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Simeone sees parallels between Atleti and Marseille

diegosimeone-cropped Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone (source: Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is expecting tightly contested Europa League final against a Marseille side he believes possess similarities with the Rojiblancos.

Marseille needed extra-time to clinch progression to the final, beating Red Bull Salzburg 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-final, while Atletico earned a 1-1 draw against Arsenal in London before beating the Gunners 1-0 in the second leg to set up a clash with Rudi Garcia’s men.

The showpiece in Lyon will be Marseille’s first major European final since they were beaten 2-0 by Valencia in the UEFA Cup in 2004, and since then Atletico have won the competition twice and played in two Champions League finals.

Nevertheless, Simeone is anticipating a close game, telling reporters: “It’s going to be a competitive final.

“It’ll be a very good final and the football on the pitch will be similar because we’re both direct teams and compact in the back.

“Up until now, we’ve been competing well. It excites me seeing the team in the final.”

Simeone, whose side are second in La Liga with two games left to play, reflected on Garcia’s successes as a coach, which include the Ligue 1 and Coupe de France double with Lille in 2010-11 and second-place finishes in Serie A with Roma in 2013-14 and 2014-15.

“We’re going to play against a team that plays well and has a good coach,” said Simeone.

“I think [Rudi García] has had success with all the teams he’s coached. He makes his teams play the way he wants to.

“All finals are important and I’m very happy and excited that I get to coach these players.”

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