Football: Atletico out to finish job against Milan

CANNING MADRID - Atletico Madrid are looking to book their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 1997 when they host AC Milan at the Vicente Calderon on Tuesday.

The Spanish side hold a 1-0 advantage from the first leg three weeks ago thanks to Diego Costa's late winner at the San Siro.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone was part of the side that made the last eight 17 years ago and his men will be confident of building on their lead as they have been beaten only once in 22 home games this season.

Both sides continued their contrasting fortunes in domestic competition this season at the weekend as Atletico briefly retook top spot in La Liga with a 2-0 win away to Celta Vigo.

Milan, meanwhile, rested a number of their star names in a 1-0 defeat to Udinese to leave them marooned in 11th in Serie A.

Atletico will be able to welcome back star man Costa after he missed the win over Celta due to suspension.

The Spanish international's absence paved the way for a return to form for David Villa as he took Costa's place up front and scored both goals as Atletico won on the road for the first time in six weeks in La Liga.

And Simeone believes Villa's experience of challenging for titles will be key for his side in the decisive last few months of the season.

"He lives for scoring goals, he is a specialist in that. He has a precision and decisiveness in front of goal that has marked his career," he told the club's website.

"He is a very important player for us due to his goals and experience. He is one of the few players we have that is used to fighting at the top week in, week out." Simeone will also be able to welcome back Diego Godin and Arda Turan as they too were banned at the weekend, whilst midfielder Tiago remains Atletico's only absentee through injury.

Milan will be bolstered by the presence of Mario Balotelli for the trip to the Spanish capital as he made his first appearance since being forced off in the first leg, with a shoulder problem, as a substitute in the defeat at Udinese.

Adel Taarabt is also expected to start in attack and the Moroccan playmaker believes the seven-time European champions can take encouragement from their performance in the first leg.

"We should have won at the San Siro, it could have been 2-0 but we were unlucky," he told the Milan channel.

"On Tuesday we've got no fear about taking on Atletico Madrid. They're a strong side, they're second in the Spanish league, but the Champions League is a different competition.

"At the San Siro we showed that we can dominate, I see no reason why we can't do the same over there in Madrid." Italian international Riccardo Montolivo is the only significant absentee from Clarence Seedorf's 22-man squad as he is suspended.