Perea backs Atletico to progress

BY foxsports • February 24, 2010

Atletico dominated at the Estadio Vicente Calderon but were unable to build on Jose Antonio Reyes' brilliant free-kick and paid the price when Galatasaray snatched a barely-deserved 1-1 draw through Kader Keita's 77th-minute strike. That goal has left Galatasaray holding the upper hand for the return meeting, but Perea believes his side will be the ones smiling come full-time on Thursday night. "We're going into the match convinced that we're going to get through. The team, football-wise, feels better all the time on the pitch and we want to translate that into good results," said Perea, who insists his side will not be intimated by the famously fiery atmosphere at the Ali Sami Yen stadium in Istanbul. "Atletico are used to playing in hostile atmospheres. You can cancel it out if you're prepared for it. I don't think it's anything to be concerned about," the Colombian added. Atletico coach Quique Sanchez Flores, whose side lost 1-0 against Almeria in La Liga at the weekend after conceding a late goal, has included Sergio Aguero, Reyes and David De Gea in his 20-man travelling squad even though they trained away from the rest of their team-mates on Tuesday. Galatasaray coach Frank Rijkaard is waiting on the fitness of key duo Arda Turan and Sabri Sarioglu. "We will take a decision prior to the game, we still have time. The important thing is that those players who go out on the pitch are at 100 per cent," said Rijkaard. With regards Atletico, Rijkaard admits they will need to be wary of the Spanish side's forward line, highlighting the speed of players such as Aguero, Diego Forlan, Simao and Reyes. "Atletico have very fast players who like to hit you on the counter-attack," the former Barcelona coach said. Galatasaray goalkeeper Leo Franco, who swapped Atletico for his current club last summer, added in El Mundo Deportivo: "The tie remains very difficult. It's going to be a game where there isn't going to be much difference between the two teams."

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