are very compact. Diego Godin is always there to intercept crosses from the wings and Jan Oblak is a great goalkeeper. They have a very good organisation.

“Juventus were one of the strongest teams in the world in defence and so were Benfica. Now we meet another team that is very strong at the back.”