Atletico 'keeper back for Leverkusen trip

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El Pais and other outlets say that Atletico have arranged a private jet to fly the defender from Madrid to Germany in time to feature in the game at the BayArena in Leverkusen.

Two seasons ago, the two clubs clashed in the same round with Atletico progressing 3-2 in a penalty shootout after the two legs had ended 1-1 on aggregate.

"(Kevin) Gameiro, (Nicolas) Gaitan and (Yannick Ferreira) Carrasco are new and they are quality players", said Schmidt.

Schmidt feels that Diego Simeone's men are stronger than the last time they met in the 2014/2015 season.

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"We are going to find a team that deploys everything their coach asks - heart, enthusiasm, intention and a lot of intensity". They are one of the most intense rivals we have played in the Champions League'.

The Germans will be without suspended Hakan Calhanoglu and key winger Karim Bellarabi said Bayer must step up to the plate to break their Champions League last 16 curse.

Gimenez was an unused substitute for Atletico's last two outings and trained in Leverkusen with his teammates on Monday evening. You can see the team really wants it.

Atletico's back line will be deprived of the services of Diego Godin and Juanfran, as well as goalkeeper Jan Oblak, all out due to injury.

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Atletico lost to arch rivals Real Madrid in last season's final, as they did in the 2015 quarter-finals - a game where Hernandez scored the victor at Santiago Bernabeu - having overcome Leverkusen on penalties.

"The changes in the second half were decisive because they gave us balance in the middle of the park and then the pace of Gameiro decided the result", said Simeone.

Atletico Madrid, fourth in the Spanish table, warmed up for Tuesday's match with a 4-1 win at Sporting Gijon on Saturday. "Passion is very important in football, so I am curious to see how it will play out tomorrow", he added.

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