Vicente Calderon

Next Game

A Madrid v Olympiakos

Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group A

Vicente Calderon

Last Game

A Madrid 3 - 1 Malaga

Saturday, 22 November 2014, 15:00

Spanish Primera BBVA

Atletico expect Bilbao battle

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone is paying little notice of Athletic Bilbao's lowly league placing heading into tomorrow's clash at San Mames, where he expects his high-flying side to be given their toughest test of recent weeks.

Last Updated: 26/01/13 at 17:03 Post Comment

Diego Simeone: Expects Bilbao test on Sunday

Diego Simeone: Expects Bilbao test on Sunday

Athletic gained widespread plaudits last season after reaching the finals of both the Europa League and Copa del Rey with their hugely entertaining brand of high-tempo attacking football.

However, this season has been a different story, with Athletic early casualties in both cup competitions and struggling at the wrong end of the Primera Division standings.

Nevertheless, Simeone is refusing to take Marcelo Bielsa's side lightly, pointing out they still boast most of the side that performed so well last season.

He said: "Looking beyond the league placings I see how they are playing and they are a dangerous team.

"I see the names they have who I'm sure will play, (Ander) Iturraspe, Ander Herrera, (Oscar) de Marcos, (Markel) Susaeta, (Iker) Muniain, (Aritz) Aduriz....who are all important players.

"It's a team who will give us a very difficult game, possibly the most complicated that we've had in recent times."

Atletico cut Barcelona's lead at the top of the Primera Division standings back to eight points with last weekend's 2-0 win over Levante, but they lost star striker Radamel Falcao to a hamstring injury in that match which has ruled him out of the trip to Bilbao.

Athletic coach Bielsa admits it is good news for his side that the Colombia international will be absent but has warned that Atletico are no one-man team.

He said: "Falcao is very important for any team who has him, but Atletico have already shown that have good alternatives to replace him."

While Falcao is definitely missing, it remains to be seen what role Athletic's own big-name striker Fernando Llorente will play in Sunday's clash after this week committing his future to Juventus.

Llorente agreed a four-year deal with the Serie A giants but will remain at Athletic until his contract runs out at the end of June before moving to Italy.

Bielsa does not expect this week's news to change anything with regards Llorente's commitment to the cause, with 27-year-old's desire to leave Athletic being made public last summer.

"It changes absolutely nothing," said Bielsa.

"We're happy for Llorente and sad for us because a member of the team is leaving, but we've known this since August.

"I don't think Llorente will give any less from now until the end of the season."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

Champions League: Lionel Messi breaks goalscoring record as PSG win

Lionel Messi became the Champions League's all-time record scorer as Barcelona thrashed APOEL Nicosia, while PSG won.

Champions League: Mourinho hails Chelsea team performance after Schalke demolition

Jose Mourinho hailed Chelsea's "complete" performance after their 5-0 demolition of Schalke.

Champions League: Aguero treble stuns Bayern

Sergio Aguero's last-gasp heroics earned Manchester City a thrilling 3-2 win over 10-man Bayern Munich at the Etihad.

Mail Box

Counter-Attacks: Making Me Fall In Love Again

There is a good deal of love for counter-attacking goals, plus some sympathy for Arsene Wenger, heaping the praise on Chunky Pardew too early and why Klopp > Rodgers...

There's Excitement In Toon Again...

We have mails on a young, vibrant Newcastle side along with the usual woe from those in the red of Liverpool and Arsenal. We just love having the Premier League back...

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