DIEGO SIMEONE is bracing his Atletico Madrid players for another whirlwind start from Celtic when they face off once more at the Estadio Civitas Metropolitano tomorrow night.

The Atletico manager spoke of how impressed he was with the Scottish champions in the 2-2 draw between the sides at Celtic Park a fortnight ago, and particularly by the energy with which Brendan Rodgers’ players pressed his men high up the pitch.

He fully expects Celtic to adopt the same approach in Madrid, and doesn’t think there is any chance they will adopt a more conservative approach away from their own stadium.

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“I can't imagine any other way,” Simeone said.

“I think they will play exactly the same way. They played just like that against Feyenoord, Lazio and us. That's their style and I expect nothing else but them coming out the same way.

“The opponent plays a real high press, and they didn't really allow us time to think. We need to be able to play around that.

“Despite our poor start at Celtic Park, we didn't play badly in the first half, and we improved in the second half. We got the goal and could have got another one but after the red card it was just about not losing.

“We know it's going to be a very, very difficult game. There is equal respect between Atletico and Celtic. It's a team I have respected since I sat down to talk about them. They play a style of football I really like so I have full respect for Celtic.”

By contrast, it will be Atletico who will prioritise the need to keep it tight at the back, with their trademark defensive organisation coming undone in Glasgow under that early Celtic onslaught.

“Obviously, every team tries to keep a clean sheet,” he said.

“You normally see a lot of goals in the Champions League because all the teams have good footballers, good forwards, they know how to play football. This is what the Champions League is all about.

“But our strength over the years has been our ability to keep a clean sheet and grow from there as a team.

“We will try to that tomorrow by keeping a clean sheet and then try to find ways to hurt a Celtic team that knows how to play football.”

Despite Celtic currently sitting bottom of the group at the halfway stage with just a single point, Simeone doesn’t feel that gives an accurate reflection of how the matches have gone so far, and he isn’t ruling the Scots out of the reckoning to make the last 16.

“It's a very tight group,” he said.

“I think Celtic deserved more against Feyenoord and Lazio. Obviously, every team is going to drop points. The two teams that manage to be more consistent will be the ones that qualify for the last 16.”

Atletico defender Mario Hermoso concurred with his manager’s view on how difficult a task Celtic will pose to his team after also being struck by the level of their performance in Glasgow.

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The defender said that the movement of the Celtic attackers caused Atletico’s backline real problems, and that they will have to heed the lessons from that first game to get the win in Spain.

“We all know how demanding these group stage games are,” Hermoso said.

“It was very difficult at Celtic Park. We hope to do better in front of our own fans and get the three points that we need. We always need to learn from our rivals and try to correct things.

“It’s going to be a very intense game. Celtic have a lot of direct players who were really difficult to mark as they knew how to move between the lines.

“So, it’s really important to start the game correctly as that sets the standard for it. We need to improve on that from Glasgow.

“Celtic did really well when faced than at Celtic Park so we need to turn that around and start really well. I’m sure that will make a difference.”