Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Partey has insisted that his side will not be fazed by their lack of experience of a crunch European night at Anfield when they face Liverpool on Wednesday.
Atletico face Jurgen Klopp‘s side in the second leg of the Champions League last 16 tie, having gained a 1-0 lead in the first leg three weeks ago.
Liverpool were undone by an early Saul Niguez goal and the Wanda Metropolitano atmosphere played a key role in the Spanish giants keeping hold of their advantage.
However, speaking in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Klopp pointed out that bar former Chelsea stars Diego Costa and Alvaro Morata, Atletico are devoid of having experienced an atmosphere such as the one that carried Liverpool past Barcelona in last season’s semi-finals.
Partey has also done his rounds with the press and while he admitted that while it is a “dream” to play in such a cauldron, his teammates are ready to respond and get through to the quarter-finals.
“We are prepared. It is a dream for me to play against them in their stadium. I hope it stays forever in my career,” the midfielder said (via Marca).
“They are doing well. We have to be focused one hundred percent. We know it will be difficult.
“Klopp said not many of us had played at Anfield? For us as players it is important that the teammates help each other.
“Sometimes opinions are opinions. We are here to do our job.”
Atletico produced a defensive masterclass to keep hold of their 1-0 lead in the first leg and boss Diego Simeone has joked about how he plans to set up his team at Anfield.
“If I tell you my plans for the game it wouldn’t be logical. I think they [Liverpool] know how we will play after eight years of being here,” he said.
“We have to keep what we can during the game. Some managers will say ‘we are going to get forward’. That would be a nice pleasant dream.
“But all the thoughts I have before a game it is down to how much you are motivated on the field.”