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Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone shrugs off Real Madrid injury list ahead of Champions League quarter-final second leg

Atletico Madrid's coach Diego Simeone
Image: Diego Simeone: Wary of Real Madrid cavalry

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has shrugged off Real Madrid's lengthy absentee list ahead of Wednesday's Champions League quarter-final second leg.

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After a goalless first leg at the Vicente Calderon, Simeone takes his side to the Bernabeu with the likes of Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema injured and Marcelo suspended.

But Simeone refuses to accept a depleted Real squad gives his side the initiative and has highlighted the threat of the players who will deputise.

"The characteristics of the players that will come in are not the same," Simeone said on Tuesday.

"That alerts you to the enthusiasm those that will replace them will play with, but not much changes for us. We just need to look for a way to cause them problems."

Carlo Ancelotti's side, who are defending their Champions League crown, were perhaps unfortunate not to score in the first leg with Atletico goalkeeper Jan Oblak called upon to make a string of saves.

Simeone said of Real's performance: "Their intensity in the first-half was among the best they've played all season.

"They moved the ball, were direct and quick. It is what you expect of one of the best teams in the world and that is what they are."

By contrast to Real, Atletico are almost at full strength as Simeone confirmed Modric's Croatian teammate Mario Mandzukic will be fit to feature despite an ongoing ankle problem.

Midfielder Mario Suarez, who was booked in the first leg, is suspended and is the only man unavailable to Simeone.

Watch Real Madrid v Atletico Madrid, Wednesday 7pm, Sky Sports 1

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