Diego Simeone warns Leicester City they will struggle to shackle Atletico Madrid's Antoine Griezmann

Jack Austin
The Independent
Griezmann excelled in the trequartista role against Leicester: Getty
Griezmann excelled in the trequartista role against Leicester: Getty

Diego Simeone is backing Antoine Griezmann to prove the difference between Atletico Madrid and Leicester City in their second leg at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday night, as he was in the first leg.

Griezmann won, and subsequently converted, the penalty at the Vincente Calerdon to deal the Foxes a setback in their quest to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League.

The Frenchman, who is set to be the subject of a summer-long tug of war between Manchester United and Real Madrid, could be man-marked by Leicester’s Wilfried Ndidi after manager Craig Shakespeare indicated he could single out Griezmann for special attention.

And while Simeone cannot recall anyone ever attempting to stop Griezmann by man-marking him, the Argentine backed his forward to be good enough to find a way around it.

“It has never happened where we have faced an opponent who has given him special treatment and been man-marked,” said Simeone.

“If it did, I am sure the type of footballer he is and with the ability he has, he would find a way to resolve that situation and find a solution.

“He would find space for himself in open play or from free-kicks where defenders have to get back a certain distance.”

Leicester have won all of their four European home games so far this season, but Atleti are considered heavy favourites for the last four, having made two of the last three finals.

“Leicester are in decent form and have been very close to getting back to their best in the last six or seven games,” Simeone added.

“Our characteristics are very similar, we are not too different in the way we play. It'll be a very tight game, the first leg was a narrow result and Tuesday will be no different. It will be decided on the smallest of details.”

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