Diego Simeone is not thinking about resting his Atletico Madrid stars ahead of the return of the Champions League.
Atleti were pitted against RB Leipzig in the quarter-final draw on Friday, with the winner of that game taking on Atalanta or Paris Saint-Germain in the last four of the mini-tournament that will be hosted in Lisbon next month.
Simeone’s side will secure a top-four finish in LaLiga if they defeat Real Betis on Saturday – with three games remaining they sit six points clear of Villarreal, whom they hold the upper hand over in the head-to-head record.
Despite being so close to guaranteeing a return to the Champions League next season, the Atleti boss is not considering rotating his players.
“Every time we select a line-up, we do so thinking of winning the game. Tomorrow [Saturday] will be no exception,” Simeone told the media on Friday.
“It will be a very important game. It is a game which can give us the access to next season’s Champions League, which is what we really want and have been looking for and working towards for a long time.
“We will try to be at our best in the game; looking at the training today in order to know who are best for tomorrow’s game, which is the most important. And after, we will try to put that in the pitch, the only useful thing.”
Having knocked out defending champions Liverpool in the Champions League last-16 and landed in the kinder half of the draw for the final stages, Atletico are considered strong candidates to go all the way.
Simeone does not see it that way, though, pointing to the threat Leipzig pose.
“They are always the same people who either exaggerate or discredit you. As I am trying to escape from extremes, I will only say what I said already after the draw,” the Atleti boss said.
“We are going to face a good team with quick attacking players. A team that scores many goals and finished a great season in Germany.”