Goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya is confident Atletico Madrid can come away from Bayer Leverkusen with the advantage in their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie.
Diego Simeone's men head to the BayArena on Wednesday for the first leg of their clash with the Bundesliga outfit, having come through the group stage losing just one match - a 3-2 defeat at Olympiacos in September.
And Moya says he is looking forward to getting started in the knockout stages, as Atleti look to go one better than last year, when they lost the final to rivals Real Madrid.
"The Champions League is always special," he told AS. "Now we are getting to the business end, it is a great thing.
"It's the game we've been waiting for for weeks.
"They're a German club and it will be a difficult match. They have not had a great time of things in the Bundesliga this season, but I think they are starting to turn things around.
"We will go there with the utmost respect, but also with the maximum desire to pick up the positive result that will give us an advantage."
Leverkusen, who drew 2-2 with Augsburg on Saturday, have found it difficult to put matches to bed in the top flight this term, drawing nine and losing five of their 22 matches so far.
However, Moya feels Atleti would be foolish to head to Germany expecting victory.
"They have some very good players in attack," he added. "[Hakan] Calhanoglu is a great free-kick taker, but the best thing about Leverkusen is that they are a unit, like us, a team.
"It's always good if your opponents come into a match without good morale, but that is forgotten when you go into a different competition.
"They will be highly motivated, like us."
Leverkusen have never won a last-16 tie in the Champions League, but reached the final in 2002 when the competition featured a second group stage.
Omer Toprak is suspended following his dismissal in the group clash with Benfica.
- Bayer Leverkusen and Atletico Madrid’s only previous encounters were in the 2010/11 Europa League group stages. Both games ended 1-1.
- Bayer Leverkusen have never progressed further than the last 16 of the Champions League since they were finalists in 2002. They have been eliminated in the last 16 the last three times they made it to the knockout stages: v Liverpool in 2004/05, v Barcelona in 2011/12 and Paris SG in 2013/14.
- Atletico Madrid have made it to the knockout stages of the Champions League for the second consecutive season, a first in their history. They lost 4-1 after extra-time against Real Madrid in last year’s final.
- Bayer Leverkusen have lost their last seven games in the Champions League knockout stages (6 goals for, 24 against).
- Atletico Madrid have only lost one of their last nine Champions League games in the knockout stages (W4 D4), it was against Real Madrid in the 2014 final.
- Bayer Leverkusen have failed to score in the last 197 minutes in the Champions League, longest current drought among the 16 teams left in this season’s tournament.
- No team has scored more goals from outside the box than Bayer Leverkusen in this season’s Champions League (3). Two of those have come from the boot of Heung-Min Son.
- All four goals conceded by Bayer Leverkusen in this season’s Champions League have come from the 61st minute onwards.
- Atletico Madrid haven’t conceded a goal for 467 minutes, the longest current run in the competition. Kostas Mitroglou was the last player to score against the Colchoneros, on 16 September.
- No team has scored more headed goals than Atletico Madrid in the Champions League this season (4, like Anderlecht). It was also the case last season (6).
- Koke has delivered more assists than any other player in this season’s Champions League (4).
- Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Miguel Angel Moya has never conceded a goal in the Champions League. He’s played 473 minutes and saved all 14 shots he’s faced (with Valencia in 2010/11 and Atletico Madrid in 2014/15).
- Diego Simeone has won 13 of his 19 Champions League games as Atletico Madrid manager (D4 L2).