San Siro (Giuseppe Meazza)

Next Game

Inter v R Madrid

Saturday, 26 July 2014, 23:00

Friendly Match

La Liga weekend preview

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has called on his players to make the most of this weekend's chance to close the gap on city rivals Real Madrid.

Last Updated: 26/04/13 at 08:24 Post Comment

Diego Simeone: Focus on Real Madrid

Diego Simeone: Focus on Real Madrid

Los Rojiblancos have tailed off after a fantastic start to the season and lie third, three points behind their neighbours.

However, Atletico can close the gap when the pair meet on Saturday - a match in which Simeone believes his side can triumph.

"The team is good," the Argentinian said.

"They put in a big performance in Seville, working hard as a group.

"We'll approach this game like any other league game, with the same excitement and enthusiasm to take the three points.

"We are closer to our target, it has taken a lot of hard work to get here and Saturday is another chance to get closer.

"We have to play better than them and I think Saturday is an opportunity that we have to make the most of."

Arda Turan is a doubt for Atletico and will be assessed tomorrow, while midfielder Tiago has started training again and could also be involved.

"The league is not finished on Saturday," Simeone added.

"There are a lot of games left to play and we always have the desire to keep growing, to improve on last season.

"The higher we can finish, the more important it will be for the club and for a team that has worked hard, we are strong and will continue to grow."

Saturday provides Jose Mourinho's side with the ideal opportunity to make amends for last night's embarrassing 4-1 Champions League semi-final first leg defeat at Borussia Dortmund.

Barcelona will also be hoping to hit back on Saturday, having also suffered a heavy defeat in Germany this week.

They lost their semi-final first leg 4-0 at Bayern Munich but travel to Athletic Bilbao knowing they could secure the La Liga crown if they collect three points and second-placed Real lose.

Levante host Celta Vigo and Mallorca travel to Real Zaragoza in Saturday's other fixtures, while Rayo Vallecano face Osasuna tomorrow night.

Sunday gives fourth-placed Real Sociedad a chance to put space between them and fifth-placed Valencia when the teams face off in San Sebastian.

Malaga sit sixth and face Getafe, Espanyol play Granada and Sevilla travel to Valladolid in Sunday's other fixtures, with Real Betis hosting resurgent Deportivo on Monday night.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e made his power play to try and get Sheikhy to raise his wages or trade him to PSG. PSG were probably not interested and he is stuck with no cake and no vacation. @Jay_D> Surely you jest about FFP being real, right? All Platini is doing is making billionaries pay measly fines, so he and his cronies can get rich. If a fool can pay 50 mil for David Luiz, he will happily pay some fine to UEFA. FFP has failed as for it to succeed UEFA had to take it...

Synergy
Toure: I am staying with City

G

uess we can expect Toure's explanation of his behaviour around the same time Pete Townshend publishes his book then.

ceeps
Toure: I am staying with City

D

amn you Yaya, don't scare me like that! I only ate the icing. I didn't eat the soft and scrumptious middle - I will buy you another cake!

MCFC87
Toure: I am staying with City

Footer 365

Transfer News: Manchester United may need two more defenders, according to Lee Sharpe

Lee Sharpe says Manchester United may need to add another couple of defenders to their squad ahead of the new season

Transfer News: QPR want Watford striker Troy Deeney to replace Loic Remy

QPR are interested in Watford's Troy Deeney to replace Liverpool-bound striker Loic Remy, Sky sources understand.

Premier League: Manchester City winger Jesus Navas hungry for more trophies

Jesus Navas believes Manchester City have the quality to win the Premier League and Champions League this season.

Mail Box

Are Pre-Season Tours Really A Problem?

Are pre-season tours really a problem? Liverpool went to Australia last summer and it didn't prevent them from having a good season. Plus, thoughts on LvG and keepers...

It Isn't Easy Supporting Spurs, You Know

We have a long mail about the travails of supporting Spurs, plus Friday thoughts on Marko Marin, marketing, victory v beauty, travelling and vanishing sprays...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property