Martino expecting cagey first leg with Atletico

Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino will welcome Atletico Madrid taking a cautious approach in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League tie at Camp Nou.

The Spanish rivals will put their battle for the Liga title on hold when they meet in the first leg of their quarter-final at Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Both sides come into the eagerly-awaited tie in fine form, with La Liga leaders Atletico winning their last six games in all competitions and Barca coming out on top in their last five matches.

There was nothing to choose between the teams in the previous three meetings this season, as they played out a goalless draw in the league and also drew both of their Supercopa de Espana encounters in August - with Barca winning on away goals.

Martino expects fellow Argentinian Diego Simeone to set his Atleti side up to frustrate Barca, but he has hopes those tactics could backfire.

"I always like that opponents wait for us, as it means they will attack us a little less," he said.

The Barca coach, however, warned his side not to fall into the trap of getting caught on the break.

He said: "It's over 180 minutes and we can't take too many risks in one leg as there's another one to come.

"We've not scored many goals against Atletico, but we need to play the way that we want to play and be organised.

"It is important not to concede, but the most important thing is to win first leg as that pushes the responsibility onto the opponent.

"The secret of all games played against Atletico is the intensity has been key and our main weapon is the way we play the game.

"I don't think it's going to be an open game, I think that's unlikely but I do think that when they play away from home, they want to score an early goal.

"If a goal scored in the first 15-20 minutes it could be more of an open game, but both teams know there is a chance of coming back in second leg."

Barca and Atleti will meet in the second leg in Madrid next Wednesday and also lock horns in what could be a title decider at Camp Nou on the final day of the Liga season.


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