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Simeone seeks strong start against Barcelona

Diego Simeone wants Atletico Madrid to start the game much stronger when they face Barcelona for the second time in 11 days on Wednesday.

Reigning champions Atletico were beaten 3-1 at Camp Nou in La Liga on January 11, but they have the chance to gain a measure of revenge for that defeat when they visit Barca in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

In the league meeting, Neymar put Barca in front in the 12th minute, before Luis Suarez added a second 10 minutes prior to the interval.

Although Mario Mandzukic halved the deficit shortly before the hour, Lionel Messi sealed the win for the home side three minutes from time.

And Simeone wants Atletico to begin this quarter-final first-leg clash in much more positive fashion.

"We must start the game better because the start was not good," he said.

"We have to play with the intensity and pressure that we usually do. Against a team like Barcelona, which did very well in the first half an hour, we had complications.

"We face a great opponent. We are facing the best Barcelona in recent times. 

"It is clear that 90 minutes will be very hard and every minute spent on the game will be of significance for the second leg.

"The key is how to work out how and where to attack. If we can bring the game to where we want to attack we will have options.

"We need to understand how to attack a team like Barcelona. And if we understand we will have options."