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Manchester City v Atlético Madrid

'Atleti aren't in the Premier League!' - Koke warns Manchester City star Rodri ahead of Champions League clash

4:05 am AEST 5/4/22
Griezmann y Koke, Rayo Vallecano vs. Atlético de Madrid LaLiga
The Rojiblancos star expects his old comrade to face a "strange" homecoming when he returns to Wanda Metropolitano

Atletico Madrid playmaker Koke is relishing a clash with former team-mate and Spain compatriot Rodri when they face Manchester City in the Champions League quarter-finals, with the Rojiblancos star admitting that he has spoken with his opponent over their encounter.

The two sides will cross swords across a two-legged encounter over the next week-and-a-half, reuniting the latter with the club he left to join Pep Guardiola's side in 2019.

Koke says that he can expect a "strange" homecoming when he returns to the Spanish capital, and says that there will be no easy route for the Premier League heavyweights to make the last four.

What has been said?

"Yes, of course," Koke said with a smile when asked if he had discussed the match with his once clubmate. "[We spoke] in the national team.

"He admitted to me that it was going to be a very tough match. 'We [have], in the Premier League, many games like this,' he said. 'Yeah, but Atleti isn't in the Premier League' I warned him!

"He told me that it was going to be strange for him to play at Wanda Metropolitano, [when] he is very fond of Atleti. I already told him that we were going to win for sure, that he already knows what Atleti is like."

The bigger picture

Rodri will hope to inflict defeat upon his former club when they meet later this week, but he and his City team-mates will face a Rojiblancos side set on a second successive Manchester scalp.

Having outboxed a washed-out Manchester United to make the quarter-finals despite their domestic underperformance this term, Atletico will remain a fearsome prospect and a serious threat to Guardiola's hopes of taking his side one step further than last term.

The pair meet first at the Etihad Stadium on Tuesday, before the return leg takes place a week on Wednesday in Madrid.

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