Mestalla

Next Game

Valencia v R Madrid

Sunday, 04 January 2015, 16:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Last Game

R Madrid 2 - 0 S Lorenzo

Saturday, 20 December 2014, 19:30

FIFA Club World Cup Final

Primera Liga weekend preview

Atletico Madrid striker Adrian Lopez has insisted his side's focus is firmly on Saturday's Primera Division trip to Celta Vigo and not on next week's European glamour tie against AC Milan.

Last Updated: 07/03/14 at 14:51 Post Comment

Adrian Lopez: Thoughts on Celta Vigo

Adrian Lopez: Thoughts on Celta Vigo

Atletico will secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time in 17 years on Tuesday if they can defend the 1-0 lead they earned from their trip to Milan last month.

However, while that match will assuredly be whetting the appetite of the Rojiblancos faithful more than a league clash with mid-table Celta, Adrian believes the players are not looking beyond the trip to Pontevedra as they seek to continue their title push.

The Spain international, whose side are three points behind leaders Real Madrid following last week's 2-2 home draw with their arch rivals, told a press conference: "It's a very important match because at this stage of the season, the games are like a final. If we want to continue being up there we have to try and get the three points.

"We're focused on it. We will then face the Champions League match, but now I'm thinking about the next match against Celta Vigo."

Atletico are set to be without three key players for the Celta match, with top scorer Diego Costa, Arda Turan and Diego Godin all suspended.

Adrian is backing the rest of the squad to cope with their absences though, saying: "Clearly they are important losses. But for that we have other players working hard to do well when they get a chance to play."

On paper, all three clubs in the title race will be expected to win this weekend.

Aside from Atletico, reigning champions Barcelona travel to third-bottom Real Valladolid on Saturday knowing a win would put them back to the top of the standings.

However, it would be a huge surprise if they stayed there any longer than 24 hours with Carlo Ancelotti's in-form Real playing host to Levante on Sunday on the back of a stunning 28-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

Real were somewhat fortunate to extend that sequence last weekend, needing a late equaliser from Cristiano Ronaldo to salvage a draw from their trip to Atletico, but club captain Iker Casillas does not believe that will have negatively affected the squad.

He said: "I don't think it will have generated doubts at any point. They were a difficult team to play against and were going to push us. It was a crucial game and we've finished it ahead (in the table).

"We're top and we have to be aware of the importance that has, because months ago we were behind. Now we have to defend that position."

Just behind the top three, Athletic Bilbao will attempt to take a step closer to securing themselves the fourth and final Champions League spot when they travel to Valencia.

Athletic are currently six points clear of fifth-placed Villarreal, who go to Granada, and a further point above sixth-placed local rivals Real Sociedad, who are in action on Monday night against second-bottom Rayo Vallecano.

Elsewhere this weekend, last-placed Real Betis take on Getafe looking to cut the 11-point gap between themselves and safety, while Sevilla take on Andalusian rivals Almeria, Elche go to Espanyol and Osasuna meet Malaga.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

Footer 365

Sky sources: Alan Irvine will be in charge for West Brom's trip to West Ham on New Year's Day

A senior West Brom source has told Sky Sports News HQ that Alan Irvine will be in charge for the game against West Ham.

Transfer news: Fernando Torres heads back to Atletico Madrid on loan until end of next season

Fernando Torres is returning to Atletico Madrid on loan until the end of the 2015-16 season.

Simon Mignolet: I'll take positives from losing Liverpool spot and come back stronger

Simon Mignolet says a recent spell out of the Liverpool side could end up having a positive effect on his career.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

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