Santiago Bernabeu

Next Game

R Madrid v A Madrid

Wednesday, 22 April 2015, 19:45

Champions League Quarter Final

Santiago Bernabeu

Last Game

R Madrid 3 - 1 Malaga

Saturday, 18 April 2015, 19:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

La Liga weekend preview

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone still maintains his side are underdogs for the Primera Division title as the season moves into its closing stages.

Last Updated: 28/03/14 at 13:05 Post Comment

Diego Simeone: Plays down Atletico's title chances

Diego Simeone: Plays down Atletico's title chances

Atletico go into Saturday's clash with Athletic Bilbao one point clear of Barcelona at the top of the league with just eight games remaining as they chase a first title since 1996.

Real Madrid sit two points further adrift after back-to-back losses, a record in contrast to their city neighbours who have won their last four league matches.

But Simeone maintains that the resources of the two teams below them still makes Atletico outsiders, and they also face the daunting prospect of a possible title decider against Barca on the final day of the campaign.

"Each match becomes long, hard and difficult," he told a press conference.

"The guys are making an incredible and marvellous effort. The season is enormous but it will be valued by how it ends.

"With eight games to go, the advantage is for those who have more resources. If we get to the final four or five rounds like this, we'll liven up a bit.

"We have worked very well keeping a solid base. A group of players have wanted to improve and grow, knowing their faults and strengthening their virtues.

"This shows us that believing in what one does and working little by little, humbly, we can compete."

Barcelona go into their derby clash against Espanyol rocked by the news that Victor Valdes has played his last game for the club.

The goalkeeper, who will leave the Nou Camp in the summer, tore his anterior cruciate ligament against Celta Vigo in midweek and will be out of action for at least six months.

Manager Gerardo Martino admitted that losing the veteran was a blow but is confident his side will cope after losing Ibrahim Afellay, Lionel Messi, Neymar, Jordi Alba and Carles Puyol for periods of time this term through injury.

"It's a very hard blow, but this team has lived blow to blow for a long time and we will move forward," Martino told a press conference.

"This point in the season I thought that everything that was going to happen to us had already happened."

Real will be looking to bounce back from their recent disappointments when they take on Rayo Vallecano.

Losses to Barca and Sevilla have put a huge dent in Los Blancos' title aspirations but playmaker Isco remains confident they can bounce back.

"We are Real Madrid and are obliged to pick ourselves up," he told realmadrid.com.

"There are eight games left and we are confident in our ability to turn this situation around. We have already done that more than once. We came back from six points behind so why wouldn't we be able to do that now?"

In Saturday's other game Celta Vigo host Sevilla looking for a win that could move them eight points clear of the relegation zone.

Real Valladolid host Almeria on Sunday while Real Sociedad travel to Osasuna, Elche make the trip to Villarreal and Valencia welcome Getafe.

The weekend's action is then rounded off on Monday night with Granada taking on Levante and Malaga travelling to Real Betis.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

Y

ou can win five in a row or lose five in a row... Or in Carver's case you can win one in a row or lose five in a row.

black_waltz
Carver: I'm up to the job

C

AMPAIGN, CAMPAIGN it's a clearly a CAMPAIGN

mario for pm
Chelsea's poor 'respect' rating

S

epp Blatter really is very, very good at this isn't he? Terrible human being, but really good at it.

megabrow (cufc)
Blatter 'like Jesus and Mandela'

Footer 365

Everton 1-0 Swansea: Roberto Martinez insists Romelu Lukaku is the club's designated penalty taker

Everton boss Roberto Martinez insisted Romelu Lukaku is the only penalty taker after his side's 1-0 win over Burnley.

Reading 1-2 Arsenal: Adam Federici's extra-time gaffe sends Arsenal to FA Cup final

Adam Federici's extra-time error gifted Arsenal a 2-1 victory over Reading and a place in the FA Cup final.

Chelsea 1-0 Manchester United: Eden Hazard winner sends Blues 10 points clear

Eden Hazard scored the only goal as Chelsea beat Manchester United 1-0 to move 10 points clear at the top of the table.

Mail Box

Wenger's Titles Down To United Woes...

Well, it's certainly one theory. Man United fans are out in force - decrying Wenger and defending FFP. We have mails on Coquelin, Coutinho and Mediawatch...

Mailbox: The Pros And Cons Of FFP

The mailbox has gone a little bit serious as they debate the pros and cons of FFP. Does it create a closed shop or opportunity? Plus, POTY nominations and...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company