The fog in the north of Munich was too dense, even for the Allianz Arena's lighting system. The stadium was only vaguely discernible from the motorway, but the Atlético party eventually arrived in Fröttmaning on Monday evening and prepared for the last Champions League group match (Live in English from 20.45 CET in our Live Ticker and FCBayern.tv free web radio).
"It's not the same match as in the last four. But you always want to turn in a perfect display in the Champions League," commented Saúl Niguez in the pre-match press conference, confirming what the Bavarians had said a few hours earlier. The match will not have any impact on the table as Atlético have already won Group D and the Bavarians are certain to finish second, but both sides are keen to win the encounter. Saúl, who scored the match-winner for the Spaniards in last year's semi-final first leg, declared: "It would be a great dream for me to play."'Incredibly strong team players'
Diego Simeone adopted the fog in Bavaria as his theme on Monday, declining to reveal his plans for the starting line-up. "I'm looking forward to the match," said the Atlético coach, who confirmed he has "certain goals for this match too." Saúl explained: "Of course we always want to win. But it's going to be a difficult match. Bayern can cause you problems, always and anywhere on the pitch. We have to be highly alert."
Simeone praised the hosts. "FC Bayern are great opponents, they have a highly competitive team with incredibly good team players." The Argentinian is also impressed by Bayern's flexibility: "They're able to play a number of systems, even if their systems are different from last year." Atlético are likely to stick to their usual game plan, no matter which players feature in their line-up. "We've been playing our way for years, and we know our opponents' characteristics. We'll try to hurt them."