Atletico Madrid will bank on striker Fernando Torres’ Champions League experience when they entertain Group D rivals Rostov on Tuesday.
Torres, who won the Champions League with Chelsea in 2012, comes back into the side against the Russians after being left out for Saturday’s 4-2 La Liga triumph over Malaga.
“He is one of the few players in our group who has won this competition,” coach Diego Simeone told a news conference on Monday. “He will start.”
Torres is expected to play up front with Antoine Griezmann and Yannick Carrasco who has scored six goals in Atletico’s last four games including two against Malaga.
Kevin Gameiro, who struck twice against Malaga to help Simeone’s men climb to third in La Liga, is likely to miss out with a knee injury while Argentina midfielder Nico Gaitan is sidelined with a hip problem.
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Atletico have won all three of their Group D games and three more points against Rostov will see last season’s beaten finalists progress to the knockout stages.
The Madrid team won 1-0 at Rostov earlier this month and Simeone is predicting another tight match.
“We need to come out with intensity in order to take the game where we want it to be,” he said.
“Rostov ensured that we had few opportunities in our last game against them and that means we will have to apply ourselves.”
Atletico are three points clear of Bayern Munich while Rostov are level with PSV Eindhoven on one point.
Spanish midfielder Koke returns for the home team after serving a one-match ban at the weekend.