Ralf Rangnick insists Manchester United are ready to face a ‘hostile and emotional atmosphere’ as the club prepare to meet Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.
United travel to the Spanish capital to face the La Liga champions tomorrow evening, seeking a positive result in the first leg of their last-16 tie at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Atletico Madrid have endured an indifferent campaign so far, but Diego Simeone’s side are regulars at this stage of the Champions League and will pose a threat to the Red Devils’ hopes of reaching the quarter-finals for just the second time in eight seasons.
Rangnick is expected a fierce reception in Spain for his side, not least both Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane who each enjoyed lengthy spells of success at rivals Real Madrid.
The German insists his side are prepared for the hostility of a visit to Atletico, however, and has called on his players to earn the ‘best possible result’ ahead of the decisive second leg at Old Trafford.
“In the Champions League, you need to perform at the highest possible level in all of the areas. We played a very physical game on Sunday so there may be a slight advantage to recovery on their side,” he said at his pre-match press conference.
“Maybe we will have some fresh legs on the pitch. Mentally, we need to be prepared for a very emotional and hostile atmosphere in that stadium.
“Some of our players will not be received with the red carpet. We have some experience and some talented young players, so the balance is perfect.
“For tomorrow, it’s about getting the best possible result but the tie will not be decided tomorrow. It will be decided in the second leg at Old Trafford.”