Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is backing striker David Villa to end his goal drought sooner rather than later.
The Spain international arrived at Estadio Vicente Calderon this summer and bagged two goals in his first five games, but has failed to live up to his impressive scoring pedigree since, with his last strike coming on Sept. 14.
Simeone retains the utmost confidence in his veteran forward, though, and says he will stick with the former Barcelona man in Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Austria Vienna.
“David Villa lives for goals and I’m sure they’ll come,” Simeone told reporters. “It’s only a matter of time, and he’s got my full backing.
“[Tuesday’s game] will be a difficult test against a team who are well-drilled. They also have some outstanding individual players in [Marko] Stankovic and [Florian] Mader.
“They have a solid defense and will be tough to break down. We can’t afford to underestimate them.”
Atletico has started the group stage with consecutive victories, while Austria Vienna has just one point from its first two games, but coach Nenad Bjelica is focusing on the positives.
“Our defensive display will be the key to success," Bjelica said. "We have to take the positives from the first two games and improve on where we’ve fallen short. I want to see a determined, aggressive, disciplined and well-organized Austria side and players fighting for the result, for their club.
“Atletico are a top team with great players. They have a great coach, one of the best in the world. I expect them to play their typical 4-4-2 formation.
“Our midfield and defense need to get close to the likes of Diego Costa and David Villa. If they get enough space, they are very dangerous and can decide the game by themselves.”
The two sides will face off for the first time since 1970, but the coaches have faced off before during their respective playing careers in Spain.
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